People all over the world have been playing betting card games since the 15th century and today’s game of Poker seems to have taken the world by storm. Once considered a “man’s game” leaving the ladies at home while men went off to enjoy their poker nights, it is now a cross-gender, cross-cultural event. In this article I hope to explore just a little bit about some of the finest ladies to ever sit down for a game of cards.

One of the pioneers of ladies poker is Kathy Liebert; she began playing in Colorado in 1991 and began playing tournament poker in 1994. She also won her first World Series of Poker bracelet in the 2004 Limit Hold’em Shootout. She is the first woman ever to win a tournament with a first prize of $1,000,000, the Party Poker Million event in 2002. As of today she has won over $4,800,000. She has won more prize money in open field tournaments than any other woman in poker history.

Another heavy hitter in ladies poker is Annie Duke, she won her first World Series of Poker bracelet in the 2004 $2000 Omaha High-Low event. She was the winner of the 2004 World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions where she earned the winner-takes-all prize of $2,000,000. She tutored Ben Affleck in 2004; he went on to win the California State Poker Championship. As of today she has won over $3,600,000.

Jennifer Harman is not only a leader in the world of ladies poker; she has authored a chapter in Doyle Brunson’s book, Super System 2. She has been a profession poker player for over 10 years and is a regular player at the Bellagio’s Big Game. She earned her first World Series of Poker Bracelet in 2000 and is currently the proud owner of 2 bracelets. As of today, she has won over $2,200,000.

Vanessa Selbst won the 2008 World Series of Poker $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha event and I am sure we have only begun to see what this player will do in the world of poker. Evelyn Ng is an up and comer in the world of poker, she has been playing professionally since 2003. Her current winnings are over $330,000. She was featured on Criss Angel Mindfreak and I expect we will see big things in Ms. Ng’s future.

Another new face to watch for is Clonie Gowan; she has won over $1,500,000 and used to be a member of Team Full Tilt at Full Tilt Poker. She is only 1 of 2 players, the other being Johnny Chan, to win three Poker After Dark titles. She has been playing professionally since 2002 and I am eager to see more from her in the future.

By Dave Saltonstall welcomes women poker players with open arms… If the idea of a “mans” games has been putting you off from playing poker… Look no further than the female friendly