Many a pro player has made the trek to Las Vegas for the 44th annual WSOP this summer in search of cashing in on huge prize pools, but Loni Harwood is enjoying this summer perhaps more than any other.
The 23-year-old captured her first WSOP gold bracelet in Event #60, a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em that attracted 2,541 players. Harwood defeated Yongshuo Zheng in heads-up competition to earn a payday of $609,017. That set the record for the biggest single score by a female player in the history of the WSOP in Las Vegas.
Harwood had been knocking on the door of achieving her first gold bracelet, landing 6th in Event #31 for $39,803 and took down 4th place at the end of June in Event #53, earning $210,456. All told, she has cashed six times this summer for a total of $874,698, barreling her way to eighth place on the all-time female winning money list at the WSOP.
Harwood’s largest score prior to this summer was a $30,994 payday in February of 2012 when she bested the field in a $345 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tourney on the WSOP circuit in Florida, according to the Hendon Mob database. She followed that victory with two more first place victories in the Sunshine State in March and April of the same year.
The success that Harwood has achieved in the last 18 months or so following her graduation from college has made her the brightest up and coming poker star of the female persuasion in the poker world today.