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Gowen was introduced to poker by her boyfriend’s father, and started playing while living in Dallas, driving to Shreveport, Louisiana, on the weekends. She earned national recognition when she followed up her Top 10 finish at the World Poker Tour (WPT) Costa Rica Classic with a win at the WPT Ladies’ Night event in 2003, then the highest rated WPT show ever broadcast.
She has served as a guest commentator for the Ultimate Poker Challenge, The Gaming Club World Poker Championship and the 888.com Women’s Poker UK Open. She is a regular columnist for All In magazine. She frequently hosts tournaments and charity events and is now a partner in a poker school. She appeared on the NBC television program Poker After Dark, winning first place (and $120,000) during “Ladies Week” (Week 10) and again during Week 17. She is one of only two players, the other being Johnny Chan, to win three Poker After Dark titles.
Gowen was formerly a member of “Team Full Tilt” at Full Tilt Poker, an online poker site based in Aruba that is estimated to be worth $4 billion. In November 2008 she filed suit in Nevada court against Tiltware LLC, the software company associated with Full Tilt, asserting breach of contract among other things. She seeks damages of $40 million.
As of 2008, her total live tournament winnings exceed $1,500,000.