Lara Eisenberg has achieved a lot of impressive things in her life. She holds a world record in skydiving, having taken part in a 400-person formation that came together in the skies over Thailand in 2006. The Radiologist from Silver Springs, MD added to her unique collection of achievements by winning the 2021 World Series of Poker $1,000 buy-in Ladies no-limit hold’em championship on Thursday, earning her first gold bracelet and the top prize of $115,694.
This was the largest tournament score on her resume, surpassing the $28,199 she earned along with her first WSOP Circuit gold ring by taking down a $1,125 buy-in event at the 2019 WSOPC Horseshoe Council Bluffs. The win increased her poker earnings to $255,047.
Eisenberg came into the final day of this event as the short stack, with 24 big blinds to play with when the remaining five players took their seats. Women in Poker Hall of Fame member Joanne ‘JJ’ Liu was the first to fall. She got all-in on the turn with top pair and a queen kicker, only to get called by the same pair and a higher kicker for Debora Brooke. The river changed nothing and Liu was eliminated in fifth place ($26,458).
Eisenberg had already worked her way up the leaderboard a bit in the early going. She shot into the lead during four-handed play, winning a key preflop all-in with A-K holding up against the A-Q of chip leader Mikiyo Aoki. She added to her newfound lead by busting Diana Cooley (4th – $36,269). All of the chips went in on the turn with the board showing A546. Eisenberg revealed 98 for a flush, while Cooley showed QQ to give her outs for a higher flush. The 4 on the river kept Eisenberg ahead to narrow the field to just three contenders.
Aoki had fewer than five big blinds when she got the last of her stack in preflop holding Q8 from the button. Eisenberg called with KQ out of the big blind. Neither player improved and king high was enough to secure the pot and the knockout for Eisenberg. Aoki, who finished second in this same event in 2014, earned $50,525 for her latest deep run.
Eisenberg took 8,300,000 into heads-up play with Debora Brooke, who held 4,600,000 to start. Eisenberg was able to extend her lead to more than a 5:1 chip advantage by the time the final hand of the event was dealt. Eisenberg raised to 250,000 on the button with KQ and Brooke defended her big blind holding K8. The KJ2 flop gave both players top pair. Brooke checked and Eisenberg bet 200,000. Brooke called and the 7 rolled off the deck on the turn. Brooke checked again and Eisenberg bet another 300,000. Brooke called and the river was the 10. Brooke checked for the third time and Eisenberg bet enough to put her all-in. Brooke called with her top pair, only to find that she was outkicked. She earned $71,507 as the runner-up finisher.
Eisenberg’s victory was streamed on PokerGO, the official live broadcast provider for the 2021 WSOP. You can sign up for PokerGO using the code CARDPLAYER to receive $20 off an annual plan.
Here is a look at the payouts awarded at the final table:
Winner photo credit: WSOP/ Hayley Hochstetler.