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There was a thrilling conclusion to the PokerStars x Poker Power Women’s Bootcamp Showdown at European Poker Tour (EPT) Cyprus with British player Louise Ulrick emerging victorious, winning a full package to EPT Prague this December.

The 55-year-old former maths teacher, turned licensee consultant, had never played a hand of poker until a few months ago but came out on top defeating American Katie Hopkins heads-up.

“I can’t believe it,” Ulrick told the PokerStars Blog after her victory. “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.

PokerStars x Poker Power Women’s Bootcamp Showdown Results

  1. Louise Ulrick – Former maths teacher
  2. Katie Hopkins – Associate General Counsel at Nasdaq, focusing on securities law
  3. Laura Lebailly – French student studying Luxury Marketing
  4. Sabrina Chevannes – Women’s international chess master who runs a London-based creative agency
  5. Katerena Nowosad – Accountant for a financial services company
  6. Drea Renee – TV reporter and massage therapist
  7. Yvonne Mai – Actress
  8. Jenny Larson – Charity Associate Executive Director
  9. Patrice Gordon – Leadership Development consultant specialising in reverse mentoring
  10. Ines Lafosse – Photographer, content creator and hotelier

Ulrick was one of 40 women who took part in an eight-week female-only poker bootcamp hosted by PokerStars and Poker Power, which saw women from around the world – who had no previous poker experience – learn and hone their skills.

“Anybody who is thinking about learning poker, it is such a good game to play,” continued Ulrick. “You can learn so much about yourself. There are online resources that are great to have a go at. And have a go!”

Following the intense programme which included weekly practice games and mentoring from PokerStars Team Pro Jen Shahade, the 40 recruits battled it out in Home Games Tournaments with ten awarded the chance to travel to EPT Cyprus to compete in the Ultimate Showdown.

Rebecca McAdam Willetts, Director of Partnerships, PR and Consumer Engagement said, “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. 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. 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.”

Erin Lydon, President of Poker Power said, “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.”

Research conducted by PokerStars earlier this year, revealed that 55 per cent of women did not feel poker was inclusive to them, despite almost half (42 per cent) of women who play believing it helped improve their focus, concentration and decision-making ability.

In response, PokerStars teamed up with Poker Power to launch their second female-focused bootcamp to help women build their confidence and skills in poker, as well as provide a safe space for them to learn and play. Each recruit was taught game-play skills over eight weeks, that can translate to real world success including negotiation, strategic decision-making, and capital allocation.

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