Ema Zajmovic Becomes First Woman to Win an Open WPT Event
Picture courtesy: World Poker Tour
World Poker Tour has finally crowned its first female winner in an open event after Canadian Ema Zajmovic won the C$3,500 buy-in WPT Playground Main Event in Montreal.
Zajmovic, who had around $100,000 in total live tournament cashes prior to this win, came close to make WPT history already back in November at WPT Montreal. However, it was Mike Sexton who ended up taking down the title that time and Zajmovic finished 5th for C$102,000 or US$76,000, which was also her biggest ever live cash.
Luckily, it didn't take long for Zajmovic to get her another chance to make poker and WPT history and after finishing Day 3 of the partypoker.net WPT Playground Main Event with the chip lead, she never looked back.
In the final hand of the tournament, Jean-Francois Bouchard moved all-in out of turn and after thinking about it for a while, Zajmovic called him with . Bouchard turned over and needed his hand to hold up to stay alive. However, after the board came out , Zajmovic took down the title with two pair, kings and queens.
Zajmovic earned just over US$200,000 (+US$15,000 entry into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions) for her historic win, while Bouchard received around US$130,000 for his runner-up finish.
“Honestly, I am really happy that I proved women can do it. The funniest and nicest part of this experience was all the women who came and were so supportive of me. It was amazing. When I started playing poker, there was so much competition between girls. It was hard to be good and be supportive of each other. Now it evolved so much and it is nice to see I had support from older women, younger women," Zajmovic said after her win.
Mike Sexton also commented the win by saying he has "the greatest respect" for Zajmovic adding that "she is a combo of Phil Ivey and Vanessa Selbst."
WPT Playground Main Event Final Results (380 entries)
1st: Ema Zajmovic – CAD $261,000 (US $200,769)
2nd: Jean-Francois Bouchard – CAD $169,270 (US $130,208)
3rd: Eric Afriat – CAD $108,690 (US $83,608)
4th: Tam Ho – CAD $71,670 (US $55,131)
5th: Mekhail Mekhail – CAD $55,200 (US $42,462)
6th: Jean-Pascal Savard – CAD $45,690 (US $35,146)