The Rise of Women in Poker – A Brief History!


Poker is a worldwide popular game that players love. Organizations are even considering making this infamous card game a sport, too. Both men and women love playing this competitive and thrilling card game. 

However, this wasn’t always the same as poker is a widely men-dominated game. In the early days, poker had no place for women. But we still have come a far away from that time. If you are a poker-loving female, consider casinos not on gamstop

Go for their recommended casinos to play the best poker games. Besides this, let’s look at the rise of women in the poker industry. 

Current Stats Related to Women Poker Players

In 2020, PR firm Hatch and 888Poker conducted a research report that showed an increase of 22% in female poker players across Britain. If you look at the overall stats, this number is still far less than worldwide women poker players. 

According to a report by Zippia in September 2022, only 5% of poker players consist of females.

First Women Ever to Open a WSOP – Barbara Freer

Benny Binion first created the World Series of Poker in 1970. Although this series didn’t get traction in the first few years, people started to participate later. Men majorly filled the poker tables, with a few women also enjoying the game in Las Vegas casinos. 

In 1979, Barbara Freer entered the WSOP with a $400 Ladies Limit 7-Card Stud game tournament. Later, she won the tournament and made $13,000 in winnings. Playing against men didn’t scare Freer. 

She loved the game, knew how to play well, and broke all the stereotypes by not participating in women-only tournaments. After 1979, Freer played many WSOPs, with her second-best being 7th place in the 1989 tournament. 

The Only Woman in Poker HOF (Hall of Fame) – Barbara Enright

Barbara Enright used to play 5-stud poker with her older brother and started professionally playing the game in 1976. In 1986, Enright won her first WSOP bracelet and the second one in 1994. 

However, both victories were in female-only tournaments. She took a bold turn and participated in an open event in 1996. Competing against 179 players, she won $180K from the $2500 Pot Limit Hold’em tournament.

Her successful poker career made her enter the prestigious HOF (Hall of Fame) in 2007. Enright is still an active poker player and also the game’s ambassador.

Kathy Liebert

Kathy Liebert became famous in the 2000s when her big wins started rolling out. Liebert won her first million from the first-ever Party Poker Million event in 2002. Over the years, she reached several WPT finals, but she didn’t win any. 

She was placed second in the 2009 Shooting Star tournament, making a historic finish. Kathy has more than $6.5 million worth of winnings under her belt, making her the second-most successful female all-time winner. 

Moving Forward to Annette Obrestad 

An 18-year-old Norwegian girl named Annette Obrestad shook the poker world by winning her first-ever WSOP Europe Main Event. This made her the first and only woman to win this title. 

Live Boeree

Another prominent female poker player is Live Boeree. Her contribution to poker has positively impacted the role of women in this card game. Even though her career started in the 2000s, she got prominent by winning the 2010 EPT Monte Carlo Main Event. 

During her professional poker career, she remained a PokerStars Team Pro member for some time and appeared on many poker shows. 

Vanessa Rousso

Another successful female poker player is Vanessa, who accelerated the rise of women in the poker industry. She started getting fame when she won her first major WPT Borgata title in 2006, winning $285K. 

Soon, PokerStars recruited a successful female player and remained their member for a few years. In her career, she has won more than $3.5 million from various tournaments, while her TV appearances inspired numerous women globally to participate in this poker game. 

The All-Time Successful Female Poker Player – Vanessa Selbst

Vanessa Selbst is the only female poker player who has won 3 WSOP bracelets in open tournaments. Her name has inspired many women to learn poker and master the game. With more than $12 million, 2 NAPT titles, 3 WSOP bracelets, and other trophies, Selbst is one of the top-tier worldwide poker players. She’s still an active poker player looking forward to winning many other tournaments. 


Players like Vanessa Selbst and Barbara Freer have abolished old stereotypes and prejudices against women playing poker. Comparing the situation of women in the 1970s to now, women’s poker has come a long way. 

However, it still hasn’t reached its max potential, leaving a highly profitable market untapped. Over the years, women poker players might rise and enjoy the action and thrill this game offers.

Disclaimer: This article contains sponsored marketing content. It is intended for promotional purposes and should not be considered as an endorsement or recommendation by our website. Readers are encouraged to conduct their own research and exercise their own judgment before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article.


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