Lina Niu Outlasts Kerstetter & Liebert to Win WPT Ladies Championship ($105,136)

Lina Niu reigned as the last woman standing on December 18, winning the first-ever WPT Ladies Championship at the Wynn Las Vegas, topping a field of 578 runners.

The newly-minted champion earned a cash prize of $105,136 and a Rockstar cruise room package from Virgin Voyages for her World Poker Tour win.

The WPT Ladies Championship boasted the largest guarantee ever for a Ladies event at $200,000. The $1,100 buy-in tournament nearly tripled the guarantee as it drew 578 entrants, generating a $560,660 prize pool that was paid out to the top 72 finishers.

Canadian entrepreneur Liu said following her triumphant win, “Today’s been a roller coaster for sure. I started off with chip lead, lost a lot early on, and played super tight.”

She added, “I got really lucky in some all-in spots. Just got super lucky on the last hand too.”

Before her win in this event, her live poker earnings were $16,857 according to The Hendon Mob, and she normally plays $2/$5 pot-limit Omaha cash games.

2022 WPT Ladies Championship Final Table Results

Place Player Prize
1 Lina Niu $105,136
2 Olga Iermolcheva $70,008
3 Dusti Smith $51,538
4 Cindy Spier $38,350
5 Kathy Liebert $28,847
6 Jamie Kerstetter $21,934

How the Final Table Played Out

wpt ladies championship

The final table was filmed for television in the Latour Ballroom at the Wynn, featuring marquee poker players Kathy Liebert and Jamie Kerstetter. Ukrainian poker pro Olga Iermolcheva placed second for a $70,008, Dusti Smith placed third for $51,538 and Cindy Spier ended up in fourth for $38,350.

“Thank you to all the women that participated in the Ladies Championship, as well as the other Ladies events during the festival,” said WPT CEO Adam Pliska. “I would like to congratulate Lina on winning the first Ladies Championship in WPT history, adding another bright spot to our 20th anniversary.”

Liebert finished fifth for $28,847, widening her lead as the female with the highest WPT earnings at just over $2 million. Kerstetter took sixth for $21,934, bringing her total live earnings to $786,892, according to The Hendon Mob.

Kathy Liebert
Kathy Liebert

The Women in Poker Hall of Fame ceremony was also in this stacked women’s centric-week at the WPT. Women in Poker Hall of Fame 2022 inductee Angelica Hael, WPT VP of Global Tour Management and huge supporter of WPT women’s initiatives, ran deep into Day 1 before being eliminated late in the session.

Other notable players to cash were Women in Poker Hall of Fame members J.J. Liu (9th place) and Allyn Shulman (65th place), as well as Amanda Botfeld (20th place), Melanie Weisner (28th place), Ebony Kenney (46th place), and La Sengphet (53rd place).

The WPT World Championship Festival also included guest appearances by best-selling author Molly Bloom and a Ladies Meet-Up Game during Day 2 of the Ladies Championship.

See Highlights from the WPT Ladies Meet-Up Game here!

The MUG took place in the Wynn Poker Room and was hosted by Kerstetter, who was joined by players such as Xuan Liu, Veronica Brill, bracelet-winner Katie Kopp, Linda Johnson who announced “shuffle up and deal” for the Ladies Championship Event, Jan Fisher, WPA President Tara Smith, Poker Power President Erin Lydon, amongst many more.

Kerstetter was also playing the Ladies Championship Event at the time, along with other attendees who wanted to show support and have fun while playing other events. The WPT contributed $5,500 in prizes, including WPT Passports which were added to mystery splash pots, gaining four lucky players $1,100 to future WPT events next year.

Lina Niu
Congratulations to Lina Niu!

*Images courtesy of WPT.

Name Surname
Christina Bradfield


Christina is a Las Vegas-based freelance writer who discovered poker at the age of twelve. She’s been a contributor to PokerNews since 2022.

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