In the world of the Chinese Zodiac, it is the year of the Tiger. People born during this year are characterized by courage and fearlessness.
However, in the world of poker, it is quickly becoming the Year of the Woman, and this year's champions have the aforementioned qualities.
With her victory at EPT San Remo, Liv Boeree has become the third woman already in 2010 to have captured a major title. Boeree, a previous guest on ESPN Inside Deal, outlasted 1,239 other competitors in the largest European-based field in EPT history. For her brilliant efforts, she took home 1.25 million euros.
Amazingly, Boeree was introduced to the poker world just five years ago. The UK native, who previously studied physics at the University of Manchester, was a contestant on the poker reality show "Ultimatepoker.com Showdown" and quickly became hooked on the game. Following this appearance, she became immersed in the poker world as a presenter/journalist/reporter during the World Series of Poker for several media outlets. She also has been featured in several photo shoots, including for Maxim, that have raised her profile awareness throughout the poker community.
However, it was on the felt where Boeree truly wanted to make her mark. Previously, her most significant title and most lucrative cash was her first-place finish at the 2008 Ladbrokes Poker European Ladies Championship for $42,000. Now with this EPT title, she has certainly achieved her goal.
With Boeree's EPT title, there have been two huge victories for women within the past 11 days. On April 11, Vanessa Selbst captured the NAPT Mohegan Sun main event. With 716 players competing for a first prize of $750,000, the Yale law student almost went wire to wire as the chip leader to capture her fifth title, which includes her 2008 WSOP bracelet in $1,500 pot limit Omaha and back-to-back titles at the World Poker Finals at Foxwoods Resort Casino.
Finally, let's not forget the woman who kicked it all off this year with her victory at the 2010 National Heads-up Championship, Annie Duke. Despite not playing much poker recently, Duke has helped put poker on the mainstream map over the past couple of years with her appearance on "The Celebrity Apprentice" and her tireless work with Ante Up for Africa. However, she returned to the poker world with a vengeance. After an impressive 19th-place finish at the WPT LA Poker Classic main event, she entered the 2010 National Heads-up Championship full of confidence. During the three-day event, she bested the likes of Andy Bloch, Darvin Moon, Paul Wasicka, Jerry Yang, Dennis Phillips and her dear friend Erik Seidel (who himself had never won a single match in this invitational event entering the 2010 tournament).
Add to the mix that Annette Obrestad, the "queen" of the inaugural WSOP Europe main event in 2007, turned 21 years old last September. Her highly anticipated debut at the WSOP in Las Vegas is finally upon us this summer.
Therefore, it seems appropriate that on April 18, it was announced that the public can submit nominations for the Women in Poker Hall of Fame Class of 2010. Nominations for the third class of inductees will be accepted until April 30, and the induction ceremonies will be held over Labor Day weekend.
So, everyone raise your glasses to all the women in poker. This year is becoming one to remember. Let's hope this trend continues.
Bernard Lee is the official spokesperson of Foxwoods Resort and Casino. Lee is the co-host of ESPN Inside Deal, weekly poker columnist for the Boston Herald and radio host of "The Bernard Lee Poker Show."