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David Schoen

Jacquelyn Scott wins WSOP Ladies Championship

29 June 2015

Jacquelyn Scott once sold robots for a living.

Later during the 1990s, Scott had a hand in the development of a prominent medical device that now saves thousands of lives each year. And currently, the 66-year-old is a real estate broker in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Yet, it was an impressive list of poker luminaries that lined up to congratulate Scott after she won the World Series of Poker $1,000 buy-in Ladies No-limit Hold ’em Championship late Sunday at the Rio Convention Center.

Dealers, professional poker players and just about everyone with a connection to the game in south Florida found their way to the corner of the Amazon Room to offer Scott a hug and a handshake.

“I’m not famous until tonight,” Scott said. “But I’m famous in my own mind and with my friends.”

Scott, a well-known recreational tournament player in her home state, defeated Hope Williams of Tempe, Ariz., to walk away with the $153,876 first prize. Despite her reputation in Florida, this is the first time Scott has finished in the money since she debuted at the WSOP in 2009.

The Ladies Championship drew 795 entrants for a prize pool of $715,500.

“It’s just an honor,” Scott said. “I came here to play the Ladies Event having never played a ladies event in my life. I always thought, ‘Well, I always play the bigger tournaments with the guys.’ And I’m so thankful I played this because not only was it a great tournament, it was just a whole different atmosphere and a lot of just wonderful women and really good players. And I’m just honored to come out on top.”

Scott spent several years in the field of medical sales, including one job selling robots, and formerly worked for a company that developed the algorithm for the automated external defibrillator (AED), a portable device used to treat life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia.

“I basically pioneered that technology throughout the state of Florida and other places,” she said. “Now it just does my heart good to see that defibrillators are everywhere, and that was our vision.”

Scott said she has played the Main Event a handful of times and is a regular on the burgeoning tournament poker scene near Miami with almost $55,000 in live earnings since 2010, according to Global Poker Index’s Hendon Mob Poker Database. She rebounded after being one of the short stacks midway through Day 2 and was nearly eliminated during four-handed play at Sunday’s final table.

Scott lost a big pot against Williams and was left with about 6 percent of the chips in play. On the next hand, Scott went all-in for her final 250,000 chips and was fortunate to pair one of her hole cards on the flop to survive.

After the dinner break, Scott eliminated Li Fu in the fourth place and knocked out Las Vegas resident Amanda Sizemore in third to take a 4-to-1 chip advantage into heads-up play. Williams doubled up early on and then was in a dominant position on the final hand holding ace-king against Scott’s king-queen.

But Scott hit a queen on the turn to take the lead, and Williams was unable to improve her hand on the final card. Williams, a graduate student, collected $95,039 for second place.

“What I told myself is, ‘Fight back, fight back, fight back,’ and that’s what I did,” Scott said. “I had to change my game up because they were used to me just being tight and folding. I kept saying, ‘I’m playing like a girl,’ so I decided to change it up because I had a tight image, and so let’s start pushing. They’ll think I have monster hands.”