The popular ladies event at the World Series of Poker this weekend attracted a field of 819 that included some tough competition in the forms of Amanda Musumeci, Wendy Freedman, Amanda Baker, Michelle Deng and Yaxi Zhu, but it was Detroit poker dealer Courtney Kennedy (37) who took the honours and the $149,108 main prize in her sixth appearance in the Ladies Championship.
The $10,000 buy-in WSOP Ladies Championship presented Kennedy, a dealer at the Motor City Casino, with her first WSOP bracelet after she took a hefty chip lead into three-handed play against Amanda Baker and Michelle Deng which saw the latter bust out at third for $64,401.
That left Kennedy holding a 3 to 1 chip lead against Baker, enabling her to pile on the pressure in a disciplined but aggressive display of skill and eventually eliminate Baker for a runner-up prize of $92,121 – her sixteenth WSOP cash.
After her victory Kennedy told reporters:
“I’ve had cards in my hand since I was two years old. I’m a home game player and I deal at Motor City Casino in Detroit. This game has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.”
Other cashes at the final table:
Natalia Breviglieri $45,683
Amanda Musumeci $32,889
Shelly Johnson-Ochoa $24,037
Wendy Freedman $17,837
Nicole Schwartz $13,443
Yaxi Zhu $10,292
The apparently low ratio of pay-outs to buy-in is explained by a discount structure at this year’s WSOP which gave a $9,000 discount to women entering the competition.
This was a measure clearly introduced to discourage males from entering the competition as has been the case in the past…this year they would have had to ante up the full $10,000.