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Celebrating Female Poker Players

Shane C

Mar 8, 2024

International Women's Day 2024

As International Women's Day 2024 approaches, it's time to shine a spotlight on the remarkable achievements of female poker players and their contributions both within and beyond the realm of cards. 

Over the recent years, women in the world of poker have been rewriting the narrative, breaking barriers, and proving that gender is no obstacle to success in this traditionally male-dominated arena.

In the competitive world of high-stakes poker, women have been making waves, challenging stereotypes, and showcasing their exceptional skills at the tables. 

Names like Vanessa Selbst, Liv Boeree, and Maria Ho have become synonymous with excellence in the game, earning respect and admiration from their peers and fans alike. They have not only competed but excelled in prestigious tournaments, claiming coveted titles and substantial cash prizes. 

From World Series of Poker bracelets to victories in major events like the European Poker Tour, women have proven time and again that they have what it takes to compete at the highest levels.

But the impact of female poker players extends far beyond their achievements in the game itself. Many of these women have used their platform and influence to effect positive change in society. Through charitable endeavors, advocacy work, and philanthropic initiatives, they have demonstrated a commitment to making a difference in the world.

Let's take a glimpse into the world of some of these female poker players.

Maria Ho

Maria HoMaria Ho, besides her remarkable achievements in poker, has been a trailblazer for women in the industry, breaking barriers and challenging stereotypes. She has used her platform to promote gender equality and empower women to pursue their passions fearlessly, both in poker and beyond.

Ho has been a staunch advocate for increasing the presence and success of women in poker a traditionally male-dominated field. Beyond her role as a mentor and inspiration to aspiring female poker players, she extends her influence to empower women in all walks of life, actively working to inspire confidence and leadership among women and encouraging them to pursue their goals with determination and resilience.

In addition to her philanthropic efforts, Maria Ho has been vocal about the importance of diversity and inclusion within the poker community and beyond. By sharing her experiences and advocating for broader representation, she has contributed to ongoing conversations about creating more inclusive environments where everyone has the opportunity to succeed, regardless of their background.

Nadya Magnus 

Nadya MagnusOne of the standout figures in the world of female poker in recent years is Nadya Magnus. Known for her exceptional skills at the poker table, Nadya's achievements have garnered her respect and admiration in the poker community. However, her impact extends far beyond just her poker winnings; she has used her platform to contribute significantly to society, embodying the spirit of giving back and empowerment that is crucial in today's world.

Nadya Magnus has made headlines for her impressive performances in various prestigious poker tournaments, including the World Series of Poker (WSOP). 

Beyond her poker successes, Nadya is also recognized for her philanthropic efforts and commitment to the community. 

In a notable gesture of generosity, she announced a giveaway for the 2024 WSOP, aiming to support aspiring female poker players who might not have the means to participate in such a prestigious event. This initiative highlights her desire to open doors for emerging female talent in the poker world.

By acknowledging the challenges and barriers that many face, she has taken a proactive step towards leveling the playing field, offering hope and opportunity to many.

Liv Boeree

Liv BoereeA former model turned poker superstar and the only female player in history to win both a WSOP bracelet and an EPT event, Olivia “Liv” Boeree has been a vocal advocate for effective altruism—a philosophy and social movement that uses evidence and reason to determine the most effective ways to do good in the world. Boeree has leveraged her platform to raise awareness about important issues such as effective giving, rational thinking, and global priorities.

With a background in astrophysics, Boeree is a vocal proponent of scientific education and rational thinking. She co-founded Raising for Effective Giving (REG), an organization that promotes the concept of effective altruism—a philosophy and social movement that uses evidence and reason to determine the most effective ways to benefit others. REG encourages poker players and others to donate a portion of their earnings to highly effective charities, focusing on those that can demonstrably use donations to have the greatest impact on improving lives.

Boeree's work with Raising for Effective Giving has not only raised awareness within the poker community about global issues like poverty, animal welfare, and existential risks but has also led to substantial financial contributions to various causes.

As a successful woman in poker and a science communicator, Boeree serves as a role model for women and young people interested in science, mathematics, and challenging traditional career paths. Her journey from astrophysics student to poker champion and philanthropist exemplifies how diverse interests and skills can be combined to achieve success in multiple domains while making a meaningful contribution to society.

Vanessa Selbst 

Vanessa SelbstVanessa Selbst's achievements on the poker table are nothing short of extraordinary, solidifying her status as one of the most formidable players in the game's history. With three World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets to her name, Selbst has showcased her exceptional skill and strategic prowess on the grandest stages of poker. Selbst's success extends beyond the WSOP, with numerous final table appearances and impressive cashes in prestigious tournaments around the world, including the European Poker Tour (EPT) and the World Poker Tour (WPT).

Selbst has been actively involved in social justice causes, using her winnings and influence to support organizations working towards equality, education, and access to justice. A Yale Law School graduate, Selbst has always been vocal about her passion for social justice. Her advocacy work extends beyond the poker table, making a tangible impact in communities around the world.

Her commitment is evident in her role as the founder of Venture Justice, a nonprofit organization dedicated to “funding young entrepreneurs starting up non-profits aimed at tackling inequality”. 

Selbst's philanthropic efforts are not limited to advocacy; she has also been involved in various charitable initiatives, leveraging her success in poker to benefit others. 

One notable example is her participation in charity poker events that raise funds for various causes, from educational programs to health and welfare services. For example, in 2015, she organised a “Justice is Blinds” charity tournament for the Urban Justice Centre. Co-hosted with Daniel Negreanu, the tournament successfully raised $160,000. 

Her willingness to contribute her time, expertise, and financial resources to philanthropic causes underscores her dedication to making a positive impact on the world.

Conclusion

These women, along with many others in the poker community, serve as role models for aspiring players and advocates for positive change in society. Through their accomplishments, they have shattered stereotypes, inspired others, and demonstrated that gender is no barrier to success in any field.

As we celebrate International Women's Day, let us not only applaud the achievements of female poker players on the felt but also recognize their contributions to making the world a better place. Their determination, talent, and commitment to excellence serve as a testament to the power of women to effect meaningful change and leave a lasting legacy.