One of the best Open-Face Chinese Poker players on the planet right now, if not the best, is Jennifer Shahade. Jennifer made an impact in this game many months ago, but she increased her acclaim and her respect when she picked up the High Roller title at the OFC World Championship, along with some other big-name tournaments.

Typically, the fairer sex don’t have the best time of it playing poker. No female has played on a WSOP Main Event final table, for instance, and their male counterparts always outnumber them. However, this has nothing to do with their abilities as players and is purely because there are far fewer women taking up the game of poker than there are men. There are no doubt many reasons behind this, but the main one could be that poker has always been seen as somewhat of a macho game, played by heavy smoking, heavy drinking men in back rooms. That image is disappearing in the modern age though and as it does, we’re seeing more females entering the ranks of the poker professional.

In this article we’ll look at the best female players currently playing poker at the highest level.

Vanessa Selbst

Although it is disputed as to whether she is the best female player or not, you can’t argue with the fact that Vanessa Selbst is one of the most successful. Her live tournament winnings are into 7 digits and her CV includes two World Series of Poker bracelets, two NAPT Main Events and a victory at the Partouche Poker Tour Main Event. Vanessa is also a poker celebrity and can be seen on many television cash games, tournaments and more.

One of her biggest single victories to date came in 2013 when she scooped a prize of close to $1.5 million at a PCA High Roller event. According to the global rankings (who, incidentally, do rate her as the best female player in the world right now) Vanessa is currently ranked as the 8th best poker player overall, a ranking that is well deserved and one that should improve.

Annette Obrestad

The Norwegian poker pro began her poker career playing online games and receiving a lot of recognition for her abilities. She once won an entire tournament without looking at her cards, proving that poker is more about playing the player than it is about playing the cards. Annette became the youngest person to win a WSOP bracelet when she was just 18, and since then she has increased her total online earnings to over $2.5 million. It should also be noted that Annette’s online name is “Annette_15”, on account of the fact that she was only 15 when she started playing.

Jennifer Harman

Perhaps more of a regular feature on the poker circuit several years ago than she is now, Jennifer still makes an occasional appearance. She was one of the first female poker celebrities, having appeared on several televised events. She was also the first female player to win two WSOP bracelets, an achievement she realized back in 2002.

Liv Boeree

Part model, part poker pro, British-born Liv excels in both professions. She’s also incredibly smart, having studied astrophysics at university before deciding that her career lay in poker. The biggest win Liv has had to date came in 2010, when she scooped the San Remo stop of the European Poker tour, collecting a pot of over $1 million. Her total live winnings account to just over $2 million, but she is also prolific online.

Victoria Coren

Another super-intelligent Brit with a passion for poker, Victoria is also a great writer and has written many books and articles on poker. She is one of the most experienced female players in the world, although she tends to be more selective with the number of tournaments she plays these days, having a number of other things on her plate (including hosting a quiz show in the UK). Victoria’s biggest and most memorable win came back in 2006, when she scooped over half a million Sterling in a European Poker Tour event in London.

Xuan Liu

This Chinese poker pro has picked up close to $1.5 million in live earnings, including a 4th place finish at a PCA Main Event, where she earned around $600,000. She’s young and ambitious and as her talents are plain to see, she has a long and no doubt prosperous career ahead of her.

Vanessa Rousso

With over $3.5 million in live tournament cash, Vanessa is a force in the live game, with consistent ITM cashes. She is ranked as one of the best female players in the game and as well as a number of top performances in live events, she has also recorded some big wins online, where she plays under the screen name “Lady Maverick”

Allyn Shulman

Allyn had a very successful career outside of poker before she retired and invested her free time and her wealth into this game. It’s a good thing she did as well, because she has proved to be an impressive force in the game of Texas Hold’em, winning a Senior’s Championship at the WSOP in 2012 that netted her a pot of over $600,000. Since then she has won another big pot and continues to play the game when she can.

Jennifer Tilly

Formerly an actress, with roles in films such as The Bride of Chucky (where she played the eponymous bride) Jennifer Tilly has also picked up some prestige playing the game of poker. Her live tournament winnings fall short of $1 million, but she once scooped a Lady’s Event at the WSOP and as her career obligations lie elsewhere, you can’t blame her for not being a regular feature on the live poker circuit.

In a further effort to become one of the biggest poker sites on the web, as well as the only place currently offering online tournaments and cash games of Open-Face Chinese Poker, TonyBet has just improved its rakeback offer to a huge 25%. This is a massive boost and one that many poker players will definitely take notice of, but just what is rakeback and what does this mean for members of TonyBet?

Well, simply put, rakeback is cash back, earned every time you pay rake. “Rake” is something that the poker room takes, and is how it earns its money. As poker room play involves players playing against other players, the casino doesn’t make money directly, and therefore needs to take a very small cut from all cash pots and from all tournament entries. This is known as “rake”.

Rakeback is the term used to refer to the money that the casino gives you back from your rake. Rakeback is common across all poker sites but you typically won’t find an offer of more than a couple of percent, and many sites, including Pokerstars and Full Tilt, only give you points which can then be exchange for tournament tickets and prizes. 25% rakeback means that for every $10 you pay in tournament fees, or every $1 that you spend in rake during cash games, you will be able to get $2.50 of it back.

There are also extra bonuses added to the TonyBet site that all players can take advantage of. This offers you as much as 1,000 Euros in free cash whenever you deposit and whenever you want to take advantage of it. You can get the bonus, get your free cash, spend it, and then use the same code again to load-up on another bonus. There is no telling how long this bonus will remain on the site though, so it’s best to play through it as quickly as you can so you can get more out of it.

In an effort to help you play through this bonus cash, TonyBet are also launching some extra tournaments throughout the months of July and August. This is known as the OFC Summer Ride Series, and it will begin on the 28th of July, running through to the 30th of July, before beginning again during the same three days in August.

If you want to take advantage of this bonus and do not yet have an account with TonyBet, then simply click the links you can see here on Chinese Poker Real Money, as all of them will qualify you for this reload bonus, as well as their 25% rakeback offer and whatever other welcome bonuses are currently available on the TonyBet website.

We have expressed our adoration of TonyBet many times on this site. In fact, as a site devoted to Open-Face Chinese Poker, TonyBet, which is currently the only place to play this game, has received more attention than any other site, game, app or player. It’s both a choice and a necessity for us, and as avid players, when we recommend this site it is not done blindly. We have played here extensively, we grew as players here and we hope to still be a part of TonyBet when it grows into the site we know it can be.

No site is perfect though, everything has its flaws. With that in mind, just what are the good points and the bad regarding TonyBet?


Unique: We’ve mentioned it before, but it’s worth mentioning again as we can not stress it enough: TonyBet is the only online poker room for Open-Face Chinese Poker. There are apps, but not trustworthy or regulated ones, and as far as an official poker software goes, TonyBet is it.

Speed: The software itself is very smooth and faultless. In fact, many players have expressed their desire to see other poker variants on the TonyBet software, as it runs and looks so much better than many of the online poker rooms out there.

Guaranteed Tournaments: Whilst TonyBet is far from jam-packed with eager players, the big tournaments still attract large numbers. These also have big pots, as TonyBet fill them with cash from their own kitty. These tournaments run every day and there are special ones run on a weekly and monthly basis as well.

Prizes: As well as bundles of cash, mentioned above, TonyBet also offers an abundance of prizes, from tickets to big live tournaments, to luxury goods and more.


Signup: The one thing that frustrates many new players, and something that also annoyed us a little, is the signup process. TonyBet is based in Lithuania, where it is also regulated. The gaming laws are a little different in that country and they are also very strict. To signup to any gambling site you need to prove your identity by way of photocopied (or emailed) photo ID, as well as a copy of a utility bill for proof of address. This is frustrating work, but when you consider the end goal, it is worth it. As TonyBet realize this is the reason many players are turning their backs on the site during signup, they may also do their upmost to change it.

Size: Open-Face Chinese Poker is still growing. This game is in its infancy, having been introduced to the US in 2012, and as far as the online variant goes, it’s barely out of the womb. This, combined with the signup issues mentioned above, means that even during peak hours, there are not huge numbers of players on the TonyBet site. We don’t mind, as the big tournaments still attract decent numbers, but it might cause issues for grinders who want to play from morning to night, as they will struggle to find quick games at all hours.

As things stand, TonyBet is the only place to play Open-Face Chinese Poker for real money. This has more to do with the difficultly of incorporating the game into standard poker software, rather than because it is not popular. Still, this is not a big issue because TonyBet is an exciting poker room with some great games and, as we shall discover in this article, some great promotions as well.

The beauty of TonyBet being the only place to play Open-Face Chinese Poker is that it is going out of its way to attract new players. This is the golden age, a time when you will find more free cash, more GTD Tournaments and more huge bonuses. There are some regular promotions that we have already discussed elsewhere on this site, but as the summer approaches, some new ones have been added.

OFC Poker Summer Ride

This is a new tournament series that has just been launched to celebrate the summer of 2015, and won’t be around for very long. There is a total of 12,000 Euros added to the pots of three tournaments, and these will be played from the 28th of July, through to the 30th of July. If you have some free time, get ready, if not, be prepared to quit your job because this is a series that can’t be missed for Open-Face Chinese Poker fans*.

The tournaments will run on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, as these are (surprisingly) the busiest times on the TonyBet site. You can buy-in for a lump sum or you can earn your ticket by playing satellites and free-rolls.

*The three tournaments will actually be available at the end of every month this summer, so we apologize if you have already quit your job, but you really should read on before you make snap decisions.

Heads-up Challenge

If you fancy your chances in the fastest game of Open-Face Chinese Poker there is, then try some heads-up OFC Poker on TonyBet. This challenge runs throughout the month and there are leaderboards for the best weekly and monthly players running alongside it. If you can win enough games to top these leaderboards, then as well as all the pots and prizes you will have scooped, you will also win the better part of a 1,000 Euro prize pool.

First Deposit Bonus

As well as these two tournaments, and the ones that have always been there and remain there, TonyBet are also offering all new players a lump-sum to get them started. Simply sign-up and make your first deposit and you will be entitled to anywhere up to 500 Euros in free cash. This is a 100% deposit bonus, so you need to deposit 500 to get 500, but even if you just deposit 50, you will still get an extra 50 to play with. What better way to start your online Open-Face Chinese Poker career?

Finding a real money game of Open-Face Chinese Poker is not an easy task. When it comes to other variants, you have an endless choice of online and offline games, and many players like to try out as many of these as possible. When it comes to Open-Face Chinese Poker, however, TonyBet is basically your only option online, and you could count the offline options with the fingers on one hand.

If you want a place to test your Open-Face Chinese Poker skills and to fill in the gaps between the big TonyBet tournaments, then checkout these apps. All of them can be played for free and all are fun-play games, which is to say that there is no real money gambling involved. They are also all available on Android and can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.

Open-Face Chinese Poker by MWS Games

This is my best choice for Android OFC Poker games, as it was the game that allowed me to test my skills for the very first time. I was introduced to the game via a Hold’em pro who also let me join a live game he hosted. When that game was over and I wanted more, this is where I turned. It is where I learned all about Open-Face Chinese Poker and where I became good enough to advance to TonyBet and to become a profitable player.

This app is simple and easy to use. There are no bells and whistles that serve to clutter the page and get in the way, no features that are hard to get used to. Everything is simple and focused on the game of Open-Face Chinese Poker, which is how it should be. If you are new to this game and want an easy way to play some rounds, then checkout MWS Games OFC Poker.

Pineapple Poker by Oye Games

Initially just a variant of Open-Face Chinese Poker, Pineapple Poker is now actually more popular than OFC Poker. This is the game that the pros adore so much, the game that players like Shaun Deeb can’t get enough of. There aren’t many huge differences between Open-Face Chinese Poker and Pineapple Poker, but the latter is quicker and is often seen as a more enticing game for new players.

This is one of the highest rated Open-Face Chinese Poker games on the Google Play Store, and it is also one of the most downloaded ones. There are a lot of cool designs and graphics used in this OFC Poker app, but the actual game interface itself is not too cluttered and is very easy to use.

Chinese Poker by Software KIT

This was actually one of the first Chinese Poker games on the Android operating system. This is not OFC Poker, but as any professional OFC Poker player will tell you, it pays to know the rules of basic Chinese Poker. This is a great app with which to do that, as its simple layout and friendly design is easy to get used to and will have you playing 4-hand games of Chinese Poker in no time.


Even before online poker in the United States was squashed by government regulators a decade ago, online poker players were moving to Asia. In places like Thailand and Cambodia and Vietnam even low-stakes grinders could bank enough profits to feel like a high roller when they could find a strong internet connection. But the advantages of cheap living are often offset by creaky infrastructure, culture shock and inhospitable surroundings.


These days live poker players are spreading out across Asia as well. Let’ s look on some of the top Asian countries for putting down poker stakes…




The former Portuguese colony of Macau, lying a scant 40 miles west of Hong Kong, emerged as a world gambling center shortly after sovereignty was transferred to China in 1999. There are more than three dozen major casinos and some 300 card rooms operating in an area of about 11 square miles.


Like Las Vegas, Macau is powered by gambling; eight in every ten jobs is connected to the casinos. While everything in the front of the house looks like Las Vegas, Macau far outstrips Sin City in the cash room in the back. In flush times, Macau would ring up gaming revenues seven times as high as Las Vegas.


These are not flush times, however. The Republic of China has initiated anti-corruption measures directly at the glitzy gambling dens of Macau. The result is that the high rolling whales for which Macua was known have virtually departed in unison. No big-stakes gambler wants to expose a mega-bankroll to the vagaries of government investigations.


Revenues have been halved from almost $40 billion per year to less than $20 billion. That is still three times more than Las Vegas so poker players will still find plenty of middle class and low end action. Living in Macau or nearby Hong Kong also means being tied into one of the true world cities so there is never a lack of action outside the casinos either.




When Filipinos say gambling is a way of life in the Philippines they can point to sabong, a form of cockfighting that was popular even before the Spanish colonized the region in 1521. Gambling in the country was corralled by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) back in 1976 which brought an end to illegal gambling activities. The first casino, The Manila Bay Casino, opened a year later.


PAGCOR oversees more than forty casinos and many dozens more standalone poker rooms. Even when operated by private interests, these games are under the tight control of the state. PAGCOR rules make card playing in the Philippines uniform across the country. A rake of 10% is standard and while this can seem high, no tipping is allowed at tables so winning poker players should not be too concerned about the rake. There are plenty of popular tournaments for players to dive into and a lucrative poker tournament circuit.


The capital city of Manila is the hub of Philippine gambling, with about half of the country’s casinos. The most spectacular are located on the shores of Manila Bay in a complex known as Entertainment City. Four billion-dollar casinos are planned for the space, two of which have already opened. It is no coincidence that the land for Entertainment City was reclaimed from the bay – this is one of the most densely populated cities on the planet.


Since land is scarce in the 7,107 islands of the Philippines, no foreigner can own any. But poker winnings go a long way in the island nation that boasts one of the lowest costs of living among middle-market countries in southeast Asia. Nineteen languages are commonly spoken among the population of 100 million, but English is one of the national languages.




Singapore is an island city-state at the end of the Malay peninsula that has been a major shipping crossroads since its founding in 1819 by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles. Until recently, when it was passed by Shanghai, the port of Singapore was the largest in the world. More importantly to gamblers is the amount of money flowing across the gambling tables in Singapore.


Legalised gambling was only passed in this nation of five million people in this century and the two casinos in Singapore, Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands, only opened its doors in 2010. Even so, the duo generates enough revenue to challenge Las Vegas as the world’s second biggest generator of gambling money with more than $6 billion annually (both far behind Macau).


While poker players can count on finding a big money game in Singapore they can also count on making it home with the money. Singapore has one of the lowest crime rates in the world and it seems to drop each year. Street crime is a rarity and murders are almost non-existent – usually fewer than 20 per year. Consider that Finland, a similar-sized country known for its relative domestic tranquility still deals with more than 100 murders each year.


Big winners can also expect to live under the radar in Singapore where conspicuous wealth is an everyday part of life. The world’s fourth-largest financial centre mints millionaires at one of the quickest paces in the world. The fast pace of business means almost half of the work force is in Singapore on a temporary basis. The richly multicultural society maintains four official languages – Malay, Mandarin, Tamil and English, with English considered the common tongue. On the downside, poker players had better hope the cards are friendly at Singapore tables. This is the most expensive city in which to live in the world.







A couple of days ago we received big news from TonyBet, who announced that their poker room — which is the only place to play Open-Face Chinese Poker — was now available in Denmark. Obviously, this doesn’t affect a lot of our readers and it might even sound like a pointless venture on their behalf, but gambling is huge across the whole of Scandinavia. Norway, for instance, is in the top ten biggest gambling countries in the world, and because offline gambling is restricted there, the vast majority of that gambling is done through online casinos and poker rooms. Also, the game of Open-Face Chinese Poker was invented not too far away from Denmark, in neighboring Finland, after which it spread and took the rest of the poker world by storm.

Historically, the Danish haven’t had it easy as far as online poker is concerned, but TonyBet is just another in a long line of sites that is now willing to embrace this peaceful, poker-loving nation. Just a couple of months ago, some of the biggest Hold’em poker sites also announced that they would be accepting Danish players, whilst 2015 also seems to be the year of the online casino in Denmark, with many of those becoming available as well.

For many years, there was only one gambling company in Denmark that was allowed official permission. Danske Spil is state-owned and until New Year’s Day in 2012, it remained the only gambling company in Denmark. Steadily, that began to change as Denmark adopted laws that more closely resembled those of its neighbor Finland, instead of its neighbor Norway. Since 2012, Ladbrokes, Bet365 and other big companies have also moved into Denmark and have since increased the competition by a hundred times or more. Imagine being obsessed with gambling in a country where your only choices are for state-owned sites that offer limited markets and poor software. This is exactly what it was like for the Danish, so you can imagine their joy in 2012 when this archaic law was overturned and the country was flooded with opportunity.

TonyBet is one of the most exciting gambling destinations in the world right now, and its movement into the Danish market shows just how promising the gambling industry is becoming in Denmark. Not only does TonyBet offer extensive markets across European sports (as an official sponsor of the Lithuania basketball team, it is the best place to bet on basketball outside of the NBA) but it is the only site currently offering the game of Open-Face Chinese Poker through its poker software. We have suggested many times that this would change and that the bigger poker sites would take note of the popularity of this game and follow suit, but that has yet to happen. That is why TonyBet is one of the fastest growing gambling sites in the world right now.

So, if you’re in Denmark, with its clean streets, stunning architecture and bracing air, and you’re spoilt for choice with the sudden rush of gambling opportunities, you now have one of the best new companies to add to the mix.