2018’s Top iGaming Female Athletes

The female touch is a necessary condition for the progress of humanity. It’s a tenet that will sound true for generations to come. And so, today we sit down to have an admiring look at the best iGaming female athletes. The year has been particularly dominated by female athletes who have been making it in all walks of the iGaming realm, and poker specifically.

We take a quick look through who the top-rated female poker players are and why they shine in the iGaming industry.

Vanessa Selbst

Hardly a surprise, Vanessa Selbst has been one of the most notable poker athletes. Even though she hasn’t clinched any million-worth titles in the recent past, she stands out with three notable victories. The 2010 Patrouche Poker Tour brought her $1,823,430 in fresh money. She then went on to dominate the 2013 PCA Paradise Island event for $1,424,420 and her third most notable victory was the 2015 SHR Celebrity Shootout, adding $1,000,000 in poker proceedings.

Ms. Selbst is a well-balanced all-round champion whose poker career is an interesting read. For instance, she’s the only female player to break through the $10-million threshold.

Gladys Knight

With her seven Grammy Awards, Gladys Knight has definitely been a familiar name out there. However, little is known about her proclivities outside of her suspected business. Ms. Gladys is in fact quite the accomplished sports bettor, although her passion grew into an addiction, revealing the dark face of the industry. Ms. Gladys said in her auto-biography entitled Between Each Line of Pain and Glory: My Life Story that she had been fighting sports betting and baccarat addiction for nearly a decade.

Ms. Gladys is an example that women can also pursue careers in iGaming whilst still being vulnerable to some of the subtler influences the industry often imperceptibly bestows upon the people who dabble in it too often.

Liv Boeree

Ms. Boeree combines charm and poker prowess in one. She’s quite capable of taking decisive action when need is. Her poker accomplishments include the 2010 European Poker Tour 6 first place, which brought her $1,698,300. Her total winnings are well over $3,300,000 at this point, making her one of the most notable figures of poker.

Vanessa Rousso

Vanessa Rousso have earned herself the nickname “Lady Maverick”. She’s indeed quite cunning at the felt and her all-time winnings stand at the respectable $3.5 million, making her a dangerous and yet wanted opponent at every table.

Claudine Williams

The name of Ms. Williams should definitely sound familiar to you. She’s the first female gambler in the world to run her own gambling club. Not only that, but she also made it all the way to the Nevada Gaming Hall of Fame. Not was only Ms. Williams acknowledge for her contributions towards the sector in its entirety but she also made history by being accepted in one of the most scrupulous organizations of her time where the entry-level was overwhelmingly challenging to clear.

This only goes to show that women have had a long history with gambling and their contributions are just as important as those of female counterparts. In fact, as one poker pro, Maria Konnikova puts it, stereotyping women helps them be much better at certain aspects of the games and running gambling operations than their male counterparts.

Anette Obrestad

A Scandinavian professional, Ms Obrestad has amassed the respectable $3.90 million so far in lifetime earnings. Things are only going to get better for her, though as she’s still rather young. She managed to win her first WSOP Europe Main Even for $1.2 million just a day before she turned 19. She has had some pretty decent moments at the felt.

Annie Duke

Annie Duke is whimsically called the Duchess. She has added over $4 million to her bankroll, winning tournaments as early as 1994. She’s still pretty active, albeit not as young as some of the other contenders in this list. We give her props for her long career and the bankroll to back it all up. She also has a flair for business.

Shirley Brancucci

Shirley Brancucci was a self-made baccarat player. Not only did she shine as a private pro at a time when the Las Vegas Strip was dominated by male stereotypes, but she was also the first baccarat dealer. An accomplished gambling pro herself, she found it difficult to fight back against the bias and sexism that dominated her own time. Still, Ms. Brancucci will be remembered for her own contributions to the gaming and her strong character allowing her to overcome the daily discomfort.

Kathy Liebert

Wearing her hat and glasses, Ms. Liebert’s poker face is solid. She has managed over $6 million in poker profits and she is the holder of a WSOP bracelet, much like the other ladies on the list here. Her WSOP Main Event final position in 2000 is the highest honours she has so far been able to obtain.

The Other Ladies Deserving a Mention

If you are looking for more iGaming athletes with a passion for poker, you will definitely find them. Joanne Liu has $3 million in lifelong winnings. Jennifer Harman is another known favorite. Loni Harwood is a notable figure in female poker, too and she’s still young and a promising future pro. Lastly, Victoria Coren Mitchell from the UK has managed to add over $2 million to her lifelong winnings – quite the respectable sum indeed.

Athletes in iGaming exceed well across poker. Of course, our list of names reveals the less glorious aspects of gambling as well. From growing reliant on the activities to facing stigma and bias which are still very much in place. We have cited Maria Konnikova, the dazzling PhD researcher and recent poker pro her male opponents keep stereotyping her at the felt.

They look at her as a female poker pro, rather than an opponent of equal skill. Not only that, but being bluffed by a female is an affront to a male player’s masculinity – whether they realize it or not. Despite the bugbears, though, women have a great future in iGaming.


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