On February 2, 2008, a total of 82 women entered the World Poker Tour Ladies event at Commerce Casino in Los Angeles. The tournament was a $1000 buy-in event that was part of the L.A. Poker Classic series and held in association with the Ladies Poker Association (LPA).
Some of the more well-known players who entered were Cyndy Violette, Anna Wroblewski, Pam Brunson, Erica Schoenberg, and Vanessa Selbst. Many of the regulars in ladies tournaments were in Las Vegas to attend the Women in Poker Hall of Fame induction ceremony, though the WPT and LPA seemed happy with the turnout. There was one man who entered the tournament, possibly due to the news from the California Bureau of Gaming Control that ladies-only tournaments were discriminatory and must allow men to play.
The tournament began at 3:30pm on Saturday and began as a two-day event with a total prize pool of $77,980. With the limited field, however, the tournament director decided – with the agreement of the players – to play down to the winner in only one day instead of two. As a result, the tournament did not end until 7:00am on Sunday morning.
In the end, it was poker pro Vanessa Selbst who won the tournament and was awarded $26,500 in prize money for her victory. She also won a pink WPT chip set, an LAPC trophy, an LPA trophy, and a seat into the $1500 WPTL Championship at Bellagio in April of 2008.
The final results were as follows:
1. Vanessa Selbst $26,500 2. Erica Schoenberg $14,690 3. Crystal Osgood (LPA President) $10,920 4. Christina Hung $7,800 5. Jana Delacerra $5,850 6. Denise Aaron $3,380 7. Katrina Lim $3,380 8. Carol Neal $2,600 9. Julie Le $1,950
To help the WPT’s efforts to create awareness and encourage donations to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation for breast cancer research, pink awareness bracelets were handed out by the WPT to all players. All WPTL tournaments will make similar efforts to raise funds and awareness for the organization. Visit www.komen.org for more information.
The next WPTL event will take place on March 16 at Bay 101 in San Jose, California, and the tournament will require a $300 buy-in. After that, the WPTL travels to Foxwoods in Mashantucket, Connecticut for the $600 buy-in event. And wrapping up the inaugural season will be the WPT Ladies’ Championship on April 13 and 14 at the Bellagio. The finale will be a $1,500 buy-in and will hold its final table on April 25 in order to film it for airing on the Game Show Network later in the year.