For 11 long years no woman was able to walk away a WSOP Circuit Main Event champion. As has been the case with the World Poker Tour, the trophy, the glory and the big bucks seemed out of reach for even the greatest of the female players. On Saturday a recreational player, Michelle Chin (Ya-Shuo Chin), turned up at Horseshoe Council Bluffs, Iowa, and on Monday evening the curse was finally broken: the first female champion in WSOP Circuit history was found.
Chin entered the 4-handed final table on Day 3 as a massive chip leader and at no point did she look back. After only 10 minutes of play the first player was gone, Harvey’s Lake Tahoe Circuit Main Event champion Jesse Wilke. Ring winner Michael Sanders was the next to be eliminated in a hand vs. Chin. The action started when Sanders raised preflop and was met by a reraise all in by Michelle Chin. The hands were turned over and Sanders was well in front with vs. Chin’s , but a five on the river sealed the deal and Sanders was out in 3rd place.
Heads-up Chin was in the lead with 3.25 million in chips vs. Mike Lang’s 1.45 million. Chin kept the pressure on and in the final hand of the day Chin’s pocket sevens rivered a set against Lang’s pair to secure her the victory. The event drew a total of 235 entries over two starting flights, which created a prize pool of $352,500, and a big chunk, $88,126, went to Chin.
To the WSOP officials Chin said that the win meant a lot to her: “There aren’t too many women in the poker community. We like to see more and more women play because it is a fun game. No matter what sex you are you should be able to enjoy it. It means a lot to me. I hope I encourage a lot of other girls to come out and play.”
With this historic win in the books let’s hope 2015 will be the year where we can finally cross a female WPT champion off our bucket list.
Photo: Michelle Chin, WSOP