So far this year, the impact of women on the game of poker has been outstanding. Xuan Liu kicked the year off right for the ladies, becoming the first woman to ever make the final table of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, then followed that up by driving deep at the World Series of Poker in Seven Card Stud on what was arguably one of the most difficult final tables of the schedule. Add in the bracelet victories by Vanessa Selbst and Allyn Jaffrey Shulman at the WSOP and it has been a good year to this point. But there is a group of ladies who have been united by a common thread that may have an impact yet this year and into the future as well.
Meet The Grindettes – poker’s latest femmes fatale!
This quartet of ladies – founder Katie Stone, Jennifer Shahade, Jamie Kerstetter and Katie Dozier – were brought together in 2011 with one thing in mind. The ladies love the game of poker and have the skills and abilities to make a living from the game. Identified by their red heart “Grindettes” patch, the ladies all had an impact on tournaments during the summer in Las Vegas and are continuing to branch out into other tournaments across the United States.
Stone switched from chess to poker back in 2004 and has been able to maintain success in both of these difficult endeavors. A successful online player who has earned over $200,000 in her career, Stone has been able to move over to the live game with similar results. Since 2009, she has racked up final table finishes around the world that included this year’s WSOP, where she finished in 37th place in the $1500 Six Handed No Limit Hold’em event.
Perhaps Stone has had her biggest impact outside of the poker world, on the lives of children. Prior to her involvement in poker, Stone co-founded the largest summer chess camp organizations in the U. S. Through her creation, USA Chess reaches children in more than 100 American cities and she continues to bring the intricate mind game to children to this day.
Like her fellow Grindette, Shahade also has a chess background in her history. A two-time American Women’s Chess Champion and a grandmaster of the game, Shahade has used her experience in the mental game of chess and transferred that style to her poker game. In 2012, she has made two final tables, one in a European Poker Tour side event and the other in Las Vegas, and has racked up nine cashes through her career, including two WSOP events.
Shahade is a prolific writer about both chess and poker. She has penned two books on chess, Chess Bitch and is the co-author of Marcel Duchamp: The Art of Chess, and also continues her position as a board member of the World Chess Hall of Fame.
Kerstetter has a decorated live and online poker career that dates back to 2002. While earning over $275,000 through online poker, she has also earned forty cashes in live events across the United States. She qualified for the 2012 WSOP National Championship through her performance on the WSOP Circuit events and, although she didn’t cash in that event, it led to a big summer on the tournament poker stage.
This summer at the Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza, Kerstetter earned her biggest cash of her career in winning the $600 Omaha Hi/Lo tournament. She also cashed in the 2012 WSOP Ladies World Championship and was among those who cashed in the 2011 WSOP Championship Event (Kerstetter came up just short of that goal in this year’s tournament). In 2012, she has been a terror, earning ten cashes overall.
While she might currently be better known for her literary work, Dozier has been making an impact on the felt as well. A poker player since 2004, Dozier edited her husband Collin Moshman’s books and has written two of her own, Pro Poker Strategy: The Top Skills and the novel The Superuser. In between parsing sentences and creating these tomes, Dozier has been able to build a respectable poker career.
After making over $110,000 online, Dozier took the step to head to the live tables for action and hasn’t disappointed. Her first cash was in a WSOP event in 2011 and, this year, she has five more cashes to her credit. A third place finish in one of the Venetian Deep Stack events led her to two more WSOP cashes, including a 451st place finish in the WSOP Championship Event.
According to the Global Poker Index’s Women’s Player of the Year race, Kerstetter and Dozier are among the Top 50 women in the game today, while Stone is just outside that group in the Top 100 women.
The four women who make up the Grindettes continue to ply their trade and have exhaustive schedules planned for the remainder of the year. Although some have moved to locales where they can continue to play online, Kerstetter and Shahade will be in action at the upcoming World Poker Tour stop at the Borgata in Atlantic City. Dozier will be in action during the next Venetian Deep Stack tournament series in October, while Stone continues to battle the live games and tournaments in Las Vegas with sights set on an out-of-country move later this year for online poker purposes.
The Grindettes continue to prove that today’s ladies of the game are formidable challenges, whether in cash games, tournaments or online, and will continue to be leading the cause of women in the world of poker. So if you see a lady come to the felt wearing a red heart logo, beware…the Grindettes are coming for you!