Top 5 Historic Moments for Women at WSOP
This dominance did not come by chance but rather through hard work and perseverance of past players.
Below we look back at the top five historic moments for women at the World Series of Poker.
Barbara Enright Finishes Fifth in 1995 WSOP Main Event
Despite the inroads created by players such as Barbara Freer in the 1970's there were still only a handful of female poker pros in the 1980's and 1990's. And even fewer that could be considered successful tournament players.
Heading into the 1995 WSOP only two women in history had ever won an open-field bracelet and none had ever made the final table of the Main Event.
Barbara Enright was a two-time Ladies Event winner and when she made the final table of 1995 WSOP Main Event the entire world tuned in to see if she could take down the richest prize in poker.
Unfortunately Enright suffered a historic bad beat when her pocket eights were cracked by the 6-3 of Brent Carter.
She received $114,180 for her historic run and served as an inspiration for many future female poker pros.
Barbara Freer Enters the 1978 WSOP Main Event
To claim that poker was a men's fraternity would be an understatement in the early days of the World Series of Poker.
The only women you typically saw around the poker room were either the wives of the pros, cocktail servers or dealers.
According to legend the WSOP created a ladies event in 1977 to give player's wives and girlfriends something to do during the events. The event proved popular and has remained to this day.
A year later Barbara Freer decided that she would crash the boy's party and entered the 1978 WSOP Main Event.
Freer would win the Ladies Championship a year later and continued to play at the WSOP up until the mid-1990's.
Melissa Burr Final Tables $50,000 Poker Player's Championship
Since its inception in 2006 the $50,000 Poker Player's Championship has been considered by many pros to be the "True World Championship of Poker."
The event tests players in most disciplines of poker and every year the game's elite rise to the top.
Until this year no female player had ever cashed in the Poker Player's Championship. That changed when relatively unknown Melissa Burr navigated her way through a 102-player field to not just make the money but also the final table of the event.
She finished in 8th. This was Burr's third final table of the 2014 World Series of Poker and while she fell short of the bracelet she did set a historic milestone for female poker pros.
Annette Obrestad Wins WSOP Europe Main Event at 18
It's hard to believe but in the long history of the World Series of Poker only two women have ever made Main Event final tables.
Annette Obrestad became the second woman in history to make a Main Event final in 2007 when she final tabled the WSOP Europe Main Event.
Her accomplishment was doubly significant for the fact that she was just 18. Known online as "Annette_15", Obrestad dominated the later stages of the event en route to winning the first ever WSOP-E Main Event title.
Obrestad's victory earned her just over $2 million in prize money, #1 all-time for women.
Her success helped to open the floodgates to the enormous amount of female talent that we see in the game today.
Vanessa Selbst Wins Third Open-Field Bracelet
Heading into the 2014 WSOP Vanessa Selbst was already considered one of the greatest female poker players in the world.
She cemented her legacy and set the bar for female dominance in the game with a victory in Event #2 of the 2014 WSOP, $25,000 NL Hold'em Mixed-Max.
Selbst's victory was important because she became the first female to win three open-field bracelets.
Her victory was against an elite field of pros from around the world, further proving that women can compete at a high level in poker. Furthermore, it helped her become the first woman in history to reach a #1 ranking on the Global Poker Index.
Selbst is currently tied with Barbara Enright and Nani Dollison with three career WSOP bracelets. Her next bracelet win will put her at the top of all-time bracelet list for women and we suspect that in years to come she may ascend to challenge even Phil Hellmuth's record.