Very rarely do we see a woman play in one of the super high roller tournaments, and therefore it’s really no surprise that a woman has not won one yet. Vanessa Selbst was close to a super high roller title, when she final tabled the Super High Roller at PCA this year and finished in third place for $760,640. Yesterday business owner and CEO Kathy Lehne from Houston, Texas, was even closer when she finished runner-up in the $100,000 WPT Alpha8 at St. Kitts.
WPT Alpha8 attracted 11 players, and four re-entries brought the total number of entries to 15. The players were a mix of some of the best pros in the world – Olivier Busquet, Antonio Esfandiari, Dan Coleman, Jeff Gross, Alec Torelli and Jason Mercier – and five recreational players from the world of business: Bill Perkins, Talal Shakerchi, Michael Singh, Tony Guglietti and Kathy Lehne.
Kathy Lehne is a mother of three and the President and CEO of Sun Coast Resources, which she founded in 1985. At the time Lehne was 23 years old and she used her savings of $2,000 to start the fuel distribution company that today provides petroleum products, lubricants, oilfield transportation, emergency fueling response and more. The company has 1,950 employees and annual revenues topping $2 billion.
The WPT Alpha8 is not the first super high roller Lehne has entered. In 2013 she was the only woman besides Vanessa Selbst to play in the $111,111 One Drop at WSOP, where she finished outside the money. From 2007 to 2010 Lehne cashed in four tournaments for a total of $64,167. In 2007 she won a $1,000 NLHE tournament at the Bellagio.
Now she can write a $436,500 score on her resume after she finished runner-up to Jason Mercier yesterday at St. Kitts. Down to four players Lehne gained the chip lead after eliminating Antonio Esfandiari in a hand, where she rivered a wheel vs. Esfandiari’s pair of queens. Olivier Busquet was the next player to go in fourth place, and with three players left Lehne had well over half the remaining chips (110 bb), while Jason Mercier had 43 bb and Tony Guglietti 35 bb.
When Guglietti was eliminated in third place for $291,000 and heads-up play began Mercier and Lehne were about even in chips. Unfortunately Lehne was not able to maintain momentum versus the experienced pro, and before the dinner break Mercier had overtaken the lead. After the break Lehne pushed back with a more aggressive style and was able to chip up. But on the last hand of the night Lehne pulled a big move with on a board of . Mercier went into the tank, but finally called with for the better two pair. Besides the trophy Mercier collected $727,500 for his effort.
Congrats to Kathy Lehne on her deep run. And who knows? Maybe her performance will inspire more women from the world of business to enter the high roller and super high roller events.
Photo: Sun Coast Resources