Karen Dennett made a winning debut on the Betfred Ladies Poker Tour at the second leg of this year’s event in Liverpool.
A relative newcomer to the game, Karen, from nearby Widnes, got the better of Pheeiada Cartwright just before 4am as the final table boiled down to the head-to-head.
A full house earned Karen the £1,835 first prize, the Betfred trophy and a bottle of pink champagne but, more importantly, a place in the Grand Final at London’s Western Club on November 1.
“I only started playing a couple of years ago,” she said. “My husband would go out to poker nights and so instead of being left on my own at home I decided to take up the game too. Now I’m better than he is!”
Karen joins Michelle Bennett in securing her seat for the final, where a £20,000 sponsorship package for 2009 provided by Betfred will be up for grabs.
Another impressive newcomer to the Betfred Ladies Poker Tour was 18-year-old Rhianne Blundell, who finished third in the biggest tournament she has contested so far.
Rhianne is the daughter of Linda Blundell, who herself finished third at this year’s curtain-raiser in Newcastle but made an early exit this time.
Poker is only one of Rhianne’s talents for she is also a karate black-belt and has represented her country at the martial art.
There were some other notable early casualties among the 51 competitors as defending champion Lynne Beaumont and consistent campaigners Carla Goddard and Susan Adams all failed to make the final table.
Final table finishing order in Liverpool:
1 Karen Dennett
2 Pheeiada Cartwright
3 Rhianne Blundell
4 Rebekah Neilson
5 Hazel Birchnall
6 Marcella Cassisi
7 Kim Ploszanski
8 Samantha Smith
9 Dee Mavor
10 Monica Martinsen
The next leg of the Betfred Ladies Poker Tour takes place on June 21 at the Stanley Maxims casino in Reading. Full details of that and all the other planned legs of the event are available at betfredpoker.com