The Rincon Ladies Poker Championship concluded today, with Pollyanna Ramos finishing first and earning the bragging rights as the latest World Series of Poker Circuit winner. She won first-place prize money totaling $4,124. Ramos was also presented with a custom-designed gold pendant awarded in lieu of the “gold ring” – which is the ultimate prize awarded to all champions who win a World Series of Poker Circuit event.
The tournament began on a Saturday afternoon and concluded 12 hours later, well past 2 am. The $100 buy-in one-day No-Limit Hold’em tournament attracted 170 entries, generating $16,490 in prize money. This mark was a near-record turnout for a ladies poker event in the San Diego area. The top 18 finishers collected payouts. All the action took place inside the Rincon Pavilion Showroom. The top nine finishers were as follows:
10th Place – Bertha Pedulla, a credit manager from Santa Fe Springs, CA finished in ninth place. She pocketed $330 for her finish in the ladies championship.
9th Place – Tammy Elsner, a high school math teacher from San Marcos, CA, finished in ninth place. She collected $495 in prize money. Elsner finished in second place at the 2007 ladies championship.
8th Place – Melinda Furfuro, a project manager from San Diego, finished in eighth place. She received a payout totaling $660.
7th Place – Diana Keros, a finance administrator from Chino Hills, CA, finished in seventh place. She took a tough beat with pocket queens against two players who both held A-K. An ace flopped, knocking out Keros. This marked her seventh time to cash in a major poker tournament. Keros received $825.
6th Place – Maria “Joy” Morales, a graphic designer from Huntington Beach, CA, finished in sixth place. This marked her first time to make it to a final table, after finishing on the bubble in her last major tournament. Sixth place paid $989.
5th Place – Peggy Prospal, a customer relations manager from Vista, CA, finished in fifth place. Amazingly, she has only been playing poker for about three weeks. This was her first time to play in a live tournament. Prospal earned $1,154 in prize money.
4th Place – Rachel Morris, a hairstylist from Murrieta, CA, finished in fourth place. She collected $1,385. Morris has done very well in previous ladies events – finishing third in the Rio Las Vegas WSOP Circuit tourney in 2006. She also won events held at The Bicycle Club and Hustler Casino. She is known as “The Poker Queen.”
3rd Place – Joanne Wahl, an operations manager from San Diego, ended up as the third-place finisher. She took a bad beat on her final hand and was forced to settle for a payout totaling $1,649.
2nd Place – The runner up was Kelly Kosmas, a waitress from Detroit, MI. She has won a few smaller tournaments in the past. Kosmas pocketed $2,638.
1st Place – The winner of the Rincon Ladies Poker Championship was Pollyanna Ramos. She is a 24-year-old stay-at-home-mother from San Marcos, CA. This marked Ramos’ second time to make it to the final table of a ladies poker tournament. She took seventh place at Rincon’s ladies event last year.
Ramos began playing poker when she was expecting her first child. She stated that she suffered from a bad case of morning sickness. “It kept me up both day and night,” Ramos said. “Poker was the only thing that distracted me.” Oddly enough, that discomfort paid off handsomely with a nice payout and a gold pendant for her first poker tournament victory.
With ten events now completed at Harrah’s Rincon, the tournament has now attracted more than 4,000 total entries and has awarded over $1 million in total prize money. Still to come are three more tournaments, including the $5,000 buy-in championship event, which begins March 30th. The WSOP Circuit at Harrah’s Rincon continues through April 1st.