Winning StoryIn the online gambling world, poker tournaments are your key to winning serious money. For most, one good tournament will bring home more bacon than a year’s worth of lucky flops.
One of the biggest online tournament is, without a doubt, the PartyPoker.com Million Tournament (www.partypoker.com) where Kathy Liebert became the first women in history to win $1,000,000 in a poker tournament. It was a great day for Kathy and a great day for poker as the Internet proved that the future of big tournaments didn’t lie in Casino cardrooms, but online, where the tournaments attract players from around the world increasing the prize money to figures that dwarf most terrestrial tournaments.
The fun began with an online buy in of only $22. This allowed thousands to enjoy the first rounds of the tournament and compete with amateurs, pro-ams and pros alike. For $22 PartyPoker.com guaranteed that casual players could join in the fun without having to leverage the family farm.
After the online tournament rounds weeded out all but the 100 top contenders, the tournament moved from the online arena to the decks of a luxury cruise liner for a one week, high-intensity Poker Cruise that promised $1,000,000 to the number one.
Former World Champions Phil Hellmuth, Tom McEvoy, Johnny Chan, and Huck Seed were included in the line up, as were poker greats Marsha Wagonner, Men "The Master" Nguyen, T.J. Cloutier, Barbara Enright.
On the final day of the tournament the 9 finalists took their seats to the cheers of poker fans and former contenders. Around the final table sat two former WSOP champions, a former U.S. Poker Champion, three professionals, and three amateurs.
The first to exit the table was Mel Judah, the entrant with the smallest stack. Ken Flaton was next to go and Mike Yuwiler followed shortly after. Former WSOP champion Chris Ferguson, Scott Buller, Bruce Yamron, and Phil Hellmuth were next to exit the dance leaving pro-player Kathy Liebert and amateur Berj Kacherian in a head to head for the $1,000,000 prize. If Kathy won it would be the first time a woman won a major tournament, and if luck fell Berj’s way it would be a historic David vs. Goliath amateur’s win.
"Heads up play began at 4:10 p.m. Kathy held the lead with $700,000 in chips while Berj had $400,000. They were playing $20,000/$40,000 with over $1.1 million in chips on the table. Kathy slowly chipped away at the blinds and had taken an $800k to $300k lead when Berj made Jacks full on a big pot. With that pot Berj had almost drawn even with Kathy.
The limits were increased to $30k/$60k and Kathy had taken another lead of $700k/$300k. Berj was able to regain the lead when he rivered a flush and now held his own lead of $600k/$500k.
Things seesawed back and forth until Berj raised preflop and Kathy called. The flop came 457 and both players put in three bets. When a ten fell on the turn, Kathy bet and Berj called. The river Queen brought two checks and when Berj turned over KTo Kathy mucked her hand. This pot brought the chips stacks to a commanding lead for Berj…$950k to $150k.
Kathy built her chips back up with a string of small pots and blind steals, the tournament was anyone's game.
Kathy increased her lead to $1,000,000 vs. $100,000 by winning 4 pots in succession that were bet and called all the way to the river. The final hand of the tournament forced Berj to go all in in the big blind with 45o. Kathy having to only put in an extra $5k in chips obliged. The final board showed KQ3QT, Kathy Liebert had become the very first winner of the PartyPoker.com Million Tournament.”