There is never a shortage of chatter about the $1,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold’em Championship at the World Series of Poker each year, as it is one of only a few closed events, though that gender restriction is not sanctioned by the Nevada Gaming Commission nor state laws regarding discrimination. This year brought with it even more controversy than usual because a number of men decided to play the event for the first time, knowing they could not legally be turned away. The ensuing debate has been an interesting one, with everyone from players - male and female - to members of the media having opinions to share on the subject.
But the 1,054 players who registered, no matter their gender, had a tournament to play. And the registration number created a prize pool of $948,600, which would ultimately be dispersed among the top 117 finishers with $193,132 set aside for the winner. Though the numbers were down slightly from the previous year, especially considering that 10 or 20 of the players were male, the tournament still attracted over 1,000 players and was considered a success.
Day 1 whittled the field to 138 players, and Day 2 brought them quickly into the money so players would be guaranteed a minimum payout of $1,802 for their efforts. By the end of the night, after players like Linda Johnson, Liv Boeree, and 2008 champion Svetlana Gromenkova had been eliminated, it was the bustout of Ronit Chamani in tenth place that set the stage for the final table of nine.
They returned for Day 3 on Sunday, June 13, at 3:00pm to begin final table action with starting chip counts as follows:
|Seat 1: ||Vanessa Hellebuyck ||277,000 |
|Seat 2: ||Holly Hodge ||279,000 |
|Seta 3: ||Allison Whalen ||344,000 |
|Seat 4: ||Kami Chisholm ||529,000 |
|Seat 5: ||Sidsel Boesen ||789,000 |
|Seat 6: ||Bonnie Overfield ||226,000 |
| Seat 7: ||Loren Watterworth ||75,000 |
|Seat 8: ||Timmi Derosa ||437,000 |
|Seat 9: ||La Sengphet ||206,000 |
Play got off to a somewhat slow start, though several players made all-in moves but received no calls. But several double-up attempts were successful, as Watterworth doubled through Hellebuyck, and Whalen doubled through Boesen. And it was Chisholm who continuously climbed and accumulated chips to take the lead in the game.
Finally, it was Watterworth who gave it another try. Whittled down to 48K, she pushed all-in with , and Boesen made the call with . The flop of immediately solidified Boesen’s lead, and the on the turn and on the river ended the hand. Loren Watterworth was sent away in ninth place with $13,688.
Overfield was the next to try it, pushing all-in for a significant stack of 352K holding . Derosa made the immediate call with , but the flop came , giving hope to Overfield with the pair of kings. But the on the turn and on the river couldn’t provide more help. Bonnie Overfield left in eighth place with $17,520.
When Hellybuyck doubled through Sengphet, the latter was left with only 85K, and it didn’t take long for those chips to go all-in with . Whalen reraised to isolate, which worked, and she tabled . The board came , and the set of jacks was the obvious winner. La Sengphet was eliminated in seventh place with $22,728.
Hodge had been reduced to a stack of 156K and pushed all-in with , but Timmi Derosa called from the small blind with . The flop only helped Derosa, and the on the turn made the river card irrelevant. That left Holly Hodge to accept the sixth place finish and the $29,880 that went with it.
Action then slowed a bit, though it was during the next few rounds that Boesen doubled through Chisholm, and the chip lead was soon taken over by Hellebuyck but then not long after by Derosa.
Former chip leader Chisholm went from the top of the leaderboard to the middle of the pack. But when Chisholm and Boesen got into a battle of the blinds, Chisholm moved all-in for about 450K with , but Boesen didn’t hesitate to call with . The board came , and the little help on the turn didn’t find more on the river. That sent Kami Chisholm to the cashier cage to pick up $39,860 for her fifth place finish.
Four-handed play was led by Boesen, with Derosa and Hellebuyck vying for second place and Whalen in a not-so-distant third.
But Whalen soon moved the action for 550K. Hellebuyck called from the big blind with , and Whalen had to show her . The dealer slowly gave them a board of , and Allison Whalen was gone in fourth place with $53,994.
The final three players now found Hellebuyck in a dominating lead with 1.4 million, and she only increased that lead despite Boesen’s efforts to chip up.
Derosa was the one who couldn’t seem to gain much momentum and soon got involved in a hand with Hellebuyck. After they saw a flop, a bet and call led them to the on the turn. Derosa bet all-in for a whopping 651K, and Hellebuyck thought for some time before finally making the call. Derosa showed for queen high, and Hellebruck showed for the flush draw, straight draw, and pair of sixes. The appeared on the river, which made the straight. Timmi Derosa was eliminated in third place with $74,389.
Heads-up action began with the following chip counts:
|Vanessa Hellebuyck ||2,594,000 |
|Sidsel Boesen ||564,000 |
Hellebuyck was aggressive and didn’t give her opponent much of an opportunity to move. On the seventh hand of action, Boesen did make a move, though, pushing all-in preflop with . Hellebuyck happened to wake up with and made the quick call. The flop of gave Boesen the straight draw, but the on the turn didn’t bring the necessary card. The on the river simply ended the hand, leaving Sidsel Boesen with $118,897 for the second place finish.
Vanessa Hellebuyck won Event 22, which came with a WSOP gold bracelet and $192,132 in prize money.