Unfortunately, the world of poker has always been dominated by male players, with minimal female presence in the scene. However, there are cases of women making a name for themselves in the poker world, so we have compiled a top 6 list of the best female poker players.
Let’s see together who these top women of poker are and, most importantly, what they are known for, the awards they have won, and the strategies they follow. Women who rise in the men’s world are always a source of inspiration and self-confidence.
6 – Liv Boeree
Boeree is one of the top women poker players. She’s 38, from Kent, who holds two prestigious poker titles – she is a champion of both the World Series of Poker and the European Poker Tour in 2010. This incredible woman is a poker player and a screen commentator for WSOP and EPT and has had high earnings, totaling over $3.57 million.
She may be the youngest player on the list, but she certainly earned her reputation and the title “Iron Maiden”! So far, she has had a lot of career wins, the largest of which include her 2010 EPT Sanremo victory and her performances in the main events of the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas and Cannes.
Her most recent great success is her 10th place in the 2017 PokerStars Festival in London, making her one of the best young poker players of all time. What an ambitious feat!
5 – Vanessa Rousso
Born in 1983 in White Plains, New York, the American is considered one of the most beautiful female poker players. Due to her studying economics at Duke University, American Vanessa Ashley Rousso focuses her games on the strategies and theories of poker that she learned in college.
Like Annette, Vanessa played poker online until she reached the legal age to play in physical casinos. Numerous six-figure winnings are recorded under her name in 2006, 2009, and 2011. In 2009, she reached her peak, winning $700,000 and the title of top poker female player.
4 – Annette Obrestad
The Norwegian Annette Obrestad was born in 1988 and her story is very interesting, considering that she started playing online poker at the age of 15. Annette Obrestad is nicknamed Annette_15 for this reason. The really funny part is that all of her wealth has come only from free games, without any deposit.
Just before she turned 19, Annette Obrestad won the title of the youngest player in the World Series of Poker, going home with the huge prize of $2 million. However, she did not continue to make waves as before, this being her moment of glory in the world of poker.
3 – Annie Duke
Born in 1965 in Concord, New Hampshire, Annie Duke’s passion for poker is based on the support received from her parents and teachers, as well as their open-minded and extra-curricular oriented mindset. Annie Duke graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and here is where her journey in poker started.
To pay her bills during and after university, Annie Duke started playing poker to make extra money. However, she could not have known that this source of additional income would lead her to the heights of fame and make her one of the best female poker players.
2 – Kathy Liebert
Kathy Liebert was born in 1967 in Nashville, Tennessee. Her first contact with the world of poker was at the tender age of 12, when she played in games organised in her own home by her parents. The fact that she studied finance and business in New York proved to be helpful in the games.
Not only has she won numerous poker tournaments, including the World Series of Poker $3000 No Limit Hold’em buy-in, but she is also one of the two women in the world to have recorded more than $5 million in live winnings, making her a pioneer of top poker players.
1 – Vanessa Selbst
Vanessa Selbst was born in 1984 in Brooklyn, New York, and studied Political Science at Yale, where she developed her passion for poker through playing games at Yale. Her passion grew over time, evidenced by her impeccable games and numerous wins.
Having won not one, not two, but three World Series of Poker bracelets, Vanessa Selbst is undoubtedly the best female poker player in the world, and many other players, with or without experience, dream of becoming as good and as famous as her.
Earlier, we mentioned a few names from the past who have left their mark in the history of gambling games. We believe it is more than fair to pay tribute to the first female poker player who changed the way people bet… leaving the men rolling. Do you want to know more about this iconic figure? Let’s start!
Master of Poker – Barbara Enright
Well, there’s no evidence that there were mediaeval female players who killed the game, but this diva is certainly a legend in the field. We’re talking about Barbara Enright – an American professional poker player, who has had a passion for poker since she was a child. Can you imagine a 4-year-old girl playing a five-card draw against her older brother? Yes, that’s her!
Barbara Enright – The Legend Barbara started playing in card rooms in 1976, while also working a few jobs to support her family. But it turned out she felt better when playing poker, plus she made more money than any of her full-time jobs. And from here (why) her career started to slowly and steadily build.
This wonderful lady had a lot of success while building her career, but there is one achievement that stands out and gives her the title of the first female poker player. Enright was the only woman to make the final table of the main event WSOP in 1995! She is also the first woman to win 3 WSOP bracelets, tying the famous Stu Ungar.
Did you learn something new about all these wonderful ladies? We also mentioned the nicknames of some of them, but we found others, which are very interesting to other poker ladies that will catch your attention. Let’s see!
Interesting nicknames of players
We tried our best to gather the most bizarre, plus a short explanation of the reasons why they are called that. Check them out!
Annie Duke, known as “The Duchess of Poker” – in an interview, Annie said that someone else gave her that nickname and if it were up to her, she would just be Annie Duke. Duke is her ex-husband’s surname, however, she decided to keep it because it seemed to be an interesting name for a poker player.
Annette Oberstad, known as “The Hunter” – a very unique and slightly strange nickname that belongs to this young poker player. Some speculate that this nickname was given by producers or someone else, but unfortunately, we couldn’t find anything specific.
Sandra Naujoks, known as “Black Mamba” – this nickname was given to Sandra due to her aggressive playing style, which is reminiscent of the black mamba snake, which is known for its aggressive and deadly behaviour.
As you can see, like in all domains, there is hope for female competitors, as evidenced not only by these 5 top female poker players, but also by many others who are following in their footsteps and raising women to high ranks. Poker is becoming a unisex world instead of a male-dominated one, and this makes us happy.
F.A.Q about Top Female Poker Players
It is absolutely normal not to be able to remember all the information you read, which is why we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions from our readers, to give you a summary of the important information from this article. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask them in the comments.
Who is considered to be the best female poker player in the world?
The best female poker player in the world is considered to be Vanessa Selbst. She started playing poker in college and made sure that all the information she got in her courses would be applied in her game, in order to have the greatest chance of improvement and to win more and more often.
At what age did Kathy Liebert start playing poker?
Kathy Liebert was lucky enough to be born to parents who organised private poker games in their own home, which is why the famous poker player had the opportunity to start exploring this world at a young age, when she played in the basement of her house against the family and friends that her parents invited.
At what age did Annette Obrestad start playing poker?
Those who have heard of Annette Obrestad know that her nickname is Annette_15, and the reason behind this nickname is that the player entered the world of online poker at the age of 15, given that she was underage and did not have the right to play in physical casinos. Although we do not encourage gambling among minors, Annette was lucky.
Who is the most beautiful female poker player?
Vanessa Rousso is considered to be one of the most beautiful female poker players in the world. The American was born in 1983 in White Plains, New York and is a member of PokerStars Pro. Like the other players mentioned in the top female poker players, Vanessa Rousso also has an interesting history. You can find out more from our article.