In the mid 1980’s, women were considered no factor in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event, and other than the famous rounder and professional gambler Thomas “Amarillo Slim” Preston, poker players rarely made headlines in the mainstream press. That all changed when Wendeen Eolis became the first woman to cash at poker’s “Big Dance.”
In the 1986 WSOP Main Event, Eolis battled some of the best players in the world, including Amarillo Slim, in a field of 141 runners. She was on her way to a 25th-place finish for a $10,000, return on her buy-in, and permanent bragging rights as the first woman in history to cash in the WSOP Main Event.
Eolis attributes her 1986 WSOP performance to a year of poker tutoring from one of the best, a “relatively” conservative game plan, and cooperative cards. She told PokerNews, “Even today, women can win more by bluffing less than men.”
In a limped pot, Renan Bruschi and Phil Hellmuth saw a flop of . Bruschi bet 300,000 and Hellmuth raised to 700,000.
Bruschi called and they both checked down the on the turn. The river came the and Bruschi checked again.
Hellmuth this time put out 1,400,000 as Bruschi went deep into the tank, taking off his sunglasses and talking to Hellmuth in an attempt to extract any information. Hellmuth sat motionless, his hands clasped over his mouth, while he looked straight ahead.
"Okay, show the bluff," Bruschi said after several minutes, sliding his cards back to the dealer. Hellmuth didn't show as he collected the pot.