Harrison “gibler123” Gimbel may have garnered the headlines at the 2010 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) by winning the Main Event and a $2.2 million paycheck, but he wasn’t the only one having a good time at the Atlantis Resort and Casino in the Bahamas. One of the biggest hits of the Caribbean poker festival was the $1,000 + $100 Ladies No Limit Hold’em tournament.
A total of 91 women competed in the event, 33 of whom won their seats online at PokerStars via satellites with buy-ins starting as low as $2.20. They won more than just their entry and spending money; the online qualifiers were also pampered at the resort’s Mandara Spa and received instruction at a High Heels Poker Tour Ladies Boot Camp session from Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso.
As it turned out, the Boot Camp attendees probably should have listened to their instructor more closely, as Rousso went on to win the event, scoring a $24,725 cash. Rousso burst onto the poker scene in 2006 when she placed 7th in the $25,000 World Poker Tour (WPT) Championship and then won a $5,000 No Limit Hold’em event at the WPT Borgata Poker Open a few months later. In 2007, she finished second in PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP), winning over $700,000, and became known to a broad television audience when she was the runner-up in the 2009 National Heads-Up Poker Championship. The GoDaddy.com girl has also won two tournaments on NBC’s “Poker After Dark.”
Other members of Team PokerStars Pro in the tournament who were not as fortunate were Katja Thater, Veronica Dabul, Sandra Naujoks, and Maria “Maridu” Mayrinck. Other known pros in attendance included J.J. Liu, 2007 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Europe Main Event champ Annette Obrestad, European Poker Tour (EPT) London Ladies champ Dagmara Aleksandrowicz, and Shirley Rosario, who placed fourth.
Another player of note was Elizabeth Bennett-Martin, who qualified for the Main Event via a PokerStars satellite for the second year in a row. A portion of her winnings was earmarked for the charitable organization Cambodian Legal Education for Women (CLEW). Created by her Toronto law firm, Bennett Gastle P.C., CLEW raises money to help impoverished women in Cambodia attend law school. The goal of these women is to provide legal help to those who would not normally be able to access any in Cambodia, where the population of more than 14 million has only 538 lawyers. Unfortunately, Bennett-Martin did not make the money in any event this year.
Sixteen women did cash, though, each getting a piece of the $88,270 prize pool. Runner-up Halli Pinson was impressed with the field, telling PokerStars, “This event was a lot more serious than most ladies tournaments. I didn’t recognize that many faces, but the field seemed a lot more experienced than usual. These women had come to play, and they had come to win! Vanessa Rousso dominated the event though – she had good cards and she’s an experienced player: the combination was lethal.”
Those who did not want to pony up $1,100, but still wanted to compete in a women-only tournament, or those who just wanted another shot at a title, had the chance to play in another Ladies Event the next day for just $300. The field of 73 produced a prize pool of $19,119 and Diana Linke took home the top cash of $6,504.
PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $1,000 + $100 Ladies Event Final Standings
1. Vanessa Rousso – $24,275
2. Halli Pinson – $13,815
3. Ann-Margaret Johnston – $9,335
4. Shirley Rosario – $6,620
5. Jamie Kerstetter – $5,740
6. Pastora Sorenson – $4,635
7. Lisa Adams – $3,750
8. Vanessa Caldeira – $2,870
9. Irene Baroni – $2,425
10. Sarah Wasch – $2,425
11. Violetta Szczerba – $2,205
12. Nesrine Kourdourli – $2,205
13. Muriel Allard – $1,985
14. Anna Yamshchikova – $1,985
15. Alina Salnikova – $1,765
16. Hai Nguyen – $1,765