2024 Ladies Poker Week: LIPS Rolls into the Venetian

Tuesday June 25 saw the Ladies International Poker Series (LIPS) roll into Venetian to stage their $600 Ladies Championship. The event carried both the highest buy-in and guarantee ($50,000) of 2024 Ladies Poker Week thus far ahead of the $1,000 WSOP Ladies Championship bracelet event to be held on Friday June 27.

With action getting underway at 11am, the guarantee was already broken before the first hand even got dealt. By the time registration ended at 5:15pm, this event ended up attracting the largest field thus far of 2024 Ladies Poker Week; 296 entries.

Multiple times today while walking around the Venetian poker room, I noticed floor staff, dealers, and cage personnel all doing their jobs super professionally and with a smile. It’s clear that they’re welcoming and extremely hospitable not only to the lovely ladies playing in today’s event, but to all poker players who come to visit the room.

Ladies Poker Week LIPS Venetian

LIPS Founder Lupe Soto: Very Happy with the Turnout!

With LIPS celebrating its 20th anniversary, I spoke with its founder, Lupe Soto at length. “It’s an opportunity for us to have a benchmark as to where we were versus where we are now, it’s night and day. When I first started there were maybe 2-3 events all year round for women, whereas I think it’s unbelievable that there are over 100 Ladies events on the calendar for 2024! It’s overwhelmingly exciting,” said Soto.

She continued, “This year in particular, Ladies Poker Week features quite a few higher buy-in events and I believe women have come prepared for that, but overall we try to spread events with a variety of different price points so as to attract players at all levels of the game.”

Lupe Soto

Speaking about LIPS’ longtime relationship with the Venetian, Soto expressed that “they’ve been supportive from the get-go, for over 10 years. Starting from back when Kathy Raymond was the Director of Poker here, and now with Tommy Larosa, they’re always so genuinely happy to support what we do with LIPS. They want to make sure we have a premier event every year.”

Soto is bullish on Ladies Events in general at the moment, saying that “when they’re running and hitting their guarantees, that’s a very good metric to look to, as that strongly indicates that women want these events and are prepared to show up for them. We want everyone to succeed, and we want both players and operators to make the events memorable so that they can continue to happen every year.”

Having been actively promoting the advancement of women in poker for 20 years, Soto reflected that “There has never been a time like now, when all of the operators are all-in to make sure they have a ladies program in their room. I’m excited and I think it’s only upward from here. Operators are listening and they can help not only grow the game for women, but also how women are perceived, which is important.”

No Tilt Poker Tables Player of the Day: Jean Anne (Jan) Osta

Our No Tilt Poker Tables Player of the Day is Jan Osta. A 78-year-old poker player from St. Simon’s, Georgia, Osta couldn’t stop smiling when talking about how much she loves poker. That love dates back to when she was a teenager, having learned the game from her parents. “My father would take me to his friend’s house when their home game needed one more player, so that’s how and where I started learning. They played 7 Card Stud. 5 Card Stud, and 5 Card Draw poker.

“I also play duplicate bridge, so I like cards and I like the challenge, and when I win, I like the money.”

Jan Osta

Jan Osta

All those decades of poker experience notwithstanding, Osta gave a surprising answer when I asked what she felt her biggest poker achievement was. “Actually, that happened just a couple days ago, when I finished in 2nd place at the MGM Grand’s Ladies Event for $7,140.”

Osta plays about once every other week, traveling across state lines to Jacksonville, Florida, for her games. Not content with just playing, she revealed that she recently began studying and reading poker books. “The books really help,” she said, “and I figured I’d start studying because especially at my age I just felt this is the time to push.”

Osta also expressed her love for Ladies events “because they’re so friendly. At that MGM Grand event a couple days back, the lady who busted on the bubble got up and wished everyone else good luck. That’s not something you see too often. Even the floorman was surprised that the lady was in such positive spirits despite busting!”

Osta has a dream of being able to make it into the money of the WSOP Ladies event, and intends to work towards that dream when hopping in later this week. We wish her the best of luck!

Notable Names and Faces Fill the Fiery Field

With close to 300 entries, the field was guaranteed to be just about as diverse as you can get. In particular, the final tablists hailed from a whopping seven countries: New Zealand, United States, France, Japan, Canada, Brazil, and the United Kingdom.

A total of 296 entries generated a big prize pool of $149,480, with the winner Natalia Rozova receiving a $30,481 payday. Of that field, 37 players cashed for a minimum of $1,254

LIPS Venetian Final Table

Player Payout
1. Natalia Rozova $30,481
2. Samantha Gonzalez $21,501
3. JoAnn Miner $15,439
4. Sarah Ramirez $11,290
5. Aoi Oyama $8,411
6. Tracy Rouse $6,385
7. Andrea Quadros $4,942
8. Marle Spragg $3,901
9. Lacey Jones $3,141

Natalia Rozova

Ladies Warming Up for the World Series of Poker

Just down the street form the Venetian, at the Horseshoe, 171 ladies took to the felt for a $150 buy-in “warm up” event meant to serve as a “test run” for the upcoming $1,000 WSOP Ladies Championship bracelet event that’s set to begin on Friday June 28. Below is a picture that was sent to us by Maureen Bloechlinger, pictured center along with her fellow final table-mates.

final table 2024 Ladies warm up

We didn’t cover this particular Ladies Event in depth, but got word from WPA President Tara Smith that the final eight players agreed to chop for $1,625 apiece, while Monica Mejia (pictured below) ended up winning the trophy; her first ever. The remaining players who took part in the chop were: Sherry Pluskota, Anne Eastey, Patti Zarosky, Heather Kimel, Maureen Bloechlinger, Sheila Stimson, and Ruth Hall.

Monica Mejia

2024 Ladies Poker Week: Remaining Events

Cardplayer Lifestyle’s exclusive coverage of 2024 Ladies Poker Week continues on Wednesday June 26 with the $400 LIPS National Championship, which begins at 10am tomorrow and carries a $40,000 guarantee.

In case you missed it, be sure to check out our recap and highlights of yesterday’s Ladies doubleheader at Orleans and Resorts World.

On Thursday June 27, we’re expecting another doubleheader, with the $500 Aria Ladies Championship starting at 11am and the Golden Nugget’s $250 Ladies Event set to begin at 1pm in downtown Las Vegas. There’s also a $150 LIPS Mega Satellite taking place at South Point at 6pm.

On Friday June 28, as mentioned, the $1,000 WSOP Ladies Championship — the marquee event of Ladies Poker Week — will begin at noon at the Horseshoe/Paris Las Vegas.

Finally, Saturday June 29 sees a $150 PLON Omaha 8 event run at Westgate, beginning at 2pm.

Our coverage is brought to you courtesy of No Tilt Poker Tables, which produces custom, handcrafted poker tables for families, card rooms, and casinos all over the world.



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Written By.

Robbie Strazynski

Robbie founded in 2009. A veteran member of the poker media corps, in addition to writing and video presenting, Robbie has hosted multiple poker podcasts over the years, including Top Pair, the Red Chip Poker Podcast, The Orbit, and the CardsChat Podcast. In 2019, Robbie translated the autobiography of Poker Hall of Famer Eli […]

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