The big online poker series in May have concluded. PokerStars’ SCOOP and 888poker’s XL Inferno are in the books, and both live and online grinders are beginning to look forward to summer camp, the 2018 World Series of Poker. Unfortunately the percentage of women playing live compared to online is still very low, and last year women only made up 4,78% of the WSOP field. If only more women from the online world would travel to the WSOP more women would take home bracelets. Easy-peasy!
Unfortunately it’s not that easy, but a new initiative Poker League of Nations is certainly a step in the right direction. The international poker alliance for women that helps to connect female poker players from all over the world is currently working hard to change the male-dominated poker landscape, and is planning to release more about their plans at the WSOP in June. So make sure to return here for more news about PLON this summer.
A female poker player making the final table of the WSOP Main Event would most certainly see more women compete in the Main Event and other WSOP events too, but only Barbara Enright has made it this far – and 23 years have passed since she finished in 5th place back in 1995. But maybe this is all going to change this year? Let’s take a look at a few players I have picked out for having a shot at winning an open event bracelet this summer or making the Main Event final table.
We all remember when Gaëlle Baumann bubbled the Main Event final table in 2012, and in 2016 she finishing in 102nd place. I would not be surprised to see Baumann make another deep run in the Main Event this year.
Maria Ho is another great candidate for a deep run. Ho has been last woman standing in the Main Event in both 2007 and 2014, and has proven that she excels in large field tournaments. All things considered, Ho is due to win a bracelet this year after coming very close in 2011, when she finished runner up to Allen Bari in Event #4.
Kristen Bicknell is always a force to be reckoned with, and she has been running good and playing even better for a long, long time. Currently ranked 11th on the overall GPI 2018 Player of the Year, she is looking to capture her third bracelet. The same goes for Loni Harwood who is chasing her third bracelet as well.
Linglin Zeng has not yet won a bracelet, but she has been running deep in several events, including finishing in 12th place in the $10,000 Ladies Championship, in 5th place of a $3,000 NLH Event (Event #55) and in 16th place of the Monster Stack Event in 2016. Last year she took 3rd in the $3,000 Shootout Event and 26th in The Little One for One Drop. Very impressive to say the least. In my opinion Zeng is a strong candidate for winning her first bracelet this year.
WSOP is more than No-Limit Hold’em tournaments, and for a PLO bracelet winner I will put my money on 888poker ambassador Vivian Saliba. Saliba has multiple deep runs in PLO tournaments on her resume, among them an 11th place finish in the $10,000 PLO Championship last summer for $47,923.
Candidates for mixed-game bracelets have to be Esther “E-Tay” Taylor-Brady, Shirley Rosario and Carol Fuchs. Fuchs who plays all the games won a bracelet in the $1,500 Dealers Choice Event in 2015, and E-Tay and Rosario have both gone deep in several events over the years.
And then there are all the female poker players we have not yet heard of who might end up taking home one of the 78 gold bracelets that are up for grabs. Just like Dana Castaneda did in 2013 and Safiya Umerova in 2016, just two name two.
Besides the Ladies Championship bracelet I will go with two open event bracelets won by women this summer, not to mention a woman making the final table of the Main Event. Remember, you read it here first!