Top 10 Female Poker Players in the World

by , Mar 20, 2014 | 3:05 pm

With each passing year, more and more women are achieving notable success in the poker world. Many talented female players have broken through the glass ceiling of the once male-dominated game to win prestigious tournaments and become household names in the world of poker. This probably explains why the game of poker is becoming more and more popular among women both online, at rooms like Titan Poker, and in live poker venues.

Just who are the high profile women poker players who’ve risen to prominence in the game? Let’s take a look at this list (in random order) of some of the world’s best female poker players.

Vanessa Selbst

It’s probably fair to say that American professional player Vanessa Selbst is the most successful female poker player ever. Vanessa has bagged over $9 million in tournament prize money – winning tournaments such as the Partouche Poker Tour Main Event, two NAPT Main Events and two World Series of Poker bracelets. She took the $25,000 PCA High Roller title together with a first prize of $1.4 million in 2013.

Vanessa Selbst after winning the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha event at the 2008 World Series of Poker. Photo: flipchip /

Vanessa Selbst after winning the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha event at the 2008 World Series of Poker. Photo: flipchip /

Vanessa’s made a good start to the New Year – she finished third in the PCA 2014 Super High Roller in January, collecting $760,640. Six days later she placed 3rd in the PCA High Roller event, pocketing $607,580. Vanessa is currently ranked 8th in the world by the Global Poker Index.


Jennifer Harman

Jennifer Harman was the first female player to win two WSOP gold bracelets: the No Limit Deuce to Seven Lowball event in 2000 and the $5,000 Limit Hold’em event in 2002. The No Limit Deuce to Seven Lowball title is notable because Jennifer had never previously played that type of poker.

Jennifer is a regular player at Bobby’s room at the Bellagio in Vegas, where some of the highest stakes poker games in the world are played with limits at $3,000/$6,000. In a good year, she has cleared $1 million from playing four nights a week at the Bellagio.

In 2010, Jennifer was inducted into the Women in Poker Hall of Fame. Having been the recipient of two kidney transplants, Jennifer does a lot of charity work for CODA (Creating Organ Donation Awareness).


Kathy Liebert

Kathy Liebert has been on the poker scene since 1994, but she is still a regular at the major poker tournaments. She has amassed almost $6 million in prize money, with many of her wins taking place in the first decade of the millennium. Kathy’s largest win ever was in 2002, when she won the PartyPoker Million cruise and landed an amazing $1 million. She won the $1,500 Limit Texas Hold’em Shootout event at the 2004 World Series of Poker, one of three women to win an open event at that year’s WSOP.

Kathy Liebert in Festa al Lago World Poker Tour 2004. Photo: flipchip /

Kathy Liebert in Festa al Lago World Poker Tour 2004. Photo: flipchip /

Annette Obrestad

Born in 1988, Norwegian Annette Obrestad had already made a name for herself in online poker before she became the youngest person to win a WSOP bracelet in the inaugural World Series of Poker Europe Main Event in 2007, where she pocketed £1,000,000 the day before her 19th birthday.

Annette Obrestad at the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo. Photo: Equipo Unibet / Flickr

Annette Obrestad at the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo. Photo: Equipo Unibet / Flickr

In online poker playing circles, she’s known as “Annette_15”, as she was only 15 when she first played the game. According to Annette, she never made a deposit into an online poker room, building her bankroll from nothing by playing the freerolls. Annette already has more than $2.5 million in online winnings and nearly $4 million from live events.


Xuan Liu

Xuan Liu was born in Tian Jin, China, and then moved to live in Toronto, Canada, at the age of five. Although she had enjoyed games of skill from a very early age, she only started playing real money poker at university. She quickly realised this was her passion and has focused on her poker playing career since graduating.

Her winnings at live poker tournaments total more than $1.4 million and her biggest cash was at the 2012 PCA Main Event, when she finished 4th for a prize of $600,000. She has won more than $300,000 online, including her play at Titan Poker. Xuan’s definitely one of the most respected young poker talents out there today, and is a member of EPT Players Council. She is also included on the WPT ‘Ones to Watch’ list.


Maria-HoMaria Ho

Born in 1983 in Taipei, Maria’s poker celebrity began at the 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event when she took home almost $238,000. She was the last woman standing at the event, finishing 38th out of a field of more than 6,300 players.

At the 2011 WSOP, Maria played heads-up for a bracelet in Event #4 $5,000 No Limit Hold’em, finishing 2nd for her highest cash ever, $540,020. She has over $1.5 million in lifetime tournament winnings at live events.


Liv-BoereeLiv Boeree

Liv Boeree studied Astrophysics before starting a poker career at the age of 21. She won the European Poker Tour Main Event in San Remo in 2010, pocketing €1,250,000 and thereby becoming the third woman ever to win an EPT title. Liv’s lifetime tournament winnings at live events now total more than $2 million.


Allyn Shulman

Allyn had a successful career as an attorney before starting to play poker as a hobby. She balanced her career and being a mum while she learned to play poker at the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles.

In 2012, Allyn, her husband Barry, and stepson Jeff, were the first family in history of poker to have three family members at a World Series of Poker final table during the same summer series. That summer, Allyn won the $1,000 No Limit Hold’em – Seniors Championship (Event #29) for a bracelet and a prize of $603,713, her biggest cash ever.

In 2013, Allyn claimed the top prize at the 2013 Card Player Poker Tour Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza III Main Event taking home $293,966. Her lifetime earnings in poker so far amount to more than $1.2 million.


Victoria Coren

As well as being a television quiz show host, writer, and wife of English comedian David Mitchell (who plays Mark Corrigan in the Channel 4 sitcom ‘Peep Show’), Victoria Coren is one of the best British female poker players. She has amassed nearly $1.75 million in poker prize cash, including her 1st place finish at the 2006 European Poker Championships in London, where she pocketed £500,000.


Vanessa Rousso

Vanessa Rousso has won more than $3.5 million in poker tournament prizes and she is listed as one of the top ten most successful Texas Hold’em female players. Playing online with the screen name of “Lady Maverick”, her biggest cash was at the 2007 World Championship of Online Poker, when she finished 2nd and won $700,782.50.

Vanessa’s biggest live win was €570,000 at the 2009 €25,000 EPT High Roller Championship. Vanessa has been active in efforts to legalize online poker in the United States.

Vanessa Rousso at the 2006 World Poker Tour Five Star. Photo:

Vanessa Rousso at the 2006 World Poker Tour Five Star. Photo:

These are just some of the most talented female poker players around today, and you probably have additional nominations to be included in such a prestigious list. With every success talented female poker players have, more women feel empowered to pull up a chair (real or virtual…) at the poker table.

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