It’s official… when the bubble burst in the $50K Players Championship at 10:38pm EST, Melissa Burr cemented herself into her rightful place in history by becoming the first woman to ever make the money in the nine year existence of this WSOP event.
Introduced in 2006, the Poker Players Championship was originally a $50K H.O.R.S.E. and boasted a higher buy-in than any other mixed game event. Like moths to a flame, champion elite level players were drawn to this high-stakes event, and by 2010, it had evolved into what it still is today. The name was changed to accurately represent the players who filled its seats and began highlighting an eight-game mixed rotation of NLHE, PLO, 2–7 Triple Draw Lowball, LHE, O8, Razz, Stud and Stud 8B.
Joining the roster of players who have made it to the money in this event, #teampartypoker representative Melissa Burr has earned herself the right to be referred to as one of the best players in the world. The precedent is set; a woman has cashed in the Players Championship.
Burr has been causing a buzz in the poker industry that has steadily grown louder over the past few weeks, capturing attention by making two final tables early in the series. She finished 8th in the $10,000 Limit Omaha Hi-Low Championship, and immediately followed that up with a 5th place finish in the $1,500 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low, proving herself a force to be reckoned with. Just to drive the point home, #teampartypoker representative @burrrrrberry booked a 9th place finish in the $1,500 Dealer’s Choice Six-Handed just last week. That alone is a huge accomplishment for someone who has only ever cashed in one single event in her four year WSOP career, but this accomplishment is certainly a cherry on top.
I was able to catch up with Melissa via the wonders of technology to get her reaction to this milestone occasion and the ever-humble and eloquent Burr did not disappoint.
Congratulations, Melissa; you just made history. How do you feel?
Oh my gosh! There are no words. This is so surreal, and after making it this deep, I can only think about closing in on the final table.
How do you think being the first woman to cash in the Players Championship will affect the poker industry overall?
I think this will be extremely eye-opening to women, specifically, showing them that there is a world outside of No-Limit, and you can do it. And if there’s any reason that I want to cash this, it’s for that reason alone. There are other games out there and they are fun and they are suited for women and they can be successful playing them. If I can do it, anyone can do it.
Anyone? Are you saying that making it to the money in this event isn’t as challenging as it’s perceived to be?
Well, no. It wasn’t easy. It was a really solid field overall. I had two very tough tables yesterday. It wasn’t a good table draw yesterday at all.
And how will it affect you personally?
It already has. I am truly humbled by this experience. Additionally, I think that the extra attention of being the first will bring more exposure to mixed games and representing partypoker at the same time hopefully will bring some attention to the need for more of these types of games online. The popularity of mixed and limit games is growing and continues to grow exponentially and mixed game players like me can only benefit from more people becoming interested in playing mixed and limit instead of limiting themselves to No-Limit.
As the field size continues to decrease, do you sense that the competition is becoming more stiff?
There are a lot of good players left; a ton of professionals who have more experience than me. They have been in this spot more times than I have.
Without giving away too much intel, what’s your strategic plan to make it to the final table?
The limit games are overtaking the big bet games right now and they’re more important for the purpose of staying in. Let’s leave it at that.
At one point, you found yourself down to 3 big bets. What was it that gave you the power to not just call it a day and punt?
The people who have been supporting me reminded me that I’ve done more with less. And they were right. Do you mind if I take a moment to acknowledge them actually?
Not at all – please do.
First, my boyfriend, Ryan Miller, has been on every rail sweating and rooting for me, but not only that, he’s the person who receives my panic texts – he has the ability to calm me down and will text me how great I’m doing on a regular basis. He only wants the best for me. Jordan Siegel told me the night before this event “Just remember – YOU BELONG HERE”, and encouraged me to play. He continues to support me throughout everything. And my two No-Limit friends Roman and Jesse, who were the primary reasons I played this event… They told me I should play and that they would buy a small piece if it helped. They were the first people to put the idea in my head and it was their confidence in me that spurred me to see if I could actually play it.
There are so many countless people I want to give a shoutout to, but for fear of missing even one of them I’ll stop here. I can say with absolute certainty that every positive word and interaction that has happened on this journey is a large part of my success. Without this group of people supporting me I wouldn’t be half the player I am today. So thank you, each and every one of you.
Wow. What an endorsement. And with that, I’ll let you return to doing what you really came here to do. Again, congratulations on this amazing accomplishment and for allowing all of us at #teampartypoker to be a part of this journey. We’ll talk to you more when you reach the final table.
Let’s do this now! Ok here I go…
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