Michelle Chin won the 2015 Horseshoe Council Bluffs $1,675 Main Event on Monday, becoming the first woman to win a World Series of Poker Circuit main event in the process.
That ended a streak of 156 WSOP Circuit main events without a female winner, a surprising stream even considering the relatively low percentage of female players at major poker tournaments.
“It feels really great,” Chin told the WSOP after winning the tournament. “This is probably at most the 10th tournament I’ve ever played in my life. It’s just awesome to make history.”
Even if Chin wasn’t the most experienced tournament player heading into the event, she certainly understood the importance of her win in the poker world.
“There aren’t too many women in the poker community,” Chin said. “We like to see more and more women play because it is a fun game. No matter what sex you are you should be able to enjoy it. It means a lot to me. I hope I encourage a lot of other girls to come out and play.”
Chin, primarily a cash game player, only has two tournament cashes in the Hendon Mob database.
However, they are both incredibly WSOP Circuit events, meaning she already has two victories on the Circuit this season alone. The first victory came in the Ladies Event at the WSOP Circuit stop in Choctaw, and earned her a $7,188 prize.
This win was a much bigger victory, however. Chin outlasted a field of 235 players to take home $88,126, which now stands as the largest cash in her short tournament career.
But it wasn’t easy, as Chin had to fight through a difficult field in the late stages in order to secure her title. Among those who cashed short of the final table were Blair Hinkle, Alex Masek and Chris Karambinis.Â
By the end of the second day of competition, only four players remained, and Chin held a solid chip lead. By the time the tournament reached heads up play, Chin had a more than 2-1 chip lead over her last remaining opponent, Mike Lang.
On the final hand, Lang shoved preflop by four-betting with T8 offsuit, and was quickly called by Chin with pocket sevens.
While Lang took the lead in the coin flip by turning a ten, luck was on Chin’s side, as she was able to hit a seven on the river to make a set and take home the WSOP Circuit title. Lang took home $54,468 for second place.
Chin’s victory is just one of several recent notable accomplishments by women in poker. Earlier this month, Angela Jordison made news by winning three consecutive events at the 2015 Spring Poker Round Up at the Wildhorse Resort & Casino in Oregon.
Each field featured hundreds of players; if the tournaments were purely contests of luck, the odds against winning all three events would have been more than 51 million to one.
While women have proven they can succeed at any level of poker, there’s still one notable arena in which no female player has yet to take down a title.
The World Poker Tour has yet to crown a woman as a main event champion, though there have been numerous women to make WPT final tables and six have finished as runners-up.