International Women’s Day is an important time to reflect on the many incredible achievements of women through the ages. This day is a chance to reflect on how women have changed the game across all aspects of society, including from an economic, political, and cultural perspective.
With that in mind, it’s well worth spending some time looking at some of the inspirational women who have gone on to have a major impact on the casino world through the years. While some have played a key role in the casino industry’s success, others have accomplished truly impressive feats as casino winners.
Here we look at the achievements of just a few of them.
1. The Faro Ladies
We start by heading back in time to 18th century England, when government-authorised lotteries were the only legal way to gamble in Britain. Despite this, a group of noblewomen developed a major love of the game Faro, which is regarded by many as a relative to poker. They became known as the ‘Faro Ladies’ and would organise evenings of gaming which ran late into the night. However, they were later fined after the authorities got wind of their activities.
2. Poker Alice
On the other side of the Atlantic in the times of the Wild West, another woman was developing a major reputation for her card game prowess. In fact, the skills of Alice Ivers Duffield Tubbs Huckert went on to secure her the nickname of ‘Poker Alice’.
Legend has it she started each game with the statement of ‘Praise the Lord and place your bets…I’ll take your money with no regrets’, while it’s also rumoured she could win up to $6,000 on any single night.
3. Mayme Stocker
The story goes that, when Mayme Stocker arrived in Las Vegas in 1911, she was not particularly taken with the place. However, she went on to have a big impact on the city, as she became the holder of the first lawful casino licence in the area, in 1931. Her base of operations was the Northern Club on Fremont Street, with the use of ‘northern’ being code for a place that miners could get a drink during the time of Prohibition.
4. Patricia Demauro
Skip forward to 2009, when New Jersey grandmother Patricia Demauro achieved the unthinkable and set a world record for the most consecutive winning rolls in craps over the longest period of time.
The incredible run took place during only her second-ever session of the game, with it lasting for a total of four hours and 18 minutes. Arguably one of the most remarkable casino winners in history, she has apparently never spoken of the amount she won. However, the odds of such a winning streak are thought to stand in the region of one in 1.56 trillion.
5. Vanessa Rousso
Also known as Lady Maverick, Rousso is one of the modern poker world’s biggest casino winners. The Hendon Mob Poker Database estimates that her overall winnings from the game stand at more than $3.5 million, with that figure putting her among the top ten most successful female poker players of all time.
Arguably her biggest success came when she finished second in the 2007 World Championship of Online Poker Main Event, a finish which bagged her around $700,000.
6. Victoria Coren Mitchell
This broadcaster and writer is probably best known to us Brits as the presenter of the brain teasing TV quiz Only Connect. However, what few realise is that she’s had a huge amount of success in poker throughout the years too, securing some landmark achievements in the process.
Perhaps most notably, she is the first player to win two European Poker Tour Main Events. Her first success came when she took the top spot at the EPT Main Event in London in 2006, which she repeated at Sanremo in 2014 – securing her place in poker’s history books in the process.
7. Claudine Williams
Another woman who has had a major impact on the casino business, Claudine Williams was behind the Silver Slipper Casino and then opened the Holiday Casino in the 1970s in Vegas.
She went on to become general manager and president of the site and then was named chairwoman of the board of Harrah’s Las Vegas. Unsurprisingly, her huge contribution to casino gaming meant she was also the first woman to be inducted into the Gaming Hall of Fame.
8. Liv Boeree
Another one of the top female poker players of all time, The Hendon Mob Poker Database estimates that Liv Boeree from Kent has won more than $3.8 million at tournaments across the globe.
She is both a European Poker Tour and World Series of Poker champion and is, therefore, the only female player to ever secure a WSOP bracelet and victory in an EPT event. Her prize money for being a big casino winner at the EPT Main Event in San Remo in 2010? Just a cool €1.25 million.
Some Remarkable Individuals
As all of the above highlights, there have been some truly remarkable women involved in casino gaming throughout the years. From the early days of gambling and the casino business to the thrills and excitement of modern poker, women have certainly played a key role across the decades.
It will be intriguing to see what happens next in the world of female casino gaming and. We’re sure there will be no limits to what can be achieved when they play live casino and other forms. By the time of the next International Women’s Day, we could well be celebrating some more big winners that have emerged in the industry.