Among the many professional players to participate in this year’s World Series of Poker, which moves toward its dramatic conclusion in Las Vegas this week, is Kathy Liebert, one of the pioneers of women in poker.
Nearly 15 years ago, Liebert began playing low-limit poker in Colorado. She was a "prop" or house player for awhile, and began playing tournament poker in 1994.
Born in Tennessee, she grew up in Long Island, New York and now splits time between Southern California and Las Vegas.
She earned a B. S. degree in
business and finance from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. Ever since she
received her degree, she has followed and invested in the stock market. If she
sees a good opportunity arise, she will invest. At one time, she had considered
working in the stock market as a profession.
"I remember when I first started playing tournament poker, I would run across her every once in awhile," says another top poker pro. "She was a player that I respected and feared. I have since conquered the fear aspect, but I still respect her play. She is a great tournament player and not just ”˜for a woman.’ She is a huge contender in a game that has been previously dominated by men."
Liebert caught the attention of the poker community a few years ago when she won the inaugural Party Poker Million (before the World Poker Tour began televising the event) in which the first place prize was $1,000,000.
She made a money deal with the second place and third places finishers, Berj Kacherian and Phil Hellmuth, so she only took home about half the announced prize, but the accomplishment remains the same: She is the first woman to ever win a poker tournament with a first prize of a million dollars.
Among women poker players,
Liebert is among the top tournament players. She is currently ranked in the top
ten money winners at the World Series of Poker for women.
What makes her so lethal is that she understands the volatility of tournament poker.
Her numerous tournament achievements are headed by her win at the Party Poker Million. She also won her first World Series of Poker bracelet in the 2004 in the Limit Hold’em Shootout. Some of her other final table appearances were first in Omaha Hi-Lo at the 2003 Poker Derby, first in No Limit Holdem at 2003 Winning of the Green and second in Limit Hold’em at the 2003 World Series of Poker. She also made World Poker Tour final tables at The Bicycle Casino, Aruba and Ladies Night Invitational.