Rush Rising and Dasultanz, as they are known by their screen names, have claimed the title of 2010 Champions of the U.S. and European Women's Poker League, along with the grand prize of a Ladies Luxury Event package in their choice of two beautiful and historic cities. When we checked in with them recently, they were both weighing their options and trying to make what may well be a tough decision.
Rush Rising, champion of the U.S. league, learned the basics of poker in 2005 when she played in local freerolls with steep structures and low payouts to the top few players. Due to the long drive from her hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska to the nearest casino she began playing online a few years ago when she wanted to play for bigger stakes via multi-table and sit & go tournaments. She has had some success with a few $2K/$1K prizes, but her victory in the PokerStars Women's League has been her biggest win to date.
Rush Rising (who prefers to be known by her screen name) put her discipline and focus to the test by playing in both the US and Euro leagues. "There are just days that I don't feel up to it at all but still have to try my best all the way," she says. She showed more than discipline and focus, she showed skill and determination throughout both leagues, placing second to Dasultanz in the European League for the year.
The last month of the leagues proved the most challenging for Rush Rising. The standings showed her in 4th place and she knew she had to step up to the challenge to beat the current yearly leader, Mahgenta. In the last five games, she made the money in three of them, giving her a total of 578 points for the year to push past Mahgenta, beating her by just four points.
Rush Rising has not decided which Ladies Luxury Event she will be attending this year, but is looking forward to playing in a larger buy-in tournament. "It will be quite an experience," she says. "Not expecting any win--I am just looking forward to see the effects of a larger buy-in on my game and have a great vacation time."
In closing Rush Rising says: "The PS Ladies League is a great way to relearn and practice poker skills online. To the ladies of 2010, you all did great and keep up the good work. And (to the) ladies league of 2011, all the very best as they start their quest for the brand new year."
Claudia 'Dasultanz' Csongei started playing poker about five years ago, and during the last three years has worked on her game on a more serious level, focusing on her overall game and her tilt tendencies. Up until recently she was able to find many opportunities to play live poker, however her recent move from Hungary to Luxembourg gives her a few more opportunities with membership in a Poker Association and occasional live games. But Claudia prefers to play online due to the choice of games and the convenience that online poker presents.
Although Claudia had never played in a league before, she found the PokerStars Women's League appealing because it offered the chance to be competitive in an environment that was conducive to women. "The league sounded appealing to me from the start in every respect and I enjoyed the first few games with the ladies, so I stayed," says Claudia. "There is great camaraderie, others rail you and vice versa."
Dasultanz remained in the top ten throughout the five months of the inaugural European league. She gained a total of 726 point and played 167 games.
Though she missed the chance to go to the WSOP a few years ago, "a break," she says in joking, "that she gave to Jaimie Gold," Claudia plans on putting this new opportunity to good use at the Ladies Luxury Event at the EPT Grand Final later this year.
In closing, Dasultanz gives some final thank-yous and advice. "I would like to thank and congratulate all the women playing in the league this season, it has been great playing with you ladies. Thanks also for all the support and railing and a special thank you to Xyouarehere. I encourage everyone to keep playing or if they have not been part of the league before, to start playing, it's a great experience and of course the prizes are amazing as well."
PokerStars Women would like to thank Rush Rising and Dasultanz and all the women who competed in the inaugural PokerStars Women's League and wish you all the best in your future in poker.