Las Vegas, NV (December 19, 2022) – Lina Niu reigned as the last woman standing on Sunday as she won the first-ever WPT® Ladies Championship at Wynn Las Vegas. Niu topped a field of 578 women. She earned a cash prize of $105,136 and a Rockstar room package from Virgin Voyages for her World Poker Tour® triumph.
“Today’s been a roller coaster for sure. I started off with chip lead, lost a lot early on and played super tight,” said Liu following her victory. “I got really lucky in some all-in spots. Just got super lucky on the last hand too.”
The WPT Ladies Championship boasted the largest guarantee ever for a Ladies event, $200,000. The $1,100 buy-in tournament nearly tripled the guarantee as it drew 578 entrants, generating a $560,660, which paid out the top 72 finishers.
“Thank you to all the women that participated in the Ladies Championship, as well as the other Ladies events during the festival,” said WPT CEO Adam Pliska. “I would like to congratulate Lina on winning the first Ladies Championship in WPT history, adding another bright spot to our 20th anniversary.”
The final table was filmed for television in the Latour Ballroom at the Wynn, featuring the top-six players. Olga Iermolcheva placed second for a $70,008, Dusti Smith placed third for $51,538 and Cindy Spier placed fourth for $38,350.
Kathy Liebert placed fifth for $28,847, extending her lead as the female with the highest WPT earnings and pushing her total to just over $2 million. Rounding out the final table payouts is Jamie Kerstetter who placed sixth for $21,934.
Other notable players to cash were Women in Poker Hall of Fame members J.J. Liu (9th place) and Allyn Shulman (65th place), as well as Amanda Botfeld (20th place), Melanie Weisner (28th place), Ebony Kenney (46th place), and La Sengphet (53rd place).
Recent Women in Poker Hall of Fame inductee Angelica Hael also played in the championship event. The WPT Vice President of Global Tour Management ran deep into Day 1 before being eliminated late in the day, prior to the in-the-money threshold.
Additional women-centric initiatives that graced the WPT World Championship Festival included guest appearances by bestselling author Molly Bloom and a Ladies Meet-Up Game during Day 2 of the Ladies Championship. The MUG took place in the Wynn Poker Room and was hosted by Jamie Kerstetter, who was joined by players such as Xuan Liu, Ashley Sleeth, and more.
All photos from WPT Ladies Championship can be accessed via our Flickr Page.
For more information regarding this and all World Poker Tour events, visit WPT.com.
Media Relations Manager
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