The Ladies International Poker Series returns to Las Vegas on Thursday with the kickoff of the 2021 Nevada State Ladies Poker Championship. The series includes ladies-only and open-to-all tourneys and will be held at Las Vegas’s South Point Casino Poker Room.
The four-day series includes four ladies-only events, four more tournaments that are open to all comers, and a Friday afternoon “Purple Party” hosted by one of the tour’s sponsors, the Women’s Poker Association (WPA).
The centerpiece of the series is the Nevada State Ladies Championship, a two-day event with a $275 buy-in beginning at noon on Saturday. Other ladies-only events include fast-paced “Welcome” and “Bounty” No-Limit Hold’em events on Thursday, and a special “Pajama Jam” NLHE event on Friday evening (run in conjunction with that afternoon’s “Purple Party” meet-and-greet).
The four-day gala will be hosted by Women in Poker Hall of Famers Linda Johnson and Jan Fisher. The complete slate of events is available at the LIPS Tour’s online site.
Series helps reopen Vegas poker tourney scene
The LIPS Tour’s return is another chapter in the reopening of Las Vegas for tournament poker. As with so many other planned events, the 2020 edition of the Nevada State Ladies Poker Championship was canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions. The last time the championship was held, in 2019, Las Vegas’s Tonya Baltazar topped a 164-player field to win $6,601.
The LIPS spring gathering is one of the largest ladies’ poker events outside the WSOP, and for many of the series’ participants, it’s one of the first chances they’ve had to play in a live event in many months. The WPA board director Ruth Hall is just one of many participants planning on a long-needed, extended poker weekend. Hall, who won the NVSLC in 2015, told CardsChat News, “I’m hitting the felt with the Lips Ladies. and I hope to repeat. Seeing all of my Poker Sisters together again will be so much fun!”
LIPS Tour founder and CEO Lupe Soto offered a similar take. “Our 2020 Nevada State championship was scheduled for last March and of course, it was canceled due to Covid. With the increased availability of vaccines, many players who weren’t already playin, are ready once again! LIPS Tour has been creating festivals for women players for 17 years. The NV State Ladies Championship is celebrating its 11th year – again!”
LIPS Tour stop mixes fun, competition, charity
LIPS events are notable for their mix of competitive women’s poker with a fun, party-like atmosphere, plus some needed charity work. This year’s series is no exception. While satellites to the weekend main event run all day on Friday, the rest of the day carries a strong party theme.
Series participants can attend the WPA-hosted “Purple Party” at 4 pm on Friday, to be held nearby the actual playing area. From there, it’s on to that evening’s “Pajama Jam,” a $175-entry where players are encouraged to “Wear your JAMMIES!” And, like all of the series’ ladies-only events, cashing players also earn points toward the WPA’s Player of the Year honors.
The series’ open events are designed to entertain as well. A $175 “Omaholics” Omaha-Eight-or-Better tournament kicks off at noon on Friday, and on Saturday night, opposite the ongoing NVSLC, there’s a tag-team, No-Limit Hold’em charity event benefiting Poker Gives, the charity closely associated with both LIPS and the WPA. Poker Gives was founded by Johnson, Fisher, Lisa Tenner, and the late Mike Sexton in 2010. The charity is run today by Soto and is continuing its stated mission of raising funds for several worthy charities.