Women at the 2023 WSOP

At last year’s summer camp, primarily focusing on the 2022 World Series of Poker and women-only tournaments in Las Vegas during “Ladies Week,” the participation of women felt substantial. People in poker were gifting seats into the WSOP Ladies Championship and some open WSOP events. When awaiting numbers from events that provided them, many of us who follow these trends expected an uptick in female participation across the board.

It did not happen.

This year, the final numbers remain to be seen. But there are positive signs.

WSOP Women’s Record

Prior to 2023, the record for the WSOP Ladies Championship was 1,286 players in 2007. There were no reentries then, so that was the exact number of women who played the $1K buy-in event.

The number fell slowly over the years. Black Friday played a role, as did the introduction of reentries. Participation dipped below 1,000 in 2012 and dipped to a low of 696 in 2018, a low not seen since prior to the poker boom. A substantial rebound began in 2019, however, pushing the number of entries to 968. The pandemic then prompted a drop to 644 in 2021, but a post-pandemic boom skyrocketed participation in 2022 to 1,074 entries.

This year, the numbers rose again. The final tally of 1,295 entries set a new all-time record and showed a 21% increase from 2022. While there is no official breakdown of the number of unique players versus reentries this year (or in any year), the overall number is positive.

Ladies Championship Entries plot point graph

Women Making Waves and Dollars

The best way to gauge the success of women at the 2023 World Series of Poker is by the WSOP’s own statistics. Even that is difficult, however, when the WSOP misgenders players. Early weeks showed Harley Brooks as the only woman with a bracelet this year, but Brooks is a male player. They fixed that error, but the latest statistics show Loren Cloninger in the top 10 women by earnings…and Cloninger is a male player as well.

The rest of the listings appear to be correct.

It is no surprise that Kristen Foxen tops the women’s earnings list for the 2023 WSOP. She has accumulated six cashes thus far, most in larger buy-in tournaments:

  • $5K NLHE/PLO (Event 6) = 7th place for $69,683
  • $5K NLHE Freezeout (Event 12) = 26th place for $18,569
  • $25K NLHE High Roller (Event 16) = 12th place for $79,335
  • $50K NLHE High Roller (Event 23) = 18th place for $81,983
  • $100K NLHE High Roller (Event 29) = 10th place for $187,069
  • $1,500 NLHE Millionaire Maker (Event 53) = $1429th place for $2,400

These cashes put her lifetime earnings at $6,478,087. While she still trails Kathy Liebert ($6,845,729) and Vanessa Selbst ($11,906,247), Foxen has been a consistent winner for many years. She is currently leading the Global Poker Index 2023 Player of the Year race by a wide margin, on her way to possibly winning the award for a fourth time. She held the title from 2017 through 2019.

 

With the exception of the man listed in the top 10 of women’s earnings, the list is as follows through the first 75 events of the 2023 WSOP:

1. Kristen Foxen (Canada) $439,039

Kristen Foxen playing poker

2. Shannon Fahey (USA) $269,841

 

Shannon Fahey with her hand on her face contemplating a poker move
Photo Credit: Matthew Berglund

3. Angelina Rich (Australia) $209,366

Angelina Rich laughing at the poker table

4. Sarah Herzali (France) $207,720

Sarah Herzali at the poker table with headphones in

5. Jennifer Craddock/Abad (USA) $193,103

Jennifer Craddock wearing a mask after winning a poker tournament

6. Tamar Abraham (USA) $192,167

Tamar Abraham Winning a WSOP bracelet

7. Tracy Nguyen (USA) $171,389

Tracy Nguyen looking down at the poker table smiling

8. JJ Liu (Taiwan) $164,847

JJ Liu at the poker table smirking at the camera

9. Shiina Okamoto (Japan) $122,838

 

Shiina Okamoto focusing at the poker table
Photo Credit: Omar Sader

*The third player on the list, Angelina Rich, is shown in the WSOP list as representing the USA, but she is an Australian player.

*The eighth player, JJ Liu, is shown in this list with a United States flag, but the Hendon Mob database shows her representing Taiwan.

*The fifth player on the above list is shown as Jennifer Abad on the PokerNews results and Jennifer Craddock in the Hendon Mob database.

 

Women Cashing Tournaments

Another way that the WSOP sorts players is by cashes during the 2023 WSOP. This includes live and online tournaments that occur during the summer series.

Loni Harwood, also known by Loni Hui since she married several years ago, sits atop that list through 75 events with 10 cashes. Her first cash was in Event 3 and her top finish thus far was at the final table of the $1,500 PLO-8 (Event 66) tournament, where she finished sixth for $44,391.

The list of top cashers thus far is:

  • Loni Harwood (10)
  • Cherish Andrews (8)
  • JJ Liu (7)
  • Maria Ho (7)

From that point, the following players are listed with six cashes each:

  • Kristen Foxen
  • Angela Jordison
  • Lexy Gavin
  • Camille Brown
  • Esther Taylor-Brady
  • Shirin Oskooi

*There may be more players with six cashes, but the WSOP website only lists the top 10.

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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 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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