The Top Female Poker Players Throughout History
It’s only in recent times that women have been allowed to play gambling games like Poker alongside men. Gambling has been a popular pastime for centuries and although today we are used to seeing women Poker players, back then, a female sitting at the same table as a man in a gambling hall was considered not only socially unacceptable, but an abomination! Women were only allowed to gamble during some festivals such as in ancient Rome when Bona Dea was celebrated. Men however, were allowed to gamble both in their homes and in public whenever they pleased.
Think of gambling greats throughout history and images of John Montague, Michael de Montaigne and Giacomo Casanova spring to mind. Gambling legends are usually always men but there are also some women who made the gambling hall of fame.
In our article, we’ll tell you all about three women that have been remembered throughout history as the best ever Poker players. To play online Poker, Baccarat, Blackjack and other casino card games, have a look through our recommended casinos where you can collect a generous Welcome Bonus when making a real money deposit with a casino payment provider. Have a look at our casino reviews and games guides for more interesting information on top games and interesting online casinos.
Affectionately nicknamed Poker Alice, Alice Huckert was a bootlegger, a professional gambler, and a brothel owner. Born in 1853 in Devonshire, England, Alice was a strong woman that took no nonsense from any man. Poker Alice carried a .38 revolver everywhere she travelled and by standing her ground, Alice became a renown and successful Poker player. At the age of 20, Alice married Frank Duffield, a mining engineer, and as he was a gambling man, Alice would accompany him to all the gambling halls. She watched intently at how the game was played and learned enough to play Poker professionally when her husband passed away.
As you can imagine, the pressure was on for Alice and she took to chain smoking cigars. Poker Alice soon became one of the most famous figures of the American Western frontier and every time she won, she’d be seen enjoying lavish shopping trips to New York. Alice was an astute business woman and with a percentage of her winnings, she’d invest into profitable ventures like illegal alcohol and operating her brothel. Poker Alice is undisputedly the most famous woman gambler and her Poker skills remain the thing of legends. She lived with a cigar in her mouth and her .38 in her holster until February 1930 when she passed away.
Maria Gertrudis Barcelo
Dona Maria Barceló was born in 1852, an era where gambling was very popular, but only amongst men. Commonly known as La Tules, Maria was not only a saloon owner but she mastered Poker at a time when the Territory of New Mexico was at war with the United States. Maria Barcelo capitalized on the flow of American and Mexican traders on the Santa Fe Trail and managed to accumulate a small fortune.
Maria preferred to be called Madame La Tules and as she was known to be a fiercely independent Mexican businesswoman and a successful gambler, people respected her wishes. Madame La Tulles opened a saloon in the centre of Santa Fe which attracted American traders and influential politicians. The venture was successful and Madame La Tules became a very rich woman.
Born Carlotta J. Thompkins in Warsaw, Kentucky in 1844, Lottie was a beautiful southern belle that quickly gained the reputation of being one of the greatest card players in the area. Rumours about Lottie’s past followed her everywhere but she ignored it and went on to become one of the richest gamblers of the time.
During 1865, Lottie arrived in San Antonio where she began working as a house gambler at the University Club. While she was there, she met the man of her dreams, fellow gambler Frank Thurmond. Frank was often accused of being on the wrong side of the law and when he was arrested for murder, they made a run for it. The couple gambled throughout Texas and eventually settled in Fort Griffin, an area known as The Toughest Town in Texas. Fort Griffin was the town where famous gambling legends such as Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Pat Garrett and John Wesley Hardin were often seen frequenting the casinos.
Lottie’s father taught his daughter the art of gambling at a very young age. After he passed away in the Civil war, Lottie began gambling on riverboats along the Mississippi River, but it wasn’t until years later in Texas, that Lottie really became professional. Lottie was known as being an extraordinarily talented gambler and soon earned the title of Poker Queen.