By now the world knows that the World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the most prestigious and grandest poker festival crammed with tens of thousands of stories! And today we will take you 40 years back, when New Jersey’s Starla Brodie became the first female player to win a WSOP Gold Bracelet!
The year 1979 is worth remembering, the world saw two double-bracelet winners. Gary “Bones” Berland won 2 bracelets for the second year in a row, and, once again, both came in variations of 7-card stud. Lakewood Louie also took home 2 bracelets, one in a $1,000 Ace-To-Five Draw Lowball event and one in a $2,000 5-Card draw event. The reigning world champion, Bobby “The Owl” Baldwin, claimed another bracelet in the $10,000 Deuce-To-7 Lowball Event. Legendary player Johnny Moss added another win in the $5,000 7-card stud event, while Doyle Brunson won the $600 Mixed Doubles event with Starla Brodie.
According to Hendon Mob, Brodie entered live poker in 1978 and finished 2nd in the $200 Women’s 7-Card Stud. The following year, Brodie won her first bracelet $600 buy-in Mixed Doubles tournament for $4,500, partnering with one of the Godfathers of poker Doyle Brunson who added 6th one to his collection.
Tides have changed in every major poker festival and poker room. Many more women have taken up the game since the poker boom of the 2000’s during which time poker became more accessible both online and live.
Brodie was involved in several gaming activities in her early career. She claimed to have earned $400,000 in one year trading options at Philadelphia Trading. Poker also featured highly in her list of hobbies and together with her husband Ken, would regularly travel to Las Vegas to compete at the WSOP. Starla’s second career-best bracelet came 16 years later, this time at the 1995 WSOP $1,000 Women’s 7-Card Stud event for $35,200 outlasting 88 players, after which she said, “I’m thrilled to finally win it.”
Prior to the poker boom, Brodie stood as an inspiration to other woman and helped pave the way for many of today’s female poker players. Ever since she stepped in live poker, Brodie mostly made final table finishes in WSOP. In the year 1982, she earned $3.2K for finishing 3rd in 1982 WSOP 7-Card Stud. She made the FT of the WSOP Women’s Stud event again in 1998 and 1999, and finished 11th in the 2001 Women’s Championship. She continued to play poker in tournaments and cash games, enjoying the game always until her demise in 2014.
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