Beginner’s Luck for Konnikova

The action on the World Series of Poker Circuit continued over the weekend, and there was a surprising winner in one of the events that took place. Maria Konnikova was able to walk away with a nice cash prize, and the author and part-time poker player was playing in her first ever WSOP Circuit event. 

Konnikova is not an unknown on the poker scene as she wrote The Biggest Bluff, but she had failed to have any real success when it came down to final table action. Her win came at the $525 WSOPC Online Main Event, and it will allow her to compete in the WSOP Tournament of Champions later this year. 

It was a great first ever appearance on the WSOP Circuit as Konnikova was able to walk away with more than $57,000. The original prize pool was set at just $200,000 for the main event, but ended up being close to $252,000 after the number of entrants surged. 

Players from Nevada and New Jersey were allowed to participate in the main event, and 504 entries signed up for a chance to take home the large cash prize. 

Not Her Biggest Win

While earning a $57,000 cashout in her first ever WSOPC event is something to be celebrated, it’s actually not the biggest win for Konnikova throughout her career. She is nowhere near the likes of some of the top players when it comes to earnings, but she is starting to climb up the ranks. 

Her first place finish at the PCA National back in January 2018 earned her more than $84,000, and that was a win that really started to jumpstart her poker career. Just two months later, Konnikova picked up a second place finish at the APPT Macau event to bring home $57,519 dollars. 

Both of those paydays came in live events, but she has transitioned her game to online, and this could be the start of a new portion of her career. She is now an ambassador for PokerStars and she will be featured soon in an episode of Poker Night in America.

With the win, Konnikova is now going to have a target on her back in future events, but online poker is still dominated by some huge personalities. 

Plenty of Competition

What makes the win by Konnikova even more impressive is that she was facing some stiff competition, especially at the final table. Desmond Haynes won a pair of WSOP online bracelets in 2022, and he ended up in third place at this main event. 

The WPT Prime Champion was also playing at the final table as Calvin Anderson was also looking for his first win on the WSOPC. Anderson managed to finish in just fourth place, but he will be a name to watch out for in future events. 

Jason Pew walked away with over $35,000 with a second place finish at this event, but he just wasn’t able to solve Konnikova in heads up play. 



A sports enthusiast, Ryan helps cover sports betting news from around the country, highlighting some of the more interesting events going on in the USA.