Two women were battling for a spot at the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event final table, and while both fell just short (Gaelle Baumann in 10th place and Elisabeth Hille in 11th place) it seems that at least one of the ladies has already cashed-in or her newfound fame; fame that will likely only rise as ESPN starts its WSOP Main Event coverage in the coming weeks. According to a report in WPT Magazine, Elisabeth Hille has signed a long-term deal with Betfair to be the site’s newest sponsored pro.
Hille was sporting a Betfair patch during her WSOP Main Event run, and now it appears that her sponsorship deal is official, and the Norwegian poker player will join the likes of 2008 WSOP Main Event Champion Peter Eastgate, John Tabatabai and Hans Vogl as Betfair poker pros. Along with Hille, Betfair also signed poker pro John Driscoll at the same time, but of course Hille’s signing (fresh off her Main Event run) overshadows the signing of Driscoll.
Hille’s official role with Betfair will be as the site’s poker ambassador for Norway, quite a different job than the full-time waitress position she held going into the 2012 WSOP!
The 2012 WSOP Main Event was Hille’s first live tournament cash according to thehendonmob.com’s database, which likely makes her one of the most inexperienced players ever signed to a major sponsorship deal, but as she showed throughout her Main Event, Elisabeth is a fearless aggressive poker player, and is unlikely to be intimidated in future events.
So how did this waitress end up in the WSOP Main Event? According to WPT Magazine Hille’s entry came from her having a 50% stake in her boyfriend Harald Olsen, who finished 22nd in event #59 for $20,700. The $10,000 Hille pocketed from her percentage was then used for her WSOP Main Event buy-in, which she parlayed into a score of nearly $600k and now a sponsorship deal with Betfair!
The signing of Hille is the latest sponsorship deal offered to a young, female, poker player that many would say is undeserving of such an honor (considering this is her only live tournament cash of her career). But this speaks more to the poker landscape and the incredible shortage of female players in poker that poker sites will sign virtually any attractive female player who gains a little bit of notoriety in the poker world. It’s quite likely that Hille’s counterpart in the 2012 WSOP Main Event, Gaelle Baumann who finished one-spot ahead of Elisabeth, will also land a sponsorship deal in the near future.
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