The live poker scene has always been dominated by male poker players and the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event was further proof that the game in significantly dominated by male poker players. The most prestigious event in the WSOP attracted a total of 6,420 players and after days of fierce competition the playing field was reduced to just 69 players, out of which only one was a woman, Kelly Minkin.
The 28 year old Minkin created history by becoming the last female player to feature in the 2015 WSOP main event and is now part of an illustrious group of female poker players featuring the likes of Gaëlle Baumann, Breeze Zuckerman and Tiffany Williamson who have also done well in the WSOP main event.
Kelly Minkin is not just another ordinary poker player. She has an excellent academic background with a degree in molecular and cellular biology from the University of Arizona. She then went on to attend Arizona Summit Law School to get a degree in law before taking up a job with a Phoenix law firm as a medical malpractice defense attorney. She continues to hold on to her day job, while playing poker as a hobby and a side business. Her law firm is aware of her passion for poker and accommodates her poker schedule.
Her performance at the 2015 WSOP main event does not come as a surprise as she has a rather good track record since starting to play poker. She has won more than half a million in prize money and some of her achievements include being a runner-up in the $1,000 buy-in 2013 Arizona State Poker Championship and winning $151,983; coming in 3rd place at the $3,500 buy-in 2015 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Championship (video below) and taking home $262,912.
Speaking about her performance at the 2015 WSOP main event, Minkin said
It’s a weird feeling, being in the spotlight. I usually shy away from things like that, but at this point in the tournament, I’m trying to embrace it all as best as I can. I’m just not used to it. I think it’s exciting to be the last woman standing and I’m happy to be representing women poker players as I move further in the tournament. But at the end of the day, I don’t want to settle for being the last woman standing. I want to be the last person standing. It’s exciting to have gotten this far, but I hope this is just the beginning.