The world of poker is typically dominated by men, with most of the top professionals being male. That said, there are plenty of female professional players too. Women are just as capable as men at succeeding in poker although the numbers are lower since fewer women play the game. Typically, the ratio is about 8 to 1 in favor of men, but this can depend on the tournament and the level of poker being played.
In 2018, just 3.8% of the WSOP field was made up of female poker players. There has yet to be a female WSOP main event winner, but plenty of top-ranked female poker players have won other WSOP events. Here are a few of the very best and most famous female poker players.
Nicknamed the Duchess of Poker, Annie Duke is one of the best-known female representatives of the game. Aside from dominating poker tables, she’s also a business owner and author who regularly releases material on poker and how to play. In addition, she’s launched her own charity Ante Up for Africa, which raises money to help fight poverty in Africa through poker. She’s won some of the most prestigious tournaments, including the 2004 WSOP Tournament of Champions and the 2010 National Heads-Up Poker Championship. Until recently, she was the leading female poker player in terms of WSOP winnings.
Maria Ho is an American poker player from Los Angeles who is well known for being both a player and broadcaster. She works for PokerGO, ESPN, NBC Sports, and other companies at some of the game’s most prestigious events. She began playing larger stakes games after graduating from college after playing low stakes games during her time there. So far, she’s won numerous live events with winnings totaling $4.1 million. Ho’s $540,020 second-place result in a $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em event in 2011 was one of her biggest wins. Her success persisted, and in 2018 she won the WPT Deepstacks championship in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Selbst may have stopped competing in significant poker tournaments, but with $11.9 million in live tournament winnings, she still holds the record for the most victories by a woman in tournament history. In addition, she is the only female athlete on the Top 100 All-Time Money List. At 38, Selbst has a long history of poker achievements, including three bracelets from the World Series of Poker, two consecutive NAPT championships at Mohegan Sun for a combined $1.2 million, and the 2010 Partouche Poker Tour Cannes crown for $1.8 million.
Liv Boeree is a British science communicator, television presenter, and poker player who ranks on the all-time list for female poker career earnings. She was actually introduced to poker when taking part in a reality TV program where she was coached by the likes of Peter Hellmuth and Annie Duke. Despite being an astrophysicist, she turned her attention to the game and would later go on to win major tournaments, including the European Poker Tour and a tag-team event at the WSOP. Nicknamed the Iron Maiden, Boeree is also a 3x winner of the Global Poker Index European Female Player of the Year award.