Saturday, August 14, 2010


Throughout this two-week look at Western historical figures, women have not been represented at all. Hopefully this can be rectified with more representation once I get back to Toobworld Central. After all, we still will be running the feature throughout the rest of August. (If I find enough pictures!)

But in the meantime, we have this one opportunity, so we're going to go all out with the pictures.....

"Poker Alice"

Elizabeth Taylor

From The Legends Of America site:
Alice Ivers Tubbs; aka: Poker Alice (1851-1930) – Perhaps the best known female poker player in the Old West, Alice Ivers actually hailed from England. Born on February 17, 1851 in Devonshire, she was the daughter of a conservative schoolmaster who moved the family to the United States when she was still a small girl. First settling in Virginia, Alice attended an elite boarding school for young women until the family moved again in her teenage years, to the silver rush in Leadville, Colorado.

While there, Alice met a mining engineer by the name of Frank Duffield and the two married when she was twenty. Gambling was a way of life in the many mining camps of the Old West and when Frank, an enthusiastic player, visited the many gambling halls in Leadville, young Alice went along with him rather than stay home alone. At first, the pretty young girl stood quietly behind her husband, simply watching the play. However, a quick study, it wasn’t long before she was sitting in on the games, quickly demonstrating proficiency for poker and faro.
Though she preferred the game of poker, she also learned to deal and play Faro, and was soon in high demand, both as a player and a dealer. At this time, Alice was a petite 5’4” beauty, with blue eyes and lush brown hair. A "lady” in a gambling hall that wasn’t of the "soiled dove” variety was rare in the Old West, and bedecked in the latest fashions, she was a sight for the sore eyes of many a miner.

Traveling from one mining camp to another, the talented young beauty (by this time a widow) soon acquired the nickname "Poker Alice."

At the age of 79 she underwent a gall bladder operation in Rapid City, but died of complications on February 27, 1930. She was buried at St. Aloysius Cemetery in Sturgis, South Dakota.

In her later years, Alice claimed to have won more than $250,000 at the gaming tables and never once cheated. In fact, one of her favorite sayings was: "Praise the Lord and place your bets. I'll take your money with no regrets."
The life of Poker Alice was heavily fictionalized (and her appearance highly idealized) in that TV movie, but then whose isn't? In fact, her last name in the movie was "Moffit" and the Toobworld Central splainin for that is that she must have had yet another husband we never learned about.


A big hand for the little lady!

(This was Inner Toob post #5300)

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