Posts Tagged ‘Loni Harwood’

Lynn "Queen of Hearts" ParisLynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris

A new documentary entitled Poker Queens, from director Sandra Mohr and executive producer Christine Beatty, traces the history of women in the game of poker, from the days of “Poker Alice” Ivers, to MuskanSethi, who made waves at this year’s World Series of Poker Championship Event and is one of India’s top professional poker players.

Featured in the documentary are Poker Hall of Fame members Barbara Enright, Linda Johnson and Jennifer Harman, Women in Poker Hall of Fame members Jan Fisher and Maria Ho, and current Female Player of the Year Kristen Bicknell, (who notes in the trailer that “boys don’t like to be beat by girls!”) among others, as they all seek their place at the poker table in what remains, even in the 21st century, a heavily male-dominated game.

Stories and anecdotes are also contributed by players such as Liv Boeree, Kelly Minkin, two-time WSOP bracelet winner Loni Harwood, Esther Taylor and the World Poker Tour’s Angelica Hael. They are all extremely entertaining, but what is still left unclear is what direction the documentary will take.

Will it be bold and have a point of view with regard to why there are so few female poker players? (approximately 10% of the participants in the game and, even worse, at the WSOP Championship Event this year, 4.1%, or 350 women out of the 8569-player field). If this documentary addresses the disparity issue head on, it will be far more provocative than simply a series of highly enjoyable anecdotes.

Poker Queens will premiere on Amazon Prime Video, but there is no information if there will be a charge for outside viewers or if it will be included with the Amazon Prime subscription for members and offered for free. It could be a worthy addition to the list of poker documentaries that have been presented, but we’ll have to wait for a look at the finished product before we can be sure.

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Lynn "Queen of Hearts" ParisLynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris

Global Poker IndexMost of you have probably heard of the Mediarex Global Poker Index (GPI) that ranks current poker players by their composite scores in qualifying tournaments over the previous 36-month period. It also names the year’s Player of the Year (POY).

But did you know that there is also a Female GPI as well as POY separate from the overall GPI (which includes ALL qualified current players)?

Kristen BicknellAs of November 19th, the female poker star leading the pack is Canadian Kristen Bicknell with 3,054.13 points, followed by Maria Lampropulos, Maria Ho, Loni Harwood and Wendy Freedman. Bicknell has two WSOP bracelets to her credit and was last year’s POY, so she appears to be heading for back-to-back GPI POY titles, a significant accomplishment.

Alex Foxen and Kristen Bicknell


Not only that, but Bicknell’s partner Alex Foxen, is currently sitting on top of the overall 2018 POY race. Talk about a  poker “power couple” !



2018 Ladies GPI Player of the Year Standings

Rank Player 2018 GPI POY Score
1st Kristen Bicknell 3,054.13
2nd Maria Lampropulos 2,412.18
3rd Maria Ho 2,161.80
4th Loni Harwood 2,136.44
5th Wendy Freedman 1,845.79
6th Kelly Minkin 1,802.34
7th Anna Antimony 1,770.88
8th Hui “Kitty” Chen-Kuo 1,735.91
9th Gao Wenling 1,693.75
10th Maria Konnikova 1,673.26

You can follow the GPI Ladies races on the official GPI website. Also feel free to follow the GPI on Twitter and its Facebook page. After you check it all out and it makes you want to participate, you need to practice. Just sit down to play at any of your favorite poker tables and tune up your poker skills.

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Notes from the GrinderNotes from the Grinder

In 1971, New York witnessed a Fight of the Century, when Joe Frazier beat Muhammad Ali. Those boxers made millions torturing themselves inside the ring. Today, it’s a bit easier to make millions. Ask Jay Farber and Ryan Riess. After hours of hellish grinding, two baby-faced poker players stood proud. These Million Dollar Babies, who are sure to take home at least five million, are set for a heads-up battle today. They are recently turned pro Ryan Riess, and Rookie Jay Farber. Since the WSOP is an annual occurrence, today’s heads-up battle isn’t necessarily a Poker Fight of the Century, but the two players do in fact remind me of Ali and Joe.

Ryan RiessYou have obviously heard that self-confidence does one wonders, but Ryan ‘Riess the Beast’ Riess is living proof that it’s true. He turned pro after his 1st cash in a WSOP circuit event last year, and he hasn’t looked back since. He hangs out with bracelet winners Loni Harwood, Jon Taylor, Jon Hilton, and Bryan Campanello–what I’d like to call ‘The Bracelet Clique’; he’s got one of the best tournament players today by his side in Ben Lamb; and, he correctly folds Pocket Kings pre-flop during Day 3 of the Main Event. Ryan isn’t In the Zone, he Makes the Zone. In press conferences, when he is asked stuff like, ‘You’re only 23 – you just started – do you stand a chance?’etc., he consistently replies with ‘Oh I have to be the favorite. I feel like I am the best player on the table. There’s no way I can’t win this’, and you know what? It’s true. I watched him last night, and he looks like he’s going to do it. Like  Ali, Ryan says he’s going to beat them all, and he just might.

Jay FarberThe second Million Dollar Baby, Jay Farber, on the other hand is a silent killer. In 1971, Joe Frazier won the Fight of the Century in fifteen grueling rounds. He absorbed all of Ali’s aggression, and mixed it up, throwing opportune jabs that mattered. Similarly, this heavily tattooed Las Vegas-based professional VIP Host mixed it up well. He stirred up the aggression during the bubble stage, and calmly dodged a lot of poker punches. Admittedly, he did get lucky when his Pocket Aces managed to run into Marc McLaughlin’s Pocket Kings, winning him a humongous pot. Nevertheless, his performance was stellar, for being a recreational cash poker player. Farber says he parties with celebrities for a living, and he loves doing it! Who wouldn’t? He says he’s going to Poker Chips from the Texas Poker Storekeep his job even if he rakes in the coveted $8.36 Million. This Shrewd Tattooed Dude would make one hell of a poker ambassador, if he does win it.

My poker chips are on Jay Farber. The rookies do tend to have an edge, quite simply because they don’t!

Cheers and happy watching!

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The first three starting days of the 2013 44th Annual World Series of Poker finally ended after five complete levels of play and Day 1A, 1B and 1C were put on the records. The Main Event, a $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tourney, drew 6,352 anxious players, all with high expectations and dreams of reaching the Final Nine. Day 2 series A, B and C begin today and will continue tomorrow.  And the number of dreamers  sent to the rails will continue to grow and dwindle down the number of survivors  in its unstoppable path to day seven and the confirmation of the Final Nine. And we will be there for that.

In the meantime, here is what else took place at this phenomenal contest of wits, perseverance, patience, skill and lest we forget, good luck:

Bryan YoonBrian Yoon, a 23-year-old from Torrance, California, pushed his way through a field of 4,756 players in the Little One-for-One Drop tourney to win his first WSOP gold bracelet. He went heads-up against  Cuong Nguyen of Houston, Texas, and quickly disposed of him in just a few hands to take home the prize of $663,727. Yoon went through the final table in just under three hours; now that is poker at its best.

Loni HarwoodThis is definitely Loni Harwood’s year. This 23-year-old New Yorker was hard to stop and if you found yourself at a poker table with her during this WSOP series you were probably intimidated . . .  and more than likely in trouble. Harwood made it to three final tables and ended her impressive, dare I say, history-making run by whipping a field of more than 2,500 players in the final $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event. For that she grabs her first WSOP gold bracelet plus $609,017 in prize money and her name will now be emblazoned in the WSOP records.

Daniel-AlaeiThe number four should forever be Daniel Alaei’s lucky number because at the 44th WSOP he pulled down bracelet number four. Alaei took over Event 61, a $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha tourney by plowing through the field of 383 wishful thinkers and ultimately going heads-up against Jared Bleznick. Alaei embraced his lovely wife and walked away with a big smile, his fourth gold bracelet and a big fat payday of $852,692.

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