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While the Ladies Championship is a part of “Ladies Week” in Las Vegas, with women-only tournaments available at casinos all over town, the WSOP event is a bucket list item for many players.
This year, women showed the importance of the tournament by setting a new attendance record. The 2007 Ladies Championship brought in 1,286 entries and maintained the record for more than a decade. But the 2023 crowd delivered 1,295 entries to set a new high bar for the tournament.
The question comes up on social media every year. Why do the women get their own tournament? Men don’t get a men-only event at the World Series of Poker?
Most tournaments are men-only events. Very few women – generally 1% to 6% – of any tournament field is comprised of women. Further, women were largely unwelcomed at the World Series of Poker for most of its existence – not officially but made to feel unwelcome by male players. Decades ago, the WSOP initially launched the women-only tournament to give poker wives and girlfriends something to do while the men played real events. But over time, women took ownership of that women’s tournament and made it something special.
Today, it remains an important part of the annual poker schedule for many women, a tournament in which they can feel comfortable and free from harassment, sexual innuendos, and intimidation.
The dual buy-in is another question easily answered.
Since some men cannot understand this entire concept of women’s own space or acknowledge the history of misogyny in poker, there are often men who think they should be able to play in the Ladies Championship. Since Nevada laws prohibit the purposeful exclusion of men, the WSOP established a dual buy-in. Men can play for the buy-in of $10K. Women, on the other hand, receive a discount to play for just $1K.
The first three days of this tournament aimed to find the final table, one that would be livestreamed on PokerGO by popular demand.
Day 1 set the field, a new record of 1,295 entries. And out of that substantial number, there were 331 players who finished the day holding chips. Bernice McLennan led the field, with names like Karina Jett and Ruth Hall in the top ten and reigning champion Jessica Teusl still in the mix. And a woman named Tamar Abraham finished the night in 17th chip position.
Day 2 burst the money bubble so the top 195 players were guaranteed at least $1,601 for their play. The number of survivors at the end of the night was only 47, with Mary Dvorkin in the lead. Shiina Okamoto was third, and McLennan was still near the top in fifth. Abraham kept up her pace with a stack putting her in 11th.
As an important side note, Dvorkin accepted a marriage proposal after she bagged her chips that night.
Fun fact: the chip leader Mary Dvorkin got engaged last night right after bagging – to her partner Tsuf Saltsberg, who two hours prior finished 5th in the $1,500 mixed for 100k. Mazal Tov.— Elkana Itskovitch (@elkitsko755) July 1, 2023
Fun fact: the chip leader Mary Dvorkin got engaged last night right after bagging – to her partner Tsuf Saltsberg, who two hours prior finished 5th in the $1,500 mixed for 100k. Mazal Tov.
— Elkana Itskovitch (@elkitsko755) July 1, 2023
Day 3 thinned the field quickly down to two tables, as Dvorkin held the lead, followed by Tara Cain and Okamoto and then Abraham. The top three players dominated all the way to the unofficial final table of nine players, but Okamoto then took a massive pot from Dvorkin. And Cain needed just one hand to oust Laura Westfall in tenth place and Kristie Ogilvie in ninth.
The official final table started with eight instead of nine due to Cain’s double knockout. Play continued, though, to reduce the field to the number of players PokerGO wanted for the livestream.
A plethora of double-ups led to Jennifer Wu busting in eighth place, at which point the final six bagged their chips for the night.
Meet the 2023 WSOP Ladies Championship #finaltable 👋🏽(Left to right)🇨🇾Chrysi Phiniotis 1.18M🇯🇵Shiina Okamoto 11.67M🇺🇸Tara Cain 4.75M🇺🇸Tamar Abraham 2.37M🇺🇸Nam Nguyen 630K🇮🇱Mary Dvorkin 2.65M🇺🇸Suzanne Malavet 2.1MThese players are guaranteed a $26,277 payout and will… pic.twitter.com/Xijtg3JUKR— Poker Org (@pokerorg) July 2, 2023
Meet the 2023 WSOP Ladies Championship #finaltable 👋🏽
(Left to right)
🇨🇾Chrysi Phiniotis 1.18M🇯🇵Shiina Okamoto 11.67M🇺🇸Tara Cain 4.75M🇺🇸Tamar Abraham 2.37M🇺🇸Nam Nguyen 630K🇮🇱Mary Dvorkin 2.65M🇺🇸Suzanne Malavet 2.1M
These players are guaranteed a $26,277 payout and will… pic.twitter.com/Xijtg3JUKR
— Poker Org (@pokerorg) July 2, 2023
Okamoto returned on Day 4 with a massive lead, followed in the distance by Cain, then Dvorkin, Abraham, Suzanne Malavet, Chrysi Phiniotis, and Nam Nguyen.
It took a little while, but Nguyen chipped up and then busted Phiniotis in seventh place. It was a bit later that Abraham took a massive pot from Okamoto to soar up the leaderboard.
😮 Wow! 😮What a river for Tamar Abraham to double through chip leader Shiina Okamoto.📺 – Watch the @WSOP $1,000 Ladies Championship live here: https://t.co/d5Y22RbLZL pic.twitter.com/QB0Xt7DW5U— PokerGO (@PokerGO) July 2, 2023
😮 Wow! 😮
What a river for Tamar Abraham to double through chip leader Shiina Okamoto.
📺 – Watch the @WSOP $1,000 Ladies Championship live here: https://t.co/d5Y22RbLZL pic.twitter.com/QB0Xt7DW5U
— PokerGO (@PokerGO) July 2, 2023
Abraham’s aggression continued to pay off, as she took chips from Dvorkin and eliminated Cain in sixth place. Dvorkin doubled through Abraham to stay alive, but Okamoto then busted Dvorkin in fifth place.
Abraham took several consecutive pots from Okamoto to climb over 15 million chips, and Abraham then busted Malavet in fourth place to climb over the 20-million mark. Okamoto took out Nguyen in third place but still took only 5.48 million chips into heads-up play.
Okamoto fought back and earned some chips but never enough to put Abraham at risk. Okamoto finally pushed all-in with 5-4 on a T-5-2-Q board that showed two spades. Abraham snap-called with T-3 of spades and found the six of spades on the river for good measure.
Tamar Abraham is the 2023 @WSOP Ladies Championship Winner!Abraham climbed to the top of the largest Ladies Championship field ever, topping a 1,295-entry field, winning her first bracelet and $192,167.📺 – Watch a full replay of this event here: https://t.co/d5Y22RbLZL pic.twitter.com/KEEG88EoI7— PokerGO (@PokerGO) July 3, 2023
Tamar Abraham is the 2023 @WSOP Ladies Championship Winner!
Abraham climbed to the top of the largest Ladies Championship field ever, topping a 1,295-entry field, winning her first bracelet and $192,167.
📺 – Watch a full replay of this event here: https://t.co/d5Y22RbLZL pic.twitter.com/KEEG88EoI7
— PokerGO (@PokerGO) July 3, 2023
The members of the audience cheering for Abraham erupted when she won. She could finally breathe, but the win didn’t sink in right away.
“It’s surreal,” she told PokerNews. “I don’t even know what to say. I don’t have any words right now.”
An Unstoppable Tamar Abraham Wins Record-Breaking Ladies Event for $192,167 🔥 pic.twitter.com/q1IZmPBlHT— PokerNews (@PokerNews) July 3, 2023
An Unstoppable Tamar Abraham Wins Record-Breaking Ladies Event for $192,167 🔥 pic.twitter.com/q1IZmPBlHT
— PokerNews (@PokerNews) July 3, 2023
Photo Credit: WSOP
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