8 Female Professional Poker Players You Should Know

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Poker may be traditionally male-dominated, but make no mistake, female poker pros are killing it out on the felt too.

There are countless women making waves in the industry today, proving that poker is not a man’s game as they crush their competition and sometimes even transcend their male contemporaries in both cash games and tournaments.

This post will spotlight eight of the most impressive female poker talents of the 21st century. If you don’t know these poker girl bosses yet, now’s your chance to become familiar with them and find inspiration in their stories and achievements.

Liv Boeree

This British poker pro is one of the industry’s most successful and well-known women. She’s amassed over $3.5 million in tournament earnings, with her most considerable cash coming from a first-place finish at the 2010 European Poker Tournament (EPT) Sanremo for €1.2 million.

Boeree also has a World Series of Poker (WSOP) gold bracelet to her name, which she won in a $10K Tag-Team No-Limit Hold’em event with Russian pro player Igor Kurganov in 2017.

Outside of poker, Boeree is also an astrophysicist, TV presenter, and philanthropist. She co-founded the non-profit Raising for Effective Giving (REG), which encourages pro poker players and other wealthy individuals to donate a percentage of their earnings to effective charities.

Boeree retired from poker in 2018 after nine monumental years playing professionally. She now focuses on her work with REG and various business and media projects.

Vanessa Rousso

This French-American poker pro has over $3.5 million in tournament earnings and is considered one of the best strategic minds in the game.

Known for her signature look comprised of a baseball cap and fashionable sunglasses, Rousso has made numerous deep runs in professional events since 2005. Her first big win came in that year’s No-Limit Hold’em Summer Series. She has yet to win a WSOP gold bracelet but has finished in the money multiple times in the annual tournament.

In addition to her successes in the field, Rousso is a lawyer and former DJ. She has been less active recently, having not cashed in a tournament since 2017. Still, she remains one of the top 10 female poker players based on total money earnings.

Maria Ho

Ho is a Taiwanese-American poker pro and television host with over $5 million in live tournament earnings.

She made a name for herself early on by being the last woman standing in the 2007 WSOP Main Event, ultimately finishing 38th out of over 6,000 players. She again bested her female opponents in the 2011 WSOP Europe Main Event and the WSOP Main Events in 2014 and 2017, making her the only player with the “last woman standing” title in four major WSOP games.

In addition to her tournament successes, Ho has also cashed numerous times in WSOP events—over 50 times, specifically. She’s currently one of the top leading female money winners of all time.

When she’s not busy playing poker, Ho can be found hosting various poker-related shows and programs, as well as commentary for major events.

Annette Obrestad

This Norwegian poker pro made history when she took down the $10K No-Limit Hold’em pot at the WSOP Europe in 2007. At just 19 years old, she became the youngest person ever to win a WSOP bracelet at the time.

Obrestad has won many other major tournaments, but she is best known for her accomplishments in online poker. These include a 180-player Sit N Go tournament win in 2007, where she claims to have not looked at her hole cards once save for one time when she was faced with an all-in bet.

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Vanessa Selbst

With over $11.8 million in tournament earnings, Selbst is the highest-earning female poker player of all time. She is also the only woman ever to top the Global Poker Index.

The Yale Law School graduate has made five Main Event tables at various prestigious tournaments. These include back-to-back wins at the North American Poker Tour (NAPT) in 2010 and 2011. Her biggest win came from the Partouche Poker Tour, which she won in 2010.

Selbst also has three WSOP bracelets and announced her retirement from poker in 2018. However, she can still be seen playing an occasional tournament now and then.

Annie Duke

Known as the “Duchess of Poker,” Annie Duke is an American poker player and author with over $4.2 million in poker earnings. She has written poker strategy books, including “The Middle Zone” and “Decide to Play Poker.”

Duke, who was introduced to the game in her 20s by her older brother, poker pro Howard Lederer, got her first big win in 1999 when she placed second at a WSOP event. She won her first and only WSOP bracelet in an Omaha Hi-Lo event in 2004. The win secured her an invitation to the WSOP Tournament of Champions that same year, where she competed and won against some of the biggest names in poker like Phil Ivey, Johnny Chan, Daniel Negreanu, Doyle Brunson, and David “Chip” Reese.

Duke was the highest-earning female professional player for years until Vanessa Selbst beat her record.

Kathy Liebert

The WSOP has yet to see a female pro take down the Main Event title, but Kathy Liebert did come close in 1998 and 2000, finishing in 17th place in both years.

Liebert has one WSOP bracelet to her name, which she won in a $1.5K Limit Hold’em Shootout in 2004. Besides her WSOP accomplishments, Liebert has had many tournament wins throughout her career. She has final tabled the World Poker Tour six times and took home the $1 million pot at the 2002 Party Millions tournament.

With over $6 million in tournament cashes, Liebert is currently among the top female poker players of all time.

Kristen Bicknell

The only Canadian player on this list, Kristen Bicknell is a force to be reckoned with in the world of poker. She currently has over $5.5 million in tournament earnings, making her one of the highest-earning female poker players of all time.

Bicknell started playing poker in college and developed a prolific online poker game, playing millions of hands each year. She gave herself the nickname “Ultimate Grinder” for the number of hands she plays online.

Bicknell has won several WSOP events. These include three games for which she won WSOP bracelets: the $1K Ladies No-Limit Hold’em Championship in 2013, the $1.5K Bounty No-Limit Hold’em event in 2016, and the $2.5K No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed event in 2020.

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These eight poker pros are the tops of their kind, though there are plenty more women pros out there who are making their names in the poker world. And with more and more ladies taking up the game, we can’t wait to see more women dominate poker tournaments, charts, and records in the years to come.
All-Poker-Staff

All-Poker-Staff