Real Women of Poker: Kathy Liebert
"In poker, money is just a way of keeping score."
If that statement is true, then all Kathy Liebert needs to do to prove her spot among the female elite in poker is point at the All-Time Women's Money Earners list.
Simply put: No other woman in the history of the game has won more in poker tournaments than Kathy Liebert.
From Business Analyst to Prop Player
Liebert grew up in Long Island, New York before attending Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY.
After college she took a job at Dun & Bradstreet, a well known Fortune 500 company, as a business analyst.
She soon discovered that her job was not where she wanted to be and, at the insistence of her mother, left to pursue a career that would make her happy.
Liebert moved out west and ended up in Colorado.
She started playing weekly in $5 Limit Poker games in the casinos in Central City and Blackhawk and soon became a prop player at the casinos.
She continued to work on her game and read books by various poker pros and eventually Liebert was encouraged enough to try out some tournament poker.
After winning around $34,000 in a single week, she was hooked.
First Woman Ever to Win $1 Million
Through the early and mid 90s, Liebert continued to rack up final tables all around the country.
She didn't have her first six-figure score until 1997, however, when she finished 2nd in the $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Event at the World Series of Poker behind Dr. Max Stern.
Liebert's first major tournament victory came in 2002 when she won the infamous Party Poker Million and became the first woman to win $1 million in a poker tournament.
That victory still stands as her largest single tournament score to date.
Liebert had also had many strong finishes at the WSOP up to this point including a runner-up finish in the $1,500 Limit Event in 2003.
While many talk about the runs of Barbara Enright and Annie Duke in past Main Events, many do not know that Liebert has a pair of deep runs in the Main Event.
In both 1998 and 2000 she made the final two tables of the event and finished 17th both times.
First Gold Bracelet in 2004
It was in 2004 that Liebert would break through for her first gold bracelet at the WSOP.
In the $1,500 Limit Hold'em Shootout, she outlasted a field of 240 players to take down the bracelet and $110,180.
After her bracelet win, Liebert's poker career continued to soar as she made numerous high-profile finishes.
She has racked up an impressive six World Poker Tour final-table appearances, including a runner-up finish at the Bay 101 Shooting Star event in 2009.
She currently sits in the top 50 all-time money earners on the World Poker Tour and in the top 10 in number of times cashed and final tables made.
For her career, Liebert has earned over $5.8 million in live poker tournaments. This presently puts her 49th on Poker's All-Time Money List.
Among female players, Liebert is the All-Time money leader with more than $1.4 more than her nearest challenger (Vanessa Selbst).
Hall of Famer Since 2010
For her accomplishments in poker, Liebert was inducted into the Women In Poker Hall of Fame in 2010.
If Phil Ivey is the "Tiger Woods of Poker" then Kathy Liebert is the "Mia Hamm of Poker."
Over the years, no woman has been more consistent or won more money in the game than her.
It will be no surprise when she eventually joins Barbara Enright and Linda Johnson in the Professional Poker Hall of Fame.
Until then, she'll have to settle with "just" being the #1 ranked female player in the world.
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