In the mid 1980’s, women were considered no factor in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event, and other than the famous rounder and professional gambler Thomas “Amarillo Slim” Preston, poker players rarely made headlines in the mainstream press. That all changed when Wendeen Eolis became the first woman to cash at poker’s “Big Dance.”
In the 1986 WSOP Main Event, Eolis battled some of the best players in the world, including Amarillo Slim, in a field of 141 runners. She was on her way to a 25th-place finish for a $10,000, return on her buy-in, and permanent bragging rights as the first woman in history to cash in the WSOP Main Event.
Eolis attributes her 1986 WSOP performance to a year of poker tutoring from one of the best, a “relatively” conservative game plan, and cooperative cards. She told PokerNews, “Even today, women can win more by bluffing less than men.”