This article was featured in Canadian Poker Tour Magazine – Q1 – 2013. Thank you Jennifer Tokarek for writing this article and more importantly being such a great rep for poker & inspiration to woman everywhere.
By Jennifer Tokarek
Let’s just break it down… 9 cashes at the WCPC! 20+ cashes at the first WSOP Circuit event in Canadian History! 7 WSOP Circuit Final Tables! And if that wasn’t enough…the top two contenders in the WSOPC Vancouver Casino Champions race are BC Poker Girls!
The WCPC was a good warm up, as it was the first of the two series and the only one to offer a Ladies Championship event. With the ladies super satellite having a huge turnout you could feel the buzz of what was about to happen. Congrats to all the ladies who made the final table at the WCPC! Very late in the evening, after a few hours of debate and playing with no one going anywhere, the final six ladies remaining worked out a proportionate chop. Congrats to May Le, Connie Chia, Christine Boiko, Irish Macalino, Aimee Mussette and myself, for finally working out a great deal that we could all be happy with. May, actually won this same event last year giving her back to back titles!!!
The very next day Fatima Nanji, who was supporting her good friend Irish at the final table the night before, decided to enter in the WCPC turbo event. It was her birthday and she figured, even though she had never played a major tournament before, if her friend could final table so could she! Well that dream came into a reality for Fatima when she chopped 2/3rd place for $5500 in Event #4 of the WCPC. I guess playing on your birthday really can be lucky! With that win, the private BC Girls Poker thread on FB started to heat up as we knew there was something brewing in the air with the WSOP around the corner and I don’t think any of us could have dreamed what was about to happen.
Event #1 of the WSOPC being a $300 NLH saw a huge contingent of female players, the most of any of the WSOPC events in Vancouver. We were there to support each other and had a great time. After the eighteen levels were played, the tournament director decided to continue play till one more person got knocked out and everyone returning on Day 2 was in the money. Two big chip stacks went head to head instantly, and before I knew it I was in the money –chip and a chair! It was such a fun experience and was just the tip of the iceberg for great things to come with the BC Poker Girls at WSOPC.
Have you ever wondered what if you sold your tournament ticket to someone else? That’s what Yolande Freed was thinking when she sold her $500 NLH Event #2 ticket to Joanne Lewis, only to look online the next day and see she was at the Final Table!!! Having fought back from an early chip deficit, to the point where Joanne says she was putting on her coat, she would become the first of many BC girls to make a WSOPC final table, finishing in 6th place for over $6,700. PS. Yolande was happy for her too!
While Joanne was being featured at the final table, the PLO Event #3 was getting down to the end of Day 1 and Adina Mazzucco was definitely making a huge statement at the tables. I remember chatting with Adina on the break and her admitting this was her first live PLO tournament ever, however considering she lives with WSOP bracelet winner and avid PLO player Ashkan Razavi, I am sure she has had lots of practice prior to this event! Well as lady luck and of course her incredible poker skills would have it she would surpass 204 other PLO players and win the coveted WSOPC championship ring for the event!! If anyone had any doubt that the BC Girls were in it to win it – it was definitely this defining moment. With this win Adina was in a dead heat for first place in the Casino Champion point’s leader race.
In Event #4 we had Vancouver based poker professional, Gillian Epp, representing for us. Gillian just recently got back from Cannes where she made a deep run in the WSOP Europe Main Event. She would cash in a very respectable 23rd place in the $1K event, tweeting to her followers that she would dry her tears in her $100 bills. That’s the way to do it girl!
Lillian Chan, another well know female poker player in Vancouver, made a final table placing 3rd in Event #5 the $500 NLH for over $18,000. With the support of her family and friends by her side, a few days later, she made an incredible deep run in the main event (Event #7), placing 32nd for $6,800 and earning the title of last woman standing. Way to go Lillian!!!
Sandra Wong was poised to make a run for a ring in Event #6 the $300 NLH Turbo event, when she too found herself at the final table. Coming from a family of card players, her mom being a former Mah-Jong champion, this was Sandra’s second cash at the WSOPC Vancouver, after placing in 20th in Event #2. She would represent very well coming in 3rd place, for over $11,000 and that would not be her only final table finish of the series!! Sandra followed that amazing finish with another 3rd place at the final table of Event #8 the Six Handed NLH adding another $9K to her bankroll – which put her in the lead for the Casino Champion. The WSOP blogs were buzzing the next morning that it was Sandra’s to win – the BC Poker Girls were thrilled that a female would most likely take down this coveted title.
Before the night was over (or should I say the next day), Adina would take the prestigious title away from Sandra, by making the final table of Event #10 the last WSOPC live event (Mixed Holdem) coming in 8th place to surpass Sandra by 2.5 points to take the lead for Casino Champion points leader. Adina’s hold would also not last long, when Sandra runs deep in Event #11 (WSOPc first ever online ring event) to regain the lead. There is only one event left at PlayNow.com and we are excited to see who will be the last one standing as Casino Champion of this first WSOP circuit event in Canada.
On behalf of all of the BC Poker Girls, we are very excited that you are representing us in the Casino Champions race and we couldn’t be more proud of you both!
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