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Leo Margets makes history at the WSOP

21 November 2021

Leo Margets

Leo Margets (photo by WSOP)

Spanish poker professional Leo Margets won her first World Series of Poker bracelet on Sunday, 21 November by taking down Event #83: $1,500 The Closer for a six-figure score worth $376,850. She outlasted a field of 1,903 participants and, in doing so, became the first woman to win a bracelet in an open-entry event at the 2021 World Series.

The tournament generated a total prize pool of $2,540,505 and attracted the likes of Chris Moorman, Michael Wang, Yuval Bronshtein, Mitchell Halverson, Joao Simao and 2013 Main Event champion Ryan Riess, all of whom made deep runs that extended into Day 2.

Margets, a Winamax Team Pro whose poker portfolio includes a 27th place finish in the 2009 Main Event for $352,832 and a second-place finish in Event #73: $1,000 DOUBLE STACK No-Limit Hold'em (30 minute levels) in 2018, secured her first WSOP bracelet by overcoming a dominant chip lead held by heads-up opponent Bosnian grinder Alex Kulev, who earned a payday of $232,920. Margets joins Lara Eisenberg, who won Event #22: Ladies No-Limit Hold'em Championship earlier in the series, as one of two women to earn bracelets so far at this year's WSOP.

"Usually, it's going be harder for a woman to get a bracelet because we are few (in poker)," Margets told PokerNews, adding that she believes her bracelet victory "might motivate women to be interested" in the game.

Margets wasn't the only woman to make a deep Day 2 run in The Closer. Melanie Weisner found a 17th place finish worth $14,740, while Cherish Andrews joined Margets at the final table and finished in sixth place for $74,680.

"I hope there is one day when there isn't such an issue," Margets said about the disproportionate number of women in poker. "It shouldn't be an issue."

Margets added a few words of encouragement for anyone looking to pursue the game: "I you like it, go ahead, even if you're a man, a woman or a monkey!"

It seemed like it would likely be another second-place finish for Margets when she began heads-up play with about seven million chips to the 40 million of Kulev, whose dominant appearance at the final table included a double-knockout of Marc Lange and Arturo Segura in fourth and fifth place, and later the elimination of Stephen Song in third.

"He had a massive chip lead," she recalled. "He actually did all of the hard work."

Margets acknowledged that she made a near-fatal error early in heads-up play when she miscounted her stack and got it in with nine-four against the ace-nine of her opponent. However, she hit a four on the turn to give her the double-up that propelled her to victory.

"Somehow, I made a super huge mistake because I miscalculated my stack," said Margets. "I thought I had 2.5 bigs and I had seven bigs. And that was a huge mistake, but I got lucky."

Margets then mounted a comeback that climaxed in a hand with middle pair and a flush draw against the top pair of Kulev and improved to trips on the turn. The encounter left Kulev short and he was eliminated in the next hand when he got it in with ten-four against the king-jack of Margets, who came back from less than 10 big blinds to take down the tournament.

"What a comeback," she said in reflection.

Final Table Results
1 Leo Margets Spain $376,850
2 Alex Kulev Bosnia $232,920
3 Stephen Song United States $172,855
4 Marc Lange Germany $129,460
5 Arturo Segura United States $97,865
6 Cherish Andrews United States $74,680
7 Aleksandr Shevliakov Russia $57,525
8 Chris Moorman United Kingdom $44,740
9 Benjamin Underwood Canada $35,131

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