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WSOP Ladies’ Championship Breaks Record, Karina Jett and Ruth Hall in Top Ten

One thing that doesn’t get enough attention is the “women-only” tournaments in the world of poker. Unless a man takes on the dubious challenge of entering one of these tournaments (as is permissible by law, but just because it is permissible doesn’t make it right), you usually don’t hear about it. Thus, it is a good thing to mention this year’s Ladies’ Championship at the 2023 World Series of Poker, which is bringing together the best of the ladies to the tables in Las Vegas.

Record-Breaking Field Established, Defending Champ Still Alive

The total entries for this $10,000 Championship Ladies’ Championship – with a $9000 discount for women entering the tournament – blasted past the record during action on Thursday. By the time the smoke had cleared last night, 1295 entries were in the books (with late registration going on until the start of action on Friday). That blasted past the record for the tournament, which was set way back in 2007 with 1286 players coming to the tables.

There was a competitive nature to the tournament, but as always, the women presented a much better attitude than what you would normally see in an “open” poker tournament. Even though the women were congenial, they were there to win. This was recognized by the departure of several notable females in the game, including Lynn Gilmartin (who went to social media to show how her full house was bested on the river by another full house), Poker Hall of Famer Kathy Liebert, and Kyna England would all find their way to the rail before the end of the evening.

Some ladies down the leaderboard will have their work cut out for them on Friday. One of those women will be the defending champion of the tournament, Jessica Teusl, who came in with a 39,000-chip stack for Friday’s efforts. She has some company on the shorter end of the field, with Kristen Foxen suffering some difficulties in the final level of the night to end up with 59,500.

Some Notable Pros in the Mix

In looking at the standings of the 330 or so ladies who are left in the field, there are a couple of notable names. Veronica Brill is making a decent run to this mark in the tournament, sitting just off the top ten with her 212,500 in chips. While that is an excellent stack, other challengers will put her to the test above her.

Karina Jett is among those players, sitting with a stack of 222,000. Jett has plenty of experience in the WSOP Ladies’ Championship, making the final table of the event on three different occasions (2003, 2004, and a runner-up finish in 2011). Right along with Jett is Ruth Hall, the 2022 Nevada State Ladies’ Champion; Hall holds 218K in chips. Add in Katrina Lim in the runner-up spot (245K in chips) and the leader, Canada’s Bernice McLennan, has her work cut out for her.

1. Bernice McLennan, 276,500

2. Katrina Lim, 245,000
3. Talia Fligelman, 234,500
4. Sharon Liss, 230,500
5. Tia Dulaney, 229,500
6. Stephani Hagberg, 226,000
7. Karina Jett, 222,000
8. Ruth Hall, 218,000
9. Anna Rudolph, 215,500
10. Marcia Paulson, 214,000

Day Two action is already underway but, with only 195 players currently set to cash out in the tournament, there’s still a tremendous amount of positioning for the players to do before we can crown a Ladies’ Champion.