Even though the $1,000 Ladies World Championship attracted fewer entries this year than last year – 718 this year vs. 818 in 2016 – it did indeed seem like every well-known female poker player from around the world had signed up to play the Ladies Event, incl. bracelet winners Vanessa Selbst, Kristen Bicknell, Marsha Wolak, Safiya Umerova, Loni Harwood, Liv Boeree, Annette Obrestad, and many many others. The 718 entries created a prize pool of $654,300.
The fast pace of the tournament meant that the final table was set on Day 2. Allison Schultz bubbled the final table in 10th place, and with the eliminations of Karen Hardy Hodgson (9th), Meg Zampino (8th), Tiffany Lee (7th), and Alexis Sterner (6th) play concluded for the night. Professional poker player Heidi May was chip leader going into the final day, and Deborah Worley-Roberts from the United Kingdom was second and Julie Dang third in chips. Jana de la Cerra and Katherine Ansorge were the short stacks.
The action continued to be fast and furious on the final day of play. In fact it would only take 122 hands before the new champion was crowned. The first player to be eliminated was Katherine Ansorge from New York, who shoved with and was looked up by Jana de la Cerra who made a pair of kings on the flop. Ansorge took home $29,256 for her 5th place finish.
Next one out was Vietnamese-American Julie Dang, who tried her luck with nearly the same hand as Ansorge . When her hand failed to improve vs. Deborah Worley-Roberts’ , she was sent to the rail in 4th place for $40,843. Soon Jana de la Cerra was history too, when her pair of eights did not hold up vs. May’s AK. De la Cerra took home $57,930 for her deep run.
Going into heads-up play May was in the lead, and she didn’t look back. In the final hand Worley-Roberts moved all in with , and May snap-called with . When the flop came Heidi May made a full house and became the new Ladies World Champion. Besides the title and the coveted gold bracelet May took home a first place prize of $135,098. Deborah Worley-Roberts took home $83,459 for her impressive runner-up finish.
Heidi May from Australia has been playing poker for a living for the last four years. With this score she is up to more than $238,000 in live tournament earnings. Huge congrats to May on her accomplishment – and to all of the 718 women who once again made the Ladies Championship a very fun and compelling event.