Marsha was born and raised Down Under, introduced to poker in the late 1970's in Sydney, Australia. She dealt blackjack then became a successful cash game player, expanding her income and improving her game.
After a trip to Las Vegas, she brought her three children to the United States. They eventually settled in Southern California after stays in Las Vegas and Reno. She quickly became smitten with tournament poker, with her first WSOP cash a runner-up finish in the 1992 $1.5k Seven Card Stud Split Event ($52,500). Her World Series results include 19 cashes, 9 final tables, and three cashes in the WSOP Main Event including a 12th in the 1997 Main Event won by Stu Ungar.
"It was my second year in the World Series," said Andrew Black, 5th place finisher in the 2005 WSOP Main Event. "We went out pretty close together (Black was out in 14th and Marsha in 12th in 1997). I didn't know much about how she played, but everyone knew she was a top player back then."
She sat anonymously among the other nine satellite hopefuls. "Who was she?" asked Farrah Crosby, who sat next to Vanessa Selbst in today's $1k Ladies Event. "I didn't know who she was, but she took me out in 4th last night."
"I never could have imagined that there would be this many women playing poker," said Marsha. How did she break through in the male-dominated competition of poker in the 1970's? "I was confident early on when I started in 1977. I just had a natural feel for the cards."
She smiled and looked up as she mucked her cards UTG in the satellite. "There just are so many good lady players today. They keep getting better and better, and it's always a pleasure to play in the Ladies Event."
"I came in second to Karen Wolfson, and we battled for seven hours," said Marsha. In 1984, the event was $500 Women's Seven Card Stud. First place paid $15,500, and second place paid nothing.
"I've played a couple of events so far this year, the Hi/Lo split event and an Omaha event. I'll probably play a couple more and the Seniors event, but I don't know about the Main Event. It's just too crazy."
As always, was all smiles at the table as the Ladies event began Sunday. Few of those around her knew she was one of the women pioneers of tournament poker, but everyone knew she was a great lady to share the felt with on a Sunday.