2010 WSOP Ladies Event Turned Co-Ed

June 28, 2010

A 30-year tradition to honor women in poker and encourage more women to play, the Ladies Poker Championship turned co-ed in 2010. About a dozen men cited discrimination, claiming that it’s an unfair event and decided to register and play in this year’s female only event.

The World Series of Poker can’t actually ban men from playing in the event; however, they strongly discourage men from participating. Regardless, a handful of men joined the event, and some even had the audacity to show up in drag, but men in drag did little to intimidate the 1,054 women who played the event. In fact, a man was the second person to be eliminated from the event on day one!

In the end, the final table was full of estrogen with Vanessa Hellebuyck of France taking the bracelet for this year’s event. She collected more than $192K in winnings and became the second ever non-American to win the WSOP Ladies Championship, and the third person from France to ever win a WSOP gold bracelet. Earlier this year, Hellebuyck final tabled three major events at the European Poker Tour with 5th place as her best finish until now.

“I’m in the clouds now,” said Hellebuyck after she won the event. “This is my first World Series of Poker. It means the world to me. I can’t describe it. Cashing in Europe was very exciting for me. But I don’t know what more I can do now, except maybe win another event that is not the Ladies event. That is the next step.”

Also at the Ladies Championship final table was runner-up Sidsel Boesen of Denmark, 3rd place finisher Timmi DeRosa of Los Angeles, California; 4th place finisher Allison Whalen-Lannel of Atlanta, Georgia; 5th place finisher Kami Chisholm of San Francisco, California; 6th place finisher Holly Hodge of Canada; and 7th place finisher La Sengphet of Dallas, Texas.


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