Hollywood screenwriter Carol Fuchs became the first woman to win an open event at this year’s World Series of Poker as she took down the $1,500 buy-in Dealer Choice tournament early Sunday at the Rio Convention Center.
Fuchs, who co-wrote the 2007 romantic comedy “No Reservations” starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, outlasted several top professional poker players to earn the $127,735 first prize. She is the 21st woman to win a WSOP bracelet in an open event and the first since Vanessa Selbst managed the feat last year.
“It’s encouraging when someone like me who is an amateur, and a woman, and — let’s just say someone older than 30 — wins something big like this,” Fuchs told WSOP.com. “I respect what the pros do, but for a non-pro to come out here and win is encouraging for all players, and especially for amateurs and women.”
The Dealer’s Choice event features 18 different poker games as players select their preference in rotation.
Fuchs admitted she never played one of the games prior to the start of the tournament but proved especially strong during Omaha Hi-Lo and 2-7 Single Draw rounds.
“Winning a gold bracelet or getting a movie made? I’m not sure which is tougher,” Fuchs joked. “I think they’re both pretty challenging.”
Ilya Krupin from Moscow finished second and collected $78,933. Robert Mizrachi, who won last year’s inaugural Dealer’s Choice event, fell short in his bid to repeat as he was eliminated in third place ($51,236).
The three-day tournament drew 357 entrants for a prize pool of $481,950.