Women are Taking the World of Poker by Storm – Here are 10 of the Best!
Poker is traditionally dominated by men. Things are changing, with many women bringing their skills to the tables – and in many cases surpassing their male counterparts. While we have yet to see a woman win the World Series of Poker Main Event, many commentators feel this is only a matter of time.
This page covers 10 of the top female poker players. Some dominate cash games, while others are big winners on the international tournament circuit. I am sure that many more women can be added to this list – and that even more are working their way through the stakes at this very moment.
Liv Boree Net Worth: $4 Million USD
To say that Liv Boeree’s tournament record is impressive would be an understatement. She is the only female to win major events on both the World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour. Liv also has a WSOP bracelet. This was won in the 2017 10k Tag-Team event (along with Russian Pro Igor Kurganov). Liv has more than $3.5 million in poker tournament earnings at the time of writing.
This British poker pro represents PokerStars. Her talents go way beyond poker. Graduating with a degree in Astrophysics, Boeree has a string of TV appearances under her belt. These have included hosting major poker events around the world – as well as non-gambling TV shows. These have included ‘The Mind Control Freaks’ on the Discovery Channel, and even an appearance on the BBC breakfast show.
In addition to her media and poker careers, Liv Boeree started a charity. This is called ‘Raising for Effective Giving’. This charity advises poker celebrities on effective altruism. It has so far donated $6 million to selected charities.
Annie Duke Net Worth: $9 Million USD
Known as the ‘Duchess of Poker’, Annie Duke is an author, business founder and high stakes poker crusher. While her tournament record is formidable, Duke is known for her cash game skills, playing at the very highest levels. Tournament wins include a WSOP bracelet, winning the 2004 WSOP Tournament of Champions and the 2010 National Heads-Up poker championship. For many years Duke was the leading female money winner at the World Series. That record was recently beaten by Vanessa Selbst.
Like many poker pros, Annie Duke has written strategy / instructional books. These include ‘The Middle Zone’ and ‘Decide to Play Great Poker’. She has also founded a charity ‘Ante Up for Africa’, which raises money for charities which work directly with poor African nations. In addition, Annie co-co-founded the ‘Epic Poker League’ – and co-created the Global Poker Index.
She comes from a poker playing family, her brother is the controversial founder of Full Tilt Poker – Howard Lederer.
Kathy Liebert Net Worth: $6.89 Million USD
Compared to many of the top women poker pros – Kathy Liebert has a lower profile these days. This should take nothing from her amazing track records in the highest stakes poker tournaments. Liebert has more than $6 million in live poker tournament cashes. Her record includes a deep run in the World Series Main Event, eventually busting within sight of the final table in 17th place.
Born in Tennessee, Kathy has a WSOP bracelet from the 2004 Limit Hold’em Shootout event. This is backed up with an impressive six final tables in the World Poker Tour. She was the winner of the 2002 Party Millions. This tournament alone adding a million dollars to her live tournament winnings.
Annette Obrestadt Net Worth: $3.9 Million USD
Annette Obrestadt was known to millions of people via her online poker nickname ‘Annette_15’. This poker pro is the only one on this list from Norway. She shot to fame in 2007 after winning the World Series of Poker Europe – becoming the youngest player ever to win a coveted gold bracelet at the time.
While she has won many other major tournaments, Annette Obrestadt was best known for her online poker achievements. This included the amazing feat of winning a 180 player Sit N Go without looking at her own hole-cards unless faced with an all-in bet.
Things did not always go smoothly for this player. In 2012 she signed with Lock Poker. This site closed down, taking the bankrolls of many players with it. While Annette was not involved in the shady dealings of Lock Poker, she has kept a noticeably lower profile since then.
Maria Ho Net Worth: $4 Million USD
Maria Ho recently topped an amazing (and ongoing) poker career with an induction into the Poker Hall of Fame. This pro is Taiwanese / America – and has hosting plus broadcasting credits that match her outstanding tournament results.
Over her career, Ho has accumulated almost $3 million in tournament earnings. Her results include an amazing 54 World Series of Poker Cashes. Maria was the last woman standing in the Main Event in 2007, busting out in 38th place. She also has 5 World Poker Tour final tables – and a lot of wins in minor events around the world
While many female broadcasters host televised tournament events, Maria became the first female ‘strategic commentator’ (for season 9 of the Heartland Poker Tour). She also worked for NBC Sports, commentating on the Super High Roller Bowl events.
There is more to this female poker pro than playing cards. Maria Ho has also been involved in pro-level Majong games – and appeared in reality TV shows including The Amazing Race and American Idol.
Victoria Coren Mitchell Net Worth: $10 Million USD
The 2nd British female poker pro on this page shares some similarities with Liv Boeree. Both have been involved with online poker room PokerStars. Coren resigned in 2014, after PokerStars opened a casino. She is a regular live poker player at casinos in London and has been a writer in various publications since the age of 14.
Coren was the first woman to win a European Poker Tour event – taking down the televised EPT London in 2006. This was the first of many high-profile tournament successes. Her biggest score was in the 2014 EPT San Remo, taking 1st place for almost half a million Euros. In total Victoria Coren’s lifetime tournament earnings are almost 2.5 million dollars. Her achievements were acknowledged by being indicted into the Female Poker Hall of Fame in 2016.
Like many of the top female poker pros featured here, Victoria Coren has many accomplishments outside of the game. She writes regularly for the UK Observer newspaper, has performed at the Edinburgh Festival and has made numerous TV appearances. These have included hosting many of Europe’s biggest televised tournaments.
Jennifer Harman Net Worth: $15 Million USD
A fixture in the highest stakes cash games in Las Vegas, Jennifer Harman also has an excellent track record in poker tournaments. Her first WSOP gold bracelet came in a format she had never played prior to the event. This was the 2-7 Lowball event in 2000. Harman received a 5-minute training session from Howard Lederer before the tournament – and went on to beat seasoned pros. A second WSOP bracelet would follow in 2002 in the Limit Texas Hold’em $5k event.
Like many female poker pros featured on this page, Jennifer Harman has writing credits. These include a prestigious chapter in the 2nd edition of Doyle Brunson’s Super System book. She was inaugurated into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2015.
TV appearances included regular stints on both High Stakes Poker and Poker After Dark. She was a member of the pro team at Full Tilt Poker for many years.
Vanessa Rousso Net Worth: $6.5 Million USD
Vanessa Rousso is the 3rd female pro on our list with a connection to PokerStars. She was a member of their pro team between 2007 and 2015. Known for her distinctive look – a cap, headphones and designer sunglasses – Rousso is a formidable player in both cash games and tournaments. While she has yet to win a WSOP bracelet, her tournament winnings total more than $3.5 million.
Online poker results include a 2nd place finish in the WCOOP main event in 2007. That score alone was worth more than $700,000.
TV appearances have included Poker After Dark. She also appeared in Big Brother in 2015 – finishing in 3rd place. Rousso also became an ambassador for internet hosting giant GoDaddy – and has written for American Poker Player.
JJ Liu Net Worth: $3.4 Million USD
Known as ‘JJ’, Joanne Liu is as well known for her distinctive hats as her poker results. This pro is now a resident of Palo Alto, CA – though was born and raised in Taiwan. Trained as a computer scientist, and skilled in Chinese gambling games, JJ took the poker world by storm in the early 2000’s. She became the highest placed finished in WPT history after finishing as runner up in the World Poker Tour Bay 101 tournament in 2004. She would parlay this success at the WSOP, making a final table.
JJ was inaugurated into the Women’s Poker hall of fame and has over $1.7 million in tournament cashes. This puts her firmly in the top 10 of female tournament pros – not bad for someone who has never played a hand of poker before coming to the US in her 20’s.
Vanessa Selbst Net Worth: $12 Million USD
Vanessa Selbst made the headlines for all the wrong reasons in 2018. She busted out of the Main Event at the World Series running a bluff that many pros considered crazy. This should take nothing from her impressive record at the very top of the game. I suspect if the bluff had worked out, Selbst would have been called a genius!
Selbst is the only woman ever to have held the number one ranking on the Global Poker Index. Her lifetime tournament winnings total a mind-blowing $11.8 million (and counting). She is the 4th woman on our list be involved with PokerStars as part of their team or pros.
Her single biggest score came from the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. She won the high-roller event for a cool $1.4 million. Other achievements include three WSOP bracelets – plus back to back scores on the North American Poker Tour.