Many women have found their calling in casinos, and they’re laying down all the right cards for gaming success.
Sometimes, it seems like casinos are one big boys’ club. While many women play well enough to earn a fierce reputation, these fiery females are too often overshadowed by their male counterparts – and that needs to change.
Are you ready to discover the women-centric side of the industry? Read on to meet the top female players of the past decade, and learn how you can follow in their footsteps by getting to grips with casino gaming in your own town.
Fantastic Female Players We Love
Women who work (and play) in male-dominated industries face many challenges and we should celebrate them like they truly deserve. While staying in the shadows may be a smart strategic move on their part, it’s time we bring their power and capability to the spotlight.
1. Angie Hardy
Starting out as a single mother searching for a way to make a bit of cash on the side, Angie Hardy was no blackjack expert. But when she began playing at online casinos in her spare time, she learned she had a natural gift for the game.
Angie decided to get competitive and began to work harder than she ever had before.
As she made her way through minor-league games, Angie’s devotion to her family and determination to become successful earned her the nickname “Mother Lioness”.
Having started with no prior knowledge or experience, she eventually went on to play in the Ultimate Blackjack Tour and participated in several seasons of the World Series of Blackjack.
2. Vanessa Selbst
As far as female poker mavens go, none is more successful than Vanessa Selbst. This Yale Law graduate always loved cards and discovered early on that she was more skilled than the average hobbyist.
She began playing in poker tournaments as a young adult, going on to win the North American Poker Tour Main Event back in 2010 and several World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets over the years.
Vanessa raked in nearly $12 million in tournament winnings during her career, landing in the top 100 of Hendon Mob’s All-Time Money List.
Though she decided to retire from poker in 2018, Vanessa is still going strong – she passed the bar exam back in 2015 and is now a successful venture capitalist and social justice warrior.
3. Annie Duke
Having played alongside her brother from an early age, Annie Duke always knew she loved poker.
After she won $70,000 in the 1994 WSOP Las Vegas, she moved to Sin City full-time. Annie went on to win many other WSOP events, as well as NBC’s National Heads-Up Poker Championship.
Her passion for helping others is eventually what drove her to retire, and Annie has since devoted her time to hosting charity poker tournaments and traveling as a motivational speaker.
The “Duchess of Poker” has also published five books including the national bestseller Thinking in Bets, a guide to strategic decision-making that could only be written by a real poker professional.
How You Can Get in on the Action
As another women’s history month passes, with books and films revolving around our fellow females in the spotlight, you may find yourself inspired to try out some of their hobbies.
If you want to have a go at casino gaming, you can get started any time you like by heading to a nearby venue or opting to play on the web.
If you’re a beginner preferring to go the online route, make sure you play with a tried-and-true provider that has everything you need to develop your skills. Your online casino of choice should offer gaming options for all levels, and titles to suit every taste, so you can try them all out before deciding on your favorite.
If you’re unsure of where to start, research the options available in your country. Many gamers in Britain, for example, choose to go with more established venues like 888 Casino, which has had time to develop its gaming selection over the years. This provider offers blackjack, roulette, slots, and even live games for when you’re ready to face off with real dealers and other players, making it a UK online casino players can rely on for diverse entertainment.
If you want to participate in some casino gaming at a brick-and-mortar venue, you’ll need to locate one in your area. Research different types of casino games before you go and watch other players at the table before you jump in. It can seem daunting at first, and in-person gaming does involve a bit more trial-and-error than online play, but once you find a game you love, it can be incredibly rewarding when you start to win.
Top Tournaments & Organizations for Women
Though men have long dominated the world of casino gaming, it’s now become fashionable for operators to host events catered to female players. Often, casinos will host smaller ladies’ tournaments with games like slots or bingo to draw in business or promote new titles.
Larger operators are getting in on the action as well, and some of the more well-known events draw international attention and host attendees from around the world. Here are some of the most famous female events and organizations around:
- WSOP Ladies Championship: Perhaps the most famous of all female tournaments, the WSOP Ladies’ Championship has been around since 1977. It’s hosted in Las Vegas, Nevada with a buy-in amount of $1,000—though you can win a seat with a satellite tournament for as little as $10.
- Ladies International Poker Series: The Ladies International Poker Series (LIPS) hosts a series of in-person and online events accessible to women from every walk of life. Founded in 2004, LIPS aims to celebrate women in poker with events like the Lips and Chix Championship at Sea and the Nevada State Ladies Poker Championship.
- Poker League of Nations: The Poker League of Nations (PLON) is one of the most prominent women’s poker organizations in the world. They host a variety of ladies’ tournaments, including the Crystal Cup Deepstack in Las Vegas and the Mid-States Poker Tour in San Diego.
Ladies have the power to play for keeps, so it’s only fitting that we tip our hats to those who have made it big. While reading about others’ success can be encouraging, it’s downright liberating to try it out for yourself. Consider spending some time at the tables in your own city, and you never know, you could be the inspiration for someone else’s dream.