Will 2015 be the year where we finally crown our first female WPT champion? Here at PokerWomenNews we certainly think so. In the course of two weeks we have seen two women final table a WPT event. On January 31st Esther Taylor-Brady made the final table of WPT Borgata – finishing in 5th place for $174k – and yesterday Kelly Minkin made it among the final six at WPT Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open.
Kelly Minkin is fresh from winning Event #2 ($570 NLH) at the LA Poker Classic for $54,630 just two weeks ago. Her biggest score dates back to August 2013, where she was runner-up in the Arizona State Poker Championship for $151,983. But if she wins WPT Lucky Hearts there will be $723,008 waiting at the end of the rainbow.
With 18 players left on Day 4 Minkin started the day 6th in chips, and the plan was to play down to the six-handed live streamed final table. Left in the field were “Ones to Watch” Justin Zaki and WSOP bracelet winner and WPT champion Jared Jaffee among others.
Minkin came off to a good start, when Brian Altman decided to call her 3-bet from the button. On a board of Minkin bet both flop and turn and Altman called with . Both players checked the river and Minkin turned over a pair of deuces to win the pot.
Two hours into the day four players had been eliminated and Minkin was responsible for the next elimination calling a shove from Kareem Marshall with a pair of treys vs. Marshall’s A3. The board did not help Marshall and he was gone in 14th place. A little later Minkin also sent Bruce Kramer to the rail in 11th place with a pair of tens vs. his KQ.
Down to 10 players Minkin was 4th in chips with Brian Altman and Mark Dube as the overwhelming chip leaders. Unfortunately for Jared Jaffee he missed out on a second WPT title when Minkin called his shove on a flop of . Jaffee had caught a pair of treys on the flop with his , but Minkin had pocket sevens in the hole to win the pot as the on the turn and the on the river did not improve Jaffee’s hand and he was eliminated in 10th place.
Walter Fischer was sent to the rail in 9th place and after the dinner break Nathan Tuthill and Dean Baranowski fell in 8th and 7th place. The final table of six was a reality and they remaining players are now guaranteed at least $146,245.
Here are the table draw and the chip counts for the final table:
Seat 1: Brian Altman: 10,330,000 (129 bb)
Seat 2: Mark Dube: 11,620,000 (145 bb)
Seat 3: Sanjay Gehi: 2,515,000 (31 bb)
Seat 4: Kelly Minkin: 3,780,000 (47)
Seat 5: Greg Rosen: 1,150,000 (14 bb)
Seat 6: Jon Graham: 1,400,000 (17 bb)
Third in chips and with 47 big blinds Minkin is in good shape going into the final table, even though the two big stacks hold the vast majority of the chips in play. The live stream from the FT will start Wednesday 1.30 pm local time on half an hour delay.
PokerWomenNews wish Kelly Minkin the very best of luck and run good and hope to see her crowned as the first female champion in an open international WPT event at the end of the day!
Photo: Kelly Minkin, WPT Lucky Hearts.