"I'm deliriously happy," Enright exhulted. "But actually," she added, "when I entered this event, I thought I could win it." Arguably the world's best woman player, Enright made history in 1994 when she became the only two-time Women's World Poker Champion and again last year when she became the first woman to make the final table of the World Series $10,000 buy-in championship competition. She is only the second woman to win an open event in the Horseshoe's annual tournament (Vera Richmond captured the Ace-to-Five Draw title in 1982).
With five in-the-money finishes at the World Series and total earnings of $350,960, Enright has strengthened her No. 1 position on the women's roster of all-time World Series money winners. She has played poker since childhood.
Of special note, Enright's first-place award of $180,000 is the highest payoff to date for a woman at the World Series. Moreover, three of the six finalists in this open event were women another first for the annual poker tournament.
Placing second in the $2,500 buy-in pot-limit Hold'em competition and winning $90,000 was Stan Goldstein, a 33-year-old professional player from Cerritos, California. This is the second in-the-money finish at the World Series for Goldstein, who began his poker-playing career at age 18. Asked how he felt about playing a three-way match against two women at the final table, he said, "I think it's great for poker."
Lucy Rokach, a professional poker player from Stoke-on-Trent, England, won third place and $45,000. This is the highest finish to date at the World Series for a foreign woman. With three times in the money, Rokach now ranks sixth on the women's list of all-time World Series money winners.
The 1996 World Series of Poker continues at the Horseshoe through May 16. The $5,000 buy-in limit Seven Card Stud event begins today at noon, followed by the $2,500 buy-in no-limit Texas Hold'em competition on May 10.
More than 4,000 entrants representing at least 20 countries are expected to participate in this year's World Series, and the total money distributed is anticipated to be in excess of $11 million.