Lisa Costello Wins World Poker Tour Ladies Championship for $85,297

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Las Vegas local and retired professional rounder Lisa Costello was the last woman standing in the World Poker Tour’s Ladies Championship that just wrapped up at the Wynn, earning $85,297, the trophy, and the title of “champ.”

Lisa Costello
Lisa Costello is the 2023 WPT Ladies champion. (Image: WPT)

The victory was improbable — but not because Costello’s skill or experience. On the second day of the WPT Ladies Championship, Costello was down to five big blinds. Twenty-four hours later, the chips of all the other 456 players were stacked in front of her.

“I think, honestly, I was just so grateful to actually be here after what happened yesterday,” Costello told the WPT pool reporter. “It’s just incredible that I was even here today. It feels unbelievable. This is such an incredible feeling. And I’ve played with some incredible people. And I just cannot believe that this is happening right now. I’m so happy.”

It’s her largest lifetime cash and her second ladies event title. She won one at the Venetian in 2014, and has a lifetime total of $309,400, according to the Hendon Mob.

Some of those “incredible people” include runner-up Ashey Sleeth, a former CardsChat contributor who won a World Series of Poker Circuit ring in 2019. She also appeared as a guest of the CardsChat podcast. The $57,069 she won for second is her biggest lifetime cash.

While Sleeth makes her bones playing poker, Costello has stepped away from the game after being part of the Las Vegas poker grind for a few years. Here’s what she told the WPT:

“I actually used to play poker for years,” Costello said. “I played full-time for two years, five or six years ago. But in the last few years, I just haven’t played much at all. I haven’t had it in me to grind it out like I used to. But it’s great because now I get to pick and choose all the tournaments that I want to play, just like this one. And it’s a lot of fun.”

The final table of six was live-streamed from Wynn’s Encore Ballroom stage. Besides Costello and Sleeth, Kathy Stahl won $43,686 for third, Chris Read won $34,220 for fourth, Aylar Lie won $26,480 for fifth, and Ada Lang won $20,155 for sixth.

This year’s WPT Ladies Championship saw more than 100 entrants less than last’s year’s inaugural event, which attracted 578 who generated a $560,660 prize pool. The winner, Lina Niu, cashed $105,136.

The WPT Ladies Championship was the headliner of a week-long celebration of women in poker, which included an invitation-only viewing party where all four televised episodes of the 2022 WPT Ladies Championship were shown to select members of Poker League of Nations (PLON), Poker Power, Women’s Poker Association (WPA) and Women in Poker Hall of Fame (WiPHoF).

A Ladies Mimosa Meet-Up Game was also held where seats to the $1,100 WPT Prime event were won in slash pots.

The celebration continues on Thursday, Dec. 14, with an all-female high stakes cash game with blinds of $50-$100 that will be live-streamed through WPT. Jamie Kerstetter, Kitty Kuo, Rhonda DiMartino, Juliet Hegedus, Lily Kiletto, Iris Liu, Xuan Liu, and Kasey Lyn Mills are scheduled to start play at 4:00 p.m. PST.

“The Ladies Championship is a staple of the WPT World Championship festival,” said WPT CEO Adam Pliska. “Thank you to all the women who contributed to the events prowess, and congratulations to Lisa for a spectacular victory.”

The $10,400 WPT World Championship, which has the mind-boggling and record-setting $40 million guaranteed prize pool. begins tomorrow (Dec. 12).

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