There isn’t much that ties the field together of the 2017 Super High Roller Bowl off the felt – they come from different walks of life, arrived at this point in their career uniquely and cross the spectrum of professions. But one player is different from every other player in the field – Lauren Roberts – as she’s the only woman in the field.
“I’m very comfortable [at the table], I’ve spent my career with men and I’ve been in some rough environments like the Chicago Mercantile Exchange – it doesn’t really phase me.
Roberts comes from the high stakes cash games of California and Las Vegas and doesn’t play many tournaments. Her father is a physicist and poker player, which gave her the foundation to purse an MBA from Carnegie Melon earlier in her life.
“Every year it’ been my objective to play more (tournaments) as I love them. I was fortunate that my first real tournament cash came in the Five Diamond,” she said. “My dad called me and told me I was an idiot for playing this and statically I knew I was, but here I am.”
Roberts decided to sell some action to her close friends that play poker. “I never sell action, but I was fortunate and sold some for a good luck stake.”
During the first two levels of the day, she seemed to keep finding herself in hands locked up with David Peters – which almost eliminated her. We asked if the constant action between her and Peters was intentional or if she was getting cards.
“Well, I don’t know – I had ace ten and we got heads up and he held ace three. He turned a three for a full house and I was hoping that wouldn’t portend my tournament life.”
She was nearly out of the event midway through Level 2 in a hand against Christian Christner. Roberts opened from under the gun, David Peters three-bet in the small blind and Christner called from the big. The flop came 9d 5h 4h, action checked to Roberts and she bet 12,000. Peters mucked, Christner raised to 36,000 and Roberts tanked.
She used one of her time extensions, re-raised to 88,000 and Christner moved all in. Roberts called, turned up Ah Ad and saw Christner’s pocket fives. “Oh my god, I knew you had to have a set there,” she said as she pushed her stack forward.
The turn came 7s and the river fell As – shifting the hand back to Roberts. She slumped on the table in relief and apologized for the suckout.
A gigantic thank-you to all my poker friends who took a good-luck stake in me. It’s working!! I’m sure it brought that ace on the river!!
— Lauren Roberts (@PlayPokerLkAMan) May 28, 2017
“I play mostly high stakes cash and I get so much love from other women. I went to Monaco for the One Drop, I didn’t play the tournament but I did play the cash games,” she said. “Guy’s [Laliberte] assistants came up to me and said, ‘We love watching you bully those men around, we wanted to meet the only woman playing here.’”
“It does go to help my ego, but if one girl decides to major in math or if one girl makes the final table of WSOP Main Event – for that reason alone is the reason I’m here,” Roberts said. “I have a passion for the game, I love what I do for living. As more women get better, we’re gonna see one at the final table, but statistically it’s not likely because the game is mostly full of men.”
She closed the interview saying, “There are advantages to being a woman and disadvantages so I think you just have to take what you’re given, leverage it and focus on the positive as opposed to the negative.”