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.

Event 67: $10K/$1K NLHE Ladies Championship Results:

1stTamar AbrahamUSA$192,167
2ndShiina OkamotoJapan$118,768
3rdNam NguyenUnited States$85,756
4thSuzanne MalavetUnited States$62,658
5thMary KvorkinIsrael$46,333
6thTara CainUnited States$34,679
7thChrysi PhiniotisCyprus$26,277
8thJennifer WuUnited States$20,160
9thKristie OgilvieBrazil$15,662

For Women Only

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.

Three of Four Days

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.

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.

Final Table Start and Restart

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.

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.

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.

Big Rail, Big Excitement


Tamar Abraham holding up her bracelet with all of her friends
Photo Credit: Alicia Skillman of PokerNews

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.”

Photo Credit: WSOP

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Jennifer's poker journey began with the World Poker Tour in the early 2000s, leading her to a prolific freelance writing career by 2006. With nearly two decades of experience, she has become a poker expert, specializing in writing for publications like Poker Player Newspaper, Poker Pages, PokerStars, and Mediarex. Beyond her writing, Jennifer is the editor and chief of Legal US Poker Sites, has managed poker news aggregation at PokerScout, and undertaken ghostwriting for poker pros and gambling executives. Her preference lies in interviews and opinion pieces, but her in-depth industry knowledge often guides her towards reporting on legislative and legal developments in poker and the broader gambling landscape. Notably, Jennifer is a passionate advocate for women in poker, working to promote gender diversity in a traditionally male-dominated field. Her impact on the poker community extends from her expertise to her advocacy for greater inclusivity.
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