The Top 5 Women Who Have Won $Millions at Poker

When Vanessa Kade scored her incredible Sunday Million win this week, it immediately launched her into the top 10 of the biggest single wins by a female poker player, a $1.5million leap that took her above the likes of legends such as Kristen Bicknell, Maria Ho and Vanessa Rousso. The big question here is…who still ranks above Vanessa?

By: Andrew Burnett

For all we know, there may be some anonymous female crusher who has bagged a bigger online tournament score than Kade, but we can’t think when or where or who that might be.

And when it comes to massive online scoops in general, LV BET has some of the biggest and best games offering you the chance to match poker’s finest. For the time being, however, the only players who have scored bigger wins have all been live tournament beasts.

5. Liv Boeree $1,698,300

Nicknamed the ‘Iron Maiden’ for her love of metal music, 36-year-old Kent-born Boeree is one of the most remarkable women in poker. Boasting a First-Class Honours degree in Physics with Astrophysics to go with almost $4million in tournament winnings, she also has a TV career and a lead role in the REG charity.

Liv joined the poker community back in 2005 when she was chosen to receive coaching from Annie Duke, Phil Hellmuth and Dave Devilfish Ulliott for the reality TV show Showdown.

Taking to the game like a duck to water, Liv was soon racking up the cashes, and in 2010 she hit the poker big time, winning the EPT San Remo Main Event for a monster $1,698,300 payday.

Now retired from professional poker, and describing herself as a ‘science communicator’, Boeree is still very much a fan favourite.

4. Kathy Lehne $1,785,000

Kathy Lehne is the only one on our list who is not a professional player, but she is outstanding in her own field as one of the wealthiest self-made women in the oil industry.

Having founded wholesale fuel marketer and distributor Sun Coast Resources at age 23, Lehne is a regular in the Forbes top 100 list, and indulges in poker as a pastime.

Although she is rarely to be seen in tournaments, when Kathy does appear it’s in the super high roller category, with three 6-figure cashes on her resume.

She topped that off with a remarkable third place finish in the 2019 Super High Roller Bowl against some of the best players in the world, taking $1,785,000 for her deep run.

3. Vanessa Selbst $1,823,430

Although she tops the lifetime career earnings list with close to $12million, almost double her nearest rival, Vanessa only makes it to third in the one-off win list.

A double-Yale graduate, in Political Science and Law, the Brooklyn-born pro hit the poker streets running, her first cash a 6-figure 7th-place finish at the 2006 WSOP $2k NLHE event.

Over the next decade she would land three WSOP gold bracelets, countless titles, more than 20 six-figure cashes and three seven-figure wins.

The biggest of those , and the one that gets Vanessa third-place on our list came at the 2010 Partouche Poker Tour Main Event in Cannes, defeating Frenchman Raphael Kroll for the trophy and the $1,823,430 top prize.

 2. Annie Duke $2,000,000

Duke, the sister of Howard ‘The Professor’ Lederer, was one of the best and most controversial female players at the height of the poker boom, although the 55-year-old New Hampshire-born pro had been playing for at least a decade before poker hit the headlines with Chris Moneymaker’s 2003 WSOP Main Event victory.

She finished runner-up in the 1999 $5k bracelet event, her first six-figure cash, but it was 2004 she will be remembered for at the tables, taking her one and only WSOP gold bracelet in the $3,000 Omaha High-Low 8/OB event.

Later that year she scooped the $2million top prize in the inaugural WSOP Tournament of Champions, defeating Phil Hellmuth heads-up, her brother Howard in 3rd spot.

Controversy would dog Duke as a high-profile pro, however, with her role in the ill-fated Epic Poker League and her involvement in the Ultimate Bet scandal.

1. Annette Obrestad $2,013,733

There can be only one, and the title of single biggest poker cash for a female player goes to Norway’s former poker wunderkind, Annette Obrestad!

Known by many for her online poker nickname, 'Annette_15' - which references the age at which she started playing online poker – Annette’s record-breaking win came just a year after her first live cash.

The year was 2007 and the venue was London’s Empire Casino, playing host to the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event, a £10,000 buy-in tournament that attracted the likes of Gus Hansen, Erick Lindgren, Annie Duke and Patrik Antonius.

By the end of the 5-day tournament, however, it was Obrestad who raised the trophy and clutched a cheque for £1million, worth $2,013,733 at the time.

The young Norwegian would go on to win close to $4million in total across her live career, with her online winnings adding another $2.7million to that tally.


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