It took 52 events before we got our first female bracelet winner at this year’s World Series of Poker. With only 16 events left on the schedule it began to look as though we wouldn’t crown a female champion this summer. But then Carol Fuchs emerged and took down one of the toughest and most prestigious events of the summer, Event #52: $1,500 6-Max Dealers Choice. Not one, not two, not three, but 19 different games were up for rotation as each player could choose between the following games:
Limit Omaha High
Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8-or-Better
Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8-or-Better
Seven Card Stud
Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8-or-Better
Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Regular
No-Limit Five Card Draw High
No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw Lowball
Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball
Limit A-5 Triple Draw
357 players took up the challenge, but when Day 1 was in the books, most of them were gone as only 75 advanced to Day 2. Going into Day 2 Carol Fuchs was in the middle of the pack in 40th place. As her friend, mixed-games specialist Shirley Rosario said, ”she played such a patient game. Never got frazzled. Eye on the prize.” Fuchs’ patience payed off and she climbed the leaderboard finishing Day 2 with the third largest stack out of the final 11 players – only Matt Szymaszek and defending champion Robert Mizrachi had more chips.
On the final day of the event and down to 5 players Fuchs gained the chip lead, but just for a while as it swung back and forth between Fuchs and Russian player Ilya Krupin. After the eliminations of Yuval Bronshtein in 5th and Chris Klodniki in 4th place, play continued three-handed with Ilya Krupin, Robert Mizrachi, and Carol Fuchs.
A Omaha Hi-Lo hand versus Fuchs left Mizrachi crippled. The action started with Fuchs raising from the small blind and Mizrachi calling in the big blind. The flop came and Fuchs bet. Mizrachi raised and Fuchs called. Turn was the and Fuchs check called a bet from Mizrachi. The on the river saw Mizrachi fire a last bet, which Fuchs called. Mizrachi turned over for a pair of kings, but Fuchs tabled for trip eights and scooped the big pot. Mizrachi was left with only 130,000 chips and was eliminated soon after in 3rd place for $51,236.
Going into heads-up play Fuchs was in the lead, and even though Ilya Krupin proved a very tough opponent Fuchs stayed calmed and extremely focused. In the final hand of the night – in a rotation of No-Limit Hold’em – Krupin raised all in with and Fuchs called with . The flop came giving Fuchs a pair of kings, and when the on the turn and the on the river fell Carol Fuchs had won the coveted gold bracelet and the $127,735 first prize money.
With this win Fuchs is up to nearly $280,000 in live tournament earnings. Besides being a part-time poker player Fuchs works as a scriptwriter and film producer in Hollywood. After her win she said to the WSOP blog:
It’s encouraging when someone like me who is an amateur, and a woman, and – let’s just say someone ‘older than 30′ – wins something big like this. I respect what the pros do, but for a non-pro to come out here and win, is encouraging for all players and especially for amateurs and women.
Fuchs may be an amateur in the sense that she doesn’t play poker for a living. But in any other way she’s must be considered a true professional and master of the game. To be able to compete with the best mixed game players in the world and win is very impressive. Congrats to Carol Fuchs on a truly amazing performance.
Photo: Carol Fuchs, World Series of Poker