The Most Famous Woman in the History of Gambling – Poker Alice Story

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( — July 20, 2020) –Although gambling is still considered more of a male domain, there are countless amazing female players today. And there were strong women in the past. Probably the most famous one is a Poker Alice who won a fortune, founded a brothel and shot two men during her life in the wild west.

Alice Ivers Tubss or Poker Alice (1851-1930) is probably the most well-known female gambler in history. Even in these days she would be a famous gambling celebrity. Alice was originally born in England as the daughter of the conservative school principal. After she moved to Virginia, she studied at an elite girls’ boarding school.  As a teenager, she moved with her family again, this time to Colorado.

And it was in Colorado, where she met her future husband, miner and keen gambler Frank Duffield. It was he who first introduced her to poker and faro (a game similar to baccarat).

After several years of marriage, however, Duffield died in a mine explosion, leaving the future poker queen with no income. The mining town did not offer a very attractive job opportunity for a young woman, so young Alice decided to win money in casino. In addition to playing, Alice worked as a dealer, mainly in poker and parish, which were the most popular card games at the time.

She moved from one mining camp to another, earning the nickname “Poker Alice” in the Wild West. Besides her playing skills, Alice was also famous for her love of cigars and carrying of a .38 revolver. There are also many winners on, including new players.

Alice soon left Colorado and went to New Mexico, where she had her first significant gambling success when she won $ 6000 at Gold Dust Gambling House (the real value of this prize with the current dollar is about $ 180,000). 

After a while, Alice returned to Colorado, where she worked briefly as a poker dealer at Bob Ford’s salon. The same Bob Ford who killed the famous Jesse James shortly before.

In 1880, Poker Alice moved to Dakota, where she met her second husband, Warren G. Tubbs, also a frequent casino visitor. Their love story started quite violently when Poker Alice saved Bob by shooting a drunk.

According to Alice, this event was followed by the happiest time of her life, when she, her new husband and seven children together moved to the ranch. However, nothing lasts forever, and Tubbs died of tuberculosis a few years later.

In 1910, she opened a casino by herself – Poker Palace. The business offered a gaming room and also a special lady service, but was closed three years later in 1913 because Alice shot a drunk soldier. She was arrested for this incident, but she claimed self-defence and was acquitted.

Till the end of her life in 1930, Poker Alice was doing nothing but playing poker or leading a brothel, for which she was sentenced several years before her death, but due to her advanced age (75 years), she did not go to prison. Alice eventually dies at the blessed age of 79 during surgery.

According to her, she managed to win more than $ 250,000 in her lifetime (comparable to about $ 6,250,000 to today’s value).