Sunset Station’s poker-friendly to women

Jun 17, 2003 3:25 AM

The distaff influence in poker is gaining momentum. And, while there’s no Annika Sorenstam type of controversy, women haven’t always received the same respect as their male counterparts.

And, while it’s true that most of the major tournament wins are garnered by men, femme fatales are finding their blip on the radar screen: Women are at the final table, placing in the money and playing a formidable game.

Women players such as Annie Duke, Marsha Waggoner, Jennifer Harmon, Kathy Liebert, Barbara Enright, Jerri Thomas, Mimi Tran, Bonnie Damiano, Dee Luong, Maureen Feduniak, Cathryn Brown, Susie Isaacs, J.J. Bortner, Barbara Rugolo, are but a few of the accomplished female poker players.

For instance, Annie Duke has had more than 18 finishes; Kathy Liebert has won a million dollars and first place at’s poker cruise; Jennifer Harmon has a gold bracelet for each wrist from her WSOP wins; Jerri Thomas has her own WSOP bracelet.

Add Maria Stern to the mix with her gold bracelet; Barbara Enright can claim three bracelets to her war chest and the title "finest female player"; Mimi Tran has consistently finished at the final table and plays a formidable game; Marsha Waggoner, host of Hollywood Park Casino, has finished in the money many times and is a renowned world poker player; Bonnie Damiano not only has finished in the money more times than we can track, but hosts tournaments at the Four Queens and the WSOP.

While it’s true that women were once an anomaly in poker, they are now an integral part of tournament and cash-action play.

For women who may not be in the category of these world-class players, Sunset Station put together a great lady’s only tournament every month.

Jackie Graybill, Sunset’s poker room manager, has set aside the last Sunday of each month for a Lady’s Only Hold’em Tournament. The buy-in is $35 with one re-buy allowed for a total of $45. The action begins at 3 p.m. The next one is June 29.

Last month, tournament director Gary Darter opened the tournament with three tables. He believes this tournament will be adding more tables each month as more women enter the playing field.

The May 25 tournament had four placements for pay-off. Depending upon the amount of tables, the purse and placement grows (i.e. four tables will result in five payoff places).