The much anticipated encore presentation of “Ladies Night,” which is the first-ever intermittent series of high-stakes cash games exclusively for women, has just wrapped up another big day of filming, with plenty of action and excitement. The game is expected to be shown this fall on the hit television show,Poker Night in America, which appears weekly on Monday nights on the CBS Sports Network.
The Sugar House Casino in Philadelphia hosted “Ladies Night 2,” held inside the packed poker room on Sunday, April 26th. Nine women, plus one male trespasser played in the unusual No-Limit Hold’em game, with $25-50 blinds. Buy ins ranged from $5,000 up to $20,000.
Samantha Abernathy came out as the biggest winner of the day, by far. She crushed the game, winning in excess of three times her original buy in.
The starting lineup included — Samantha Abernathy, Natasha Barbour, Jessica Dawley (888poker pro), Cate Hall, Karina Jett, Jamie Kerstetter, Nancy Levin, Christina Lindley, Beth Shak, and Jennifer Shahade.
Prior to the poker game, chess grandmaster and former U.S. Ladies Champion Jennifer Shahade from Philadelphia put on an awesome display of blatant superiority, destroying a pathetic lineup of male chess opponents — including Todd Anderson, Chris Hanson, Mark Hoke, and Nolan Dalla. Dalla, in particular, was humiliated by Shahade, lasting just nine moves before being quickly checkmated.
Shahade faced a much tougher crowd in the poker game, and was the only player to bust out at one point, getting her aces cracked on a memorable hand when Abernathy, who became everyone’s nemesis, turned a set of nines. However Shahade, the longtime chess prodigy accustomed to mental challenges, rebought and made a nice comeback during the remainder of the night.
Phil Hellmuth, the 13-time World Series of Poker gold bracelet winner and 1989 world champion was the trespasser, and was the only male player to sit in the game, so far. He sat at the table for nearly an hour, dropping an estimated $3,500 to the ladies before finally racking up what was left of his chips and looking for a softer game.
Ladies Night also included one player chosen from the “Casting Call” process. Nancy Levin, a local Philadelphia poker player was selected and sat in the game for several hours. She applied to be on the show and was picked from among several other interesting players who wanted to play. Poker Night in America continues to give opportunities to new players, whenever possible, to play on television against well-known pros.
This was the second installment of “Ladies Night” on Poker Night in America. The first session took place last December at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino, in Hollywood, FL. As expected, seats were hard to come by in the game. When announced initially, interest was so strong that all seats filled up instantly. This is a strong indication that there’s plenty of talented women ready to sit down and play high-stakes poker, if given the opportunity.
Indeed, Sugar House was the perfect host casino for “Ladies Night 2.” The casino, located just north of the Ben Franklin Bridge near downtown Philadelphia, is about to undergo a major expansion and is headed by general manager Wendy Hamilton, who knows a thing or two about high-stakes negotiation. Rosemarie Cook is the Vice President of Gaming. Raye Ramsey, the Poker Room Manager, is also female.