Last year, many people suggested it was a Year of the Woman. This year may not be the Year of the Women, but we’ll tell you one thing—it is certainly the Year of Loni Harwood.
The 23-year-old New Yorker’s performance at the 2013 WSOP is arguably the most impressive one a woman has posted in WSOP history. Making three final tables in a single summer is a rarely seen feat for a woman. Doing that and winning a bracelet is unprecedented—until today.
Harwood defeated a field of more than 2,500 in the final $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event of the summer to win over $600,000 and cement her name in the WSOP record books. The payday surpasses Allyn Jaffrey Shulman’s Seniors Event victory last year as the largest sum ever awarded to a woman in a Las Vegas WSOP event and trails only Annette Obrestad’s WSOPE Main Event win in 2007 as the biggest payday for a woman in WSOP history.
It also skyrockets Harwood, who had zero dollars in WSOP cashes just three weeks ago, to eighth on the all-time WSOP money list for women with $874,698—the most a woman has ever earned at a single WSOP.
After two seasons of cutting her teeth on the WSOP Circuit, winning two rings in the process, Harwood has proven once again that the players on the Circuit can compete on poker’s biggest stage. She joins the likes of Jonathan Taylor and Bryan Campanello on the list of Circuit regulars who have won a bracelet this WSOP. She defeated Yongshuo Zheng heads-up for the bracelet. Zheng, who hails from Canada, won his seat on the Canadian online poker site PlayNow.com for $75 and managed to turn that seat into a massive six-figure payday.
This was Harwood’s third WSOP final table of the summer, becoming the fourth player to accomplish such a feat. The feat ties the all-time record for most final tables by a woman in a year set by Cyndy Violette in 2005.
Her win in an open-field No Limit Hold’em event comes just a few days after Dana Castenada became the only woman since Annette Obrestad to win an open-field No Limit Hold’em. Now we have two women to add to this list and the record books.
This is the type of performance that isn’t just great for a woman though—it is the type of performance that any poker player would kill to have. Moreover, it makes Harwood a serious contender in the WSOP Player of the Year race alongside some of the biggest names in the game like Daniel Negreanu and David “Bakes” Baker. The win moves her to third in the ranks with 487.2 behind Matthew Ashton (649.75) and Negreanu (598.34).
While Player of the Year is certainly a possibility for Harwood, one thing is a certainty: she is now a gold bracelet winner and one of the breakout stars of the 2013 World Series of Poker.
This final $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event of the summer drew a field of 2,541 and generated a $3,430,350 prize pool. The top 270 finishers each earned a payday worth at least $2,778. Some of the notables who cashed in this event were Jeremy Ausmus (219th), Nate Silver (99th), Yuval Bronshtein (44th), Jeff Madsen (34th), and Ryan Julius.
The final table featured more than one familiar face from this summer in addition to Harwood. In fact, it featured three players making repeat final table appearances this summer. Daniel Cascada followed up his second place finish in a previous $1,500 No Limit event with a sixth place showing, while Hiren Patel posted a ninth place finish today to go with his fourth place run in an earlier $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event.
Here are the final table results from the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Event 60:
1st: Loni Harwood – $609,017
2nd: Yongshuo Zheng – $378,607
3rd: Mika Paasonen – $267,978
4th: Yngve Steen – $193,265
5th: Asi Moshe – $141,124
6th: Daniel Cascado – $104,282
7th: Cy Williams – $78,006
8th: Bijon Notash – $59,036
9th: Hiren Patel – $45,212