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2011 42nd Annual World Series of Poker

Friday, July 01, 2011 to Sunday, July 03, 2011

Event #53: $1,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold’em Championship

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  • Buy-in: $1,000
  • Prizepool: $949,500
  • Entries: 1,055
  • Remaining: 0


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Sunday, July 3, 2011 7:47 PM Local Time

Marsha Wolak - Event #53 Champion ($192,344)

The crowd is still stunned after what they've witnessed, but we're now wrapping Event #53 of the 2011 World Series of Poker up less than six hours after we started, as Arizona real estate investor Marsh Wolak sits proudly at the head of the final table posing for her winner's photos, defeating a field of 1,055 entrants for the coveted gold bracelet and $192,344 in prize money!

In fact, the 14 remaining players didn't mess around from the get-go, with Laura Desantis, Mafalda Lopes, Karen Fisher and Amanda Baker eliminated within the space of half an hour. Once the preliminary final table was reached, Amanda Sizemore was eliminated in 10th place after she lost the flip for her tournament life with    against Carol Tomlinson's   .

Jonathan Epstein, the last male in the field, was then busted in ninth place after he called all-in with   , but was unable to improve against Wolak who shoved before him with   . With the bracelet now assured a female victor, Epstein was given a rousing send-off by everybody on the rail – one which will be ringing in his ears for years to come.

A short time later, Genevieve Gloutnez was sent packing in eighth place when she got her money in with   , but ran into Tomlinson's   . Even so, Katherine Stahl, who had been crippled by Wolak in a previous hand, was able to triple up with her    after flopping a set of fives, with Tomlinson picking up the rest of Gloutnez's chips in the sidepot.

From there, it was carnage. Jennifer Cowan was the next to go in seventh place after she moved all-in after a flop of     with   , but Tomlinson's clairvoyant powers had brought forth the nut straight for her   . Tomlinson also took out Stahl in sixth place when her    held up against Stahl's   .

Valerie McColligan then sent Peg Ledman to the exits in fifth place after Ledman moved the last of her chips in with   , but was unable to find any help against McColligan's   . However, it was McColligan that fell in fourth place at the hands of Karina Jett; despite getting her money in with    against Jett's   , McColligan had her soul crushed when Jett spiked a king on the river.

Wolak then doubled through Tomlinson to take the chip lead during the three-handed battle, with Jett also applying the aggression. Left with only 575,000 in chips in the last hand before the dinner break, she moved all in with   , but despite both players pairing up on the board of      , Tomlinson was sent to the rail in third place, leaving Jett and Wolak heads-up.

And although they agreed to take an early dinner break and refuel in preparation for the battle, the war was over in just one hand. After Jett raised from the button and Wolak called to see a flop of    , Wolak checked to Jett who moved all-in with   .

Wolak snap-called, showing down    and she then improved to a straight with the   on the turn. The   blanked out on the river and with that, Jett fell oh-so-short in second place, but it was a stellar effort, considering she's final tabled this event twice in previous years and came runner-up this year with a baby on board!

That's not to take anything away from Wolak, as she is certainly a worthy winner. As she celebrated with her friends, she described it as "great justice" – she was knocked out by Shaun Deeb in the 2010 edition of the Ladies Event, so to have taken out Epstein this year on the way to the title could be considered "karma" – well, as The Micros would have you believe.

Any way you look at it, the 2011 WSOP Ladies Event was truly a historic event and we would like to congratulate Marsha on her victory and also to commend everyone on their enthusiasm and their support of this event. We hope that it continues for many years to come. The PokerNews Live Reporting Team have certainly had a lot of fun covering it! We'll leave you now with Lynn Gilmartin's table-side interview with a very happy Marsha:

Stay tuned with us as our coverage of the $50,000 Player's Championship continues, plus all the action from every bracelet event and of course, the Main Event.

Until then, thanks for tuning in, and may the flop be with you!

Sunday, July 3, 2011 7:27 PM Local Time

Karina Jett - 2nd Place ($119,010)

WOW! That was certainly not what anyone expected!

On the very first hand of heads up play, Karina Jett raised to 60,000 on the button and Marsha Wolak called from the big blind.

The flop came down     and Wolak checked to Jett who bet 70,000. Wolak quickly announced, "All in." Jett didn't take long before she said call and her tournament life would be at risk as the players turned over their hands.


Wolak was ahead with top pair and an inside-straight draw against the open-ended straight draw of Jett. The rail was surprisingly and utterly quiet as no one seemed to really grasp what was going on with everything happening so quickly.

The turn was the   which gave Wolak her straight but still, the crowd was silent. Jett would now need one of the four remaining aces or three nines in the deck to give her a higher straight and the double up.

The river was...the   and just like that, Jett was eliminated in 2nd place. Wolak screamed and ran over to her rail before she went over to Jett and the two hugged and congratulated each other. Not long after, in their typical fashion, Wolak's rail cheered, "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha."

For her efforts, Jett will take home $199,010 and improve on the back to back 4th places finishes that she had in this same event in 2003 and 2004. We congratulate Jett on her performance.

Karina Jett00
Sunday, July 3, 2011 7:09 PM Local Time

The WSOP gold bracelet is now on the table and both players have just returned. There is just over 20 minutes left in the current level and play has resumed.

Sunday, July 3, 2011 7:07 PM Local Time

While you wait for our two ladies to return, check out the following video with Kristy Arnett talking strategy. She didn't survive this event long enough to discuss a hand from her time with the ladies, so she disects a cash game hand:

Sunday, July 3, 2011 6:14 PM Local Time

Karina Jett and Marsha Wolak have agreed to take their 60-minute dinner break before commencing heads-up play. The tournament clock has been paused with just over 20 minutes remaining at the current blind level and we will resume at 8.10pm PST (GMT -7).

Marsha Wolak2,341,000701,000
Karina Jett814,000-6,000
Playtika - Jason Alexander
Sunday, July 3, 2011 6:13 PM Local Time

Carol Tomlinson - 3rd Place ($74,459)

Marsha Wolak raised to 65,000 on the button and Carol Tomlinson moved all in from the big blind for around 575,000 total. Wolak made the call to put Tomlinson at risk as the players turned over their hands.


Tomlinson was slightly ahead preflop and both players paired up on the flop but it came     to give Wolak top pair over Tomlinson's mid pair. The   on the turn changed nothing and Tomlinson was down to an ace or eight for her tournament life. The river was the   and unfortunately for Tomlinson, she was eliminated in third place. As Wolak's rail has been doing for most of the final table, they cheered "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha" who enters play heads up with the chip lead against Karina Jett.

Carol Tomlinson0-530,000
Sunday, July 3, 2011 6:01 PM Local Time
Marsha Wolak1,640,000260,000
Karina Jett820,000-430,000
Carol Tomlinson530,00030,000
Sunday, July 3, 2011 5:58 PM Local Time

Ever since doubling Marsha Wolak up and becoming the short stack, Carol Tomlinson has played very few pots while Karina Jett and Marsha Wolak have been going at it.

In one such hand, Jett raised to 55,000 on the button and Wolak defended her big blind. Both players checked the     flop and Wolak check-called a bet of 75,000 from Jett on the   turn. On the   river though, Wolak led out for 150,000 which got Jett to fold.

Wolak took down the next two hands with raises preflop.

Then when Jett hand the button next, she raised to 60,000 this time and again Wolak protected her big blind with a call. Just like the hand before, both players checked the     flop and Wolak led out for 50,000 when the   hit the turn. Jett laid her hand down as Wolak took down yet another pot.

Sunday, July 3, 2011 5:51 PM Local Time

Marsha Wolak raised to 75,000 on the button and Karina Jett called from the small blind. Both players checked the     flop but Jett led out for 75,000 when the   hit the turn. Wolak answered with an all in though and Jett laid her hand down.

Marsha Wolak1,380,000130,000
Karina Jett1,250,000100,000
Carol Tomlinson500,000-130,000
Sunday, July 3, 2011 5:47 PM Local Time

Marsha Wolak limped from the small blind and Karina Jett checked her option from the big. On the     flop, Wolak led for 60,000 and Jett called the bet. On the   turn, Wolak checked this time and Jett bed 120,000. Wolak made the call as both players checked the   on the river. Wolak announced, "Queen high" and turned over    for a missed flush draw. Jett revealed    for a pair of kings which and took down the pot.

Marsha Wolak1,250,000-350,000
Karina Jett1,150,000260,000
Playtika - Jason Alexander
Sunday, July 3, 2011 5:40 PM Local Time

Marsha Wolak watches on nervously as the dealer spread  the board.

Having started the final table as the overall short stack, Marsha Wolak has now taken the lead after scoring a massive double-up through Carol Tomlinson!

Karina Jett folded on the button before Tomlinson raised to 137,000 from the small blind. Wolak quickly moved all-in for 797,000 and Tomlinson snap-called.


The flop of     kept Tomlinson in the lead, but Wolak's supporters got even louder! "Ace! Ace! Ace!" they cried.

BOOM! Down came the   on the turn and Wolak froze in utter shock as it dawned on her that she was now in front. Needing one of only two queens left in the deck, the   bricked on the river and Tomlinson's good run has been halted for now, moving down to 630,000 in chips.

Marsha Wolak1,600,000700,000
Karina Jett890,000200,000
Carol Tomlinson630,000-670,000
Sunday, July 3, 2011 5:30 PM Local Time
Level: 24
Blinds: 12000/24000
Ante: 4000
Sunday, July 3, 2011 5:30 PM Local Time

Marsha Wolak has changed gears, moving back up to 900,000 after taking a couple of pots from Karina Jett.

Earlier, Jett raised to 55,000 from the button and Carol Tomlinson folded the small blind before Wolak re-raised to 120,000 from the big blind. Jett called, but then Wolak open-shoved for 560,000 after the flop of    . Jett quickly mucked her hand.

A short time later, Tomlinson folded the button and Wolak limped in from the small blind before Jett checked her big blind, going heads-up to the flop of    . Wolak bet 50,000 and Jett called, then Wolak led out for 75,000 after the turn of the  .

Again, Jett called, then both players checked down the river   before Wolak tabled    for two pair. That was enough to take down the pot.

Carol Tomlinson1,300,000-90,000
Marsha Wolak900,00060,000
Karina Jett690,000-270,000
Sunday, July 3, 2011 5:29 PM Local Time

The action has been lacking since we've gotten down to three players, but when you're battling for a bracelet, you'd expect nothing less.

Karina Jett and Carol Tomlinson picked up a flop each, then Marsha Wolak folded the button before Jett completed the small blind. Tomlinson checked her option from the big blind, then called Jett's bet of 25,000 after the flop of     as well as Jett's bet of 35,000 on the turn of the  . However, Tomlinson then folded after Karina pushed out 100,000 on the river of the  .

Sunday, July 3, 2011 5:18 PM Local Time

In one of the first big hands of three-handed play, Carol Tomlinson folded from the button and Marsha Wolak limped in from the small blind before Karina Jett checked her option from the big blind to go head-up to the flop of    .

Wolak checked and Jett bet out 25,000, but Wolak check-raised to 75,000. Jett called, then both players checked the turn of the   before Marsha fired out 100,000 on the river of the  .

Jett let her hand go and Wolak picked up the pot. Since then, the three ladies have been engaging in quite a few pre-flop raising wars, bring the chip counts back to around one million each. Talk about the ultimate showdown of ultimate destiny!

Karina Jett960,000-140,000
Marsha Wolak840,000185,000
Playtika - Jason Alexander
Sunday, July 3, 2011 5:09 PM Local Time

Valerie McColligan - 4th Place ($74,459)

Karina Jett is now guaranteed her best-ever finish in the WSOP Ladies Event after catching lightning in a bottle to send Valerie McColligan to the rail!

Carol Tomlinson folded from the cutoff, as did Marsha Wolak from the button before Jett made it 60,000 to go from the small blind. McColligan snap-shoved from the big blind and Jett beat her into the pot.


McColligan kept the lead after the dealer spread the flop of    , but a possible chopportunity came down on the turn in the form of the  . Only six outs remained in the deck ...



Jett's supporters went ballistic and she bolted to the rail to celebrate as McColligan clawed her hands near her face, silently screaming and cursing the poker gods for her demise.

Still, it was a valiant effort from Valerie, who picks up $74,459. With her elimination, we're down to three!

Carol Tomlinson1,390,00090,000
Karina Jett1,100,000410,000
Marsha Wolak655,00080,000
Valerie McColligan0-390,000
Sunday, July 3, 2011 5:01 PM Local Time
Carol Tomlinson1,300,000-100,000
Karina Jett690,00085,000
Marsha Wolak575,000-125,000
Valerie McColligan390,000-220,000
Sunday, July 3, 2011 4:58 PM Local Time

Karina Jett doubles up!

Karina Jett and her bundle of joy have just doubled up through Carol Tomlinson to more than 600,000 in chips as the action continues four-handed here in the 2011 WSOP Ladies No Limit Hold'em Championship.

Valerie McColligan folded from under the gun and Tomlinson shoved from the button before Marsha Wolak folded her small blind. Jett insta-called.


Nothing changed after the flop of     and Jett went further ahead after she made two pair on the turn of the  . The river   completed the board and with that, Tomlinson is back down to around 1.4 million in chips.

Carol Tomlinson1,400,000-200,000
Karina Jett605,000305,000
Sunday, July 3, 2011 4:49 PM Local Time

Since Peg Ledman's elimination, there's been a lot of raising and folding going on, with no flop seen for at least five minutes. Given the stack average relative to the blinds is so shallow, we could be in for an early night!

Carol Tomlinson1,600,0000
Marsha Wolak700,000115,000
Valerie McColligan610,00060,000
Karina Jett300,000107,000
Sunday, July 3, 2011 4:47 PM Local Time

Peg Ledman - 5th Place ($39,987)

With only three hands dealt since the resumption of play, we're now down to just four players after the elimination of Peg Ledman at the hands of Valerie McColligan.

The action folded to Ledman who open-shoved from the button for 132,000 and Karina Jett folded the small blind before McColligan snap-called from the big blind, showing down    against Ledman's   .

The dealer spread the board of       and with that, Ledman is our fifth place finisher, collecting $39,897 from the cage. It also means that Karina Jett is now guaranteed a third fourth-place finish in the WSOP Ladies Event!

Valerie McColligan550,000163,000
Peg Ledman0-175,000
Playtika - Jason Alexander