A cursory check of the all-time money winners list for live poker tournaments reveals that the tops spots are still dominated by the Americans.
At first thought it makes sense as the game grew to prominence in the country, but almost two decades following the poker boom surely things should have mixed up a bit. Apparently not so much.
Old School Vs New
Top spot goes to Vanessa Selbst. Most readers who follow poker will no doubt have expected the 36-year-old American to be crushing in the women's league.
A whopping $11,906,247 in live tournament cashes sees her sat with almost double what Kathy Liebert has racked up over the years. Liebert’s career also span a much longer period of time/
Selbst has long been seen as an elite player, highly respected by her male peers.
It also goes to show just how good Kathy Liebert has been over the years. Starting as a prop player she rose to prominence after winning the inaugural partypoker Million all the way back in 2002.
Kristen Bicknell is the first of the non-Americans, in third place with $5.1 million. The Canadian is proving to be a real force in the game.
An impressive three World Series of Poker gold bracelets, including one from this year’s online series, proves that she is not riding a heater but a true master of her craft.
Annie Duke is next up. The sister of Howard Lederer is a one time leader of the women’s standings and another of the older generation whose success keeps her record among the best ever seen.
Duke’s $4 million record still stands even though she hasn’t registered a live poker tournament cash in nine years, unlike Kathy Liebert who is still active.
Maria Ho rounds out the top five. The 37-years old commentator is also a great player in her own right. Born in Taiwan but raised in America from the age of four she is still a very active tournament player and also holds a record of $4 million in cashes.
So, out of the top five spots there is only one non-American lady.
More Encouragement Needed
Is this a case of not enough female talent coming through?
Much has been said in the past that women should be actively encouraged to take part in what is often seen as a male dominated game.
In sixth and seventh place respectively are Europeans Annette Obrestad and Liv Boeree. While we can still say the pair are “young”, they are clearly from the poker boom generation, rather than those with less than a decade’s experience.
Boeree announced her retirement at the end of last year and Obrestad barely plays anymore.
It’s worth pointing out that Obrestad was seen as having the potential to be the best woman player in history back in the day. She famously signed up to PokerStars at the age of 15 and won a freeroll making it possible for her to eventually reach high stakes without ever having made a deposit.
She reached the top spot on the PocketFives MTT leaderboard ahead of the likes of Cliff JohnnyBax Josephy, but after winning the WSOP Europe Main Event in 2007 she slowly edged away from the game at a still very young age.
Vanessa Rouso is next up for the USA. another player who achieved a great deal but also from the poker boom generation.
One player who stands out is Argentina’s Maria Lampropulos. At 39 she also fits into the poker boom generation but notice that she didn’t even start cashing in live tournaments until 2014.
In only six years she has risen all the way up into ninth place. No doubt the success of players such as Lampropulos is one of the reasons that online casinos are doing so well in Latin America these days.
Sites such as casinoonlineargentina.com.ar are getting many thousands of hits every single day.
Another South American lady who has arrived on the scene in the last few years is Vivian Saliba. Now 71st on the all-time winners list for women and climbing, Saliba bagged an ambassadorship contract for 888Poker.
Her native Brazil is another country going crazy for online casino games during 2020. Check out https://onlinecassino.net.br/ to see just how many options there are.
On the face of it, it looks like America is going to be dominating the all-time money list for some years to come. Kristen Bicknell is looking likely to have her shot at leading over the next few years, surely second place is now a given, but can she unseat Vanessa Selbst who is a true all-time great.
- Want poker news as it breaks? Join the Poker News and Gossip Telegram channel!