A 55-year-old former math teacher from the United Kingdom will play in the European Poker Tour Prague’s Main Event thanks to PokerStars and the women empowering organization Poker Power.
Louise Ulrick is the winner of the PokerStars x Poker Power Women’s Bootcamp Showdown that concluded at EPT Cyprus. She defeated nine other women who rose to the top during an eight-week, women-only poker bootcamp hosted by PokerStars and Poker Power. The program was made for women who were interested in learning the game, but never played poker.
While learning the game from PokerStars Team Pro Jen Shahade, they played small tournaments on PokerStars for a chance to head to EPT Cyprus for a single-table tournament with a package to EPT Prague on the line.
With only 40 women taking party in the bootcamp, odds were pretty good that they would make it to Cyprus to play live for the prize package.
Ulrick, who nows works as a licensee consultant, never played poker until a few months ago.
“I can’t believe it,” Ulrick said, after beating American Katie Hopkins heads-up. “Obviously, winning was the objective of coming, but you never quite think it’s going to happen. I didn’t feel confident when we were practicing live. I felt clumsy with all the cards and the chips and everything, but today came together.”
‘Zero to hero’
Power Poker is one of a handful of organizations that serve to give women their own space to learn the game. Erin Lyndon, the President and co-founder of Power Poker, believes women can empower themselves through the game of poker by using the skills that must be mastered in their professional lives.
PokerStars x Poker Power Women’s Bootcamp Showdown was a global way to bring women to the game, said Lyndon:
“Our innovative bootcamp program with PokerStars provides women with the platform and opportunity to go from zero to hero in an inclusive and supportive environment.
All participants worked diligently during the Bootcamp and we hope that they each take away the strategies and skills developed through playing poker and apply them to their everyday lives.
We are excited to congratulate Louise as the winner of the Showdown and very proud of all women who have taken their seats and begun their poker journey with us. Louise is proof that anyone can devote time, effort and study to this great game and triumph.”
Attracting more women to the game is a goal of PokerStars. This year’s Bootcamp saw a 400% increase in participants, something that Rebecca McAdam Willetts, Director of Partnerships, PR, and Consumer Engagement for the online giant hopes to continue to grow.
“We are thrilled to be celebrating Louise as this year’s Women’s Bootcamp Champion and can’t wait to see how she gets on at EPT Prague,” she said. “It has also been incredibly inspiring and rewarding to watch this group of women, and the community of women in poker around them, supporting each other and shining a light.”
According to PokerStars, market research shows that 55% of women do not feel poker is inclusive to them, despite 42% of women who play believing it helped improve their focus, concentration, and decision-making abilities.
“The response from women around the world to this year’s bootcamp has been wonderful, with the number of participants increasing by over 400%. This, and the research we conducted earlier in the year, shows how vital it is to continue supporting women and activating our long-term plans to see more women take part, have fun and above all feel safe and comfortable at the poker table.”
That’s one of the reasons PokerStars teamed up with Power Poker for the eight-week bootcamp, where each recruit was taught game-play skills that can translate to real world success including negotiation, strategic decision-making, and capital allocation — not to mention scooping pots and stacking chips.
Ulrick, which heads to EPT Prague in December, is a newly-smitten poker fan.
“Anybody who is thinking about learning poker, it is such a good game to play,” Ulrick said. “You can learn so much about yourself. There are online resources that are great to have a go.”
PokerStars x Poker Power Women’s Bootcamp Showdown Results
- Louise Ulrick – Former math teacher
- Katie Hopkins – Associate General Counsel at Nasdaq, focusing on securities law
- Laura Lebailly – French student studying Luxury Marketing
- Sabrina Chevannes – Women’s international chess master who runs a London-based creative agency
- Katerena Nowosad – Accountant for a financial services company
- Drea Renee – TV reporter and massage therapist
- Yvonne Mai – Actress
- Jenny Larson – Charity Associate Executive Director
- Patrice Gordon – Leadership Development consultant specialising in reverse mentoring
- Ines Lafosse – Photographer, content creator and hotelier
For more information on the PokerStars x Poker Power Women’s Bootcamp Showdown visit the PokerStars Blog.