Women players take poker by storm

It is now a reality that women can be just as good at the poker table as their male counterparts and there are several great examples for skeptics. Liv Boeree is among the most popular female poker players out there and it comes as no surprise that she was the star of the 2011 WPT Invitational. A formidable opponent at both cash tables and tournaments, Liv brilliantly combines social events with poker tournaments and 2013 was an amazing year for her.

Women players take poker stage

She won minor tournaments and ended up on a positive note at cash tables online, while finding the time to lead the British team in a charitable event. Kimberly Lansing is better known for her TV appearances but poker players had to take her seriously after featuring in prominent poker shows. Vanessa Rousso is another player who combines great looks with amazing poker skills and she was on the verge of winning the WPT’s Five Diamond World Poker Classic.

There was no shame in being eliminated by Antonio Esfandiari the winner of the massive highrollers event in Las Vegas and all the best poker players in the world. One of the fastest rising stars is Vanessa Selbst who recently won the Paratouche Poker Tour main event in Cannes. 2012 was an equally impressive year for her and she made a reputation for herself by winning both the PokerStars NAPT Mohegan Sun and the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in 2013.

She is very passionate about poker and seems to be an excellent teacher, at least if we are to base our assumptions on the popularity of her coaching website Deuces Cracked. Although she doesn’t go to great length to teach other poker players how to improve, Annette Obrestad’s example is inspiring for younger players. She won the WSOPE Main Event Championship when she was 19 years old and proved to the world that it wasn’t a fluke, by winning several other cash game events and tournaments since then.

Extortionists convicted to jail time

Poker players know that their game of choice can sometimes be traumatic, and they expect to encounter various obstacles as they progress with their career. What they don’t expect is to be blackmailed by extortionists trying to take advantage of their prosperous situation, by threatening to expose delicate details of their personal lives. That’s exactly what Joe Sebok went through until the extortionists were finally brought to justice in California, but the consequences are unbearable for the poker player.


For those who are not familiar with this name, it is worth mentioning that Joe is one of the stepson of Barry Greenstein, an illustrious poker player and great philanthropist. While he’s yet to achieve the same results both at the poker table and with charities, Mr. Sebok had a promising career in front of him. It all changed when Keith James Hudson and Tyler Schrier decided to blackmailed him, under the threat that they would otherwise spread naked pictures depicting him.

The two of them will spend the next 3 1/2 years in prison for their deeds, while a younger accomplice, 22 years old Ryder Finney will receive a milder sentence. The three of them focused on poker players and had some other victims in mind but none of their targets chose to pay them up. Unfortunately for Joe Sebok, the pictures stolen from his e-mail account were more sensitive and the perpetrators assume that the poker player will be much easier to blackmail.

When he called their bluff, the three of them decided that it is time to move on with their plan and sent the aforementioned pictures to 100 random people. It is only easy to imagine what happened next, as the images were spread all over the Internet and Joe Sebok had his reputation tarnished. For someone who spends many hours in the spotlights and competes against some of the best poker players in the world, this incident had negative consequences.

Joe claims that following these unfortunate events he was unable to compete at the same level and had to retreat in seclusion waiting for the entire scandal to blow over. Even though the incident happened more than two years ago, he says that he is still reluctant to step into a casino and claims that his poker career is virtually finished. Add to this the fact that UltimateBet terminated his contract and he was left with his personal project named PokerRoad, which isn’t profitable enough to cover all his expenses.

The impact was not limited to his poker career and Joe Sebok testified that the string of events following the spreading of the compromising pictures affected his life as a whole. While he’s yet to recover and regain the lost confidence required to compete at poker tables, he is also scarred by the extortion case. The sentencing of the perpetrators was all over the news for a while, with the Daily Mail publishing an insightful article at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2313337/Tyler-Schrier-Keith-James-Hudson-sentenced-email-hacking-Joe-Sebok-sextortion-plot.html.

The wrongdoers were facing up to seven years in prison but by pleading guilty for extortion they were sentenced to 3 1/2 years, respectively two years. Ryder Finney is waiting for a sentence after pleading guilty himself, but given the fact that his accomplices received half the maximum sentence, he will probably be serving only one year in jail.