First-Timer Wins Women's Poker Event - Thursday 27th of April 2006

UK - Last night thirty female poker players battled it out in the Betfair Poker Ladies Night Live final.

This event was the highlight of a month of online tournaments and promotions as Betfair Poker searched for the Betfair Poker Goddess.

The players had a diversity of experience from professionals to first-timers. They flew in from all over the United Kingdom and Ireland to meet for a chance to win a seat at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Ladies Event 2006 in Las Vegas. There was a £3000 prize pool on offer for those unlucky to miss out on the top prize and everyone on the final table got a slice of the action.

Late on in the evening the field was down to only three players: Francine Brandler, Vera Duffy and Angela Thacker. Angela had a large chip lead and was playing with a confident and aggressive style which backfired when she allowed short-stacked Vera to double up. But Angela knocked out Francine (with three-of-a-kind two's) who had played consistently well up to this point.

And then there were two.

Vera, a 61 year old grandmother from Ireland, fought back to level chips before her all-in on a flush draw was called by Angela with a pair of fours. Vera, who had played superlatively throughout the night, was knocked out as the flush failed to appear.

Despite having never been involved in a live poker event, Angela Thacker, 30 from Halifax, was crowned the Betfair Poker Goddess. She was presented with a giant plane ticket by Betfair's Head of Poker Ben Fried.

Angela commented, "It's brilliant, absolutely brilliant. I've never been to London before, let alone Las Vegas. This is my first experience and I've absolutely enjoyed it. The world is wide open." Unlucky but gracious, second placed Vera said, "There's no sour grapes, it was fantastic. It was run brilliantly, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I flew over here and I had a blast."

Betfair Poker's Ben Fried was impressed by the positive atmosphere surrounding the event. "The sportsmanship and camaraderie between the players was fantastic. Remember poker is fun, and these ladies certainly had some of that.

"Well done to Angela she's done brilliantly and we will be supporting her all the way at the WSOP."

Vera Duffy said that the atmosphere was more social and friendly than what she is used to when playing with the men. But despite this she assures us that she prefers the male female mix. "I think women are starting to realize that they can be as good as the guys and maybe even better." This desire to play with men is shared by the new 'Betfair Poker Goddess', Angela Thacker, who thinks that men often underestimate women, which creates more opportunities. "When you're playing against men, you're playing against the male ego. Men don't think that women can compete against them."

Angela Thacker will be at the WSOP Ladies Event in Las Vegas this summer.

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