Kathy Liebert
2005 Jason Kirk  

Kathy Liebert - Source

When you think of the most skilled women playing poker today, Kathy Liebert has to be at the top of the list. From her humble beginnings in Colorado's low-limit poker rooms, Liebert has developed her game to the point of playing world-class tournament poker. She has proven her skill repeatedly on the tournament circuit, and she is undeniably one of the most successful women in the poker world, holding her own alongside the greatest players of the day. Her road to success has been as long as her resume would suggest.

Liebert was born in Tennessee and raised on Long Island in New York. After attending Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY, and earning a degree in business and finance, she worked as a business analyst with global business information company Dun & Bradstreet. After working in business for a time she grew dissatisfied and decided to head west. She made a brief stop in Las Vegas, where she played casino poker for the first time, before ending up in Colorado. It was here that she truly learned the game, eventually becoming a prop player at the local casinos to ensure there was always a game running. It was during this time that she read poker books and worked on her game.

As she continued to improve, a friend recommended that she try out tournament poker. In Las Vegas she took 2nd place in an Omaha hi-lo tournament, her first ever, and then one week later took 2nd place in her first Texas Hold'em tournament. With over $34,000 in winnings from her first week, she decided to continue entering poker tournaments and built a bankroll off her winnings. Her frequent cashes allowed her greater flexibility in her life, and she continued to invest in the stock market as a back-up in case her tournament career ever hit a slump.

Liebert began playing in various events at the World Series of Poker, with her first two cashes coming within a 3-day period in 1997: she placed 18th in the $3,000 Pot Limit Hold'em event, and then 2nd in the $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em event. She continued to place well at the WSOP through the next several years, with 1999 being the only year when she didn't take home any money from the WSOP. Her first major success came 5 years after her first cash at the WSOP when she became the first woman ever to win a $1 million first prize in a poker tournament at the inaugural Party Poker Million. This feat also made her the first woman ever to win a tournament with a buy-in over $5,000.

Liebert's name was written into the history books with her Party Poker Million win, but she didn't rest on her laurels. She made 2 additional TV tables on the World Poker Tour in 2002, and missed the TV table at the World Poker Finals by one spot. In 2003, she placed 17th at the WPT Championship and cashed three times at the WSOP. In 2004 she finally claimed the first WSOP bracelet of her career with a victory in the $1,500 Limit Hold'em Shootout. Later that year she also won the $1,000 No-Limit hold'em event at the Ultimate Poker Challenge. With her tournament resume growing lengthy, it was only natural that Liebert would be invited to be a part of some of the new breed of televised poker competitions. These appearances finally ended up with her winning the $100,000 first prize at Game Show Network's Poker Royale: Battle of the Sexes.

Liebert is currently the 2nd-ranked woman on the all-time tournament money list, and ranks 38th on the overall lifetime money list with over $2.6 million in winnings. She also ranks 57th on the WPT's all-time money list. With her impressive run of tournament finishes on the WPT and the WSOP Circuit throughout 2005, she shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Her name might be one for the history books, but she isn't finished writing her story just yet.

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