Women and Poker
June 18, 2021
The annual WSOP 1K Ladies event happened and each year I play it with high expectations only to sit with a miserable short stack for hours before busting. The small starting chip stack, extra long bathroom lines and occasional loud shriek of a pot won can be tilting, but overall I understand the importance of this tournament and am happy to play. Some people have expressed dissatisfaction with it, viewing the tournament as demeaning to womens' poker playing abilities. While the existence of a ladies event does recognize that the general field of female poker players isn't as skilled as male players, it isn't an unfair or necessarily bad thing. It says nothing about womens' potential to dominate at the tables. Obviously with enough experience a person of any gender can kick butt. Poker is a difficult game to learn and it takes an extraordinary amount of inspiration, drive and support to become a good player. Men have an advantage in the learning process. It's much easier for them to find inspiration from successful players that they can relate to. It's also easier for them to form a support group of close-knit friends that they can learn with. Your learning curve rises tremendously with friends who you can share strategy and adivice with. From my experience, learning poker as a woman can be an incredibly lonely experience. It's difficult to find females who share the same passion for the game and who can help you burn up the ranks. Poker is so saturated with men that it can be uncomfortable for novice players to enter a tournament where they feel out of their element. This is where ladies events become important. They create an environment that is gentler and more welcoming for those who are not experienced in large live tournaments. They are gateways into the bigger poker world. Novice players who have a good experience in the ladies event are inspired to invest more time into their poker journey. Thus a new crop of players is growing.

Ladies events can help introduce women to others who are like-minded in their interest in the game. Through this they can create connections and form a support group that is so vital to becoming a good player. In general it's hard to find female friends because there are few who play and win consistently. With four years of experience I spent the first three years not having any female poker friends. When I started playing live I started meeting people at the table here and there, but to this day I only need one hand to count the number of female friends I have in the poker world. We are a rare breed, maybe a little crazy for thinking that we can kick it with the boys, maybe a little smart for proving that it really isn't just a boy's game. In time more and more women will come to understand this. In the meantime, if they would like a ladies event to help them transition into the poker world, then why not?

I just realized this pointy hair asian dude I'm playing against is peachykeen from cardrunners

21 hours ago
Cdn-PokerGirlGreat Article! Very well written and you bring up a lot of good points to hopefully make some understand why us women enjoy this tournament! Good Luck Thuy!2
JamesDaBearI wish there were more women who shared Thuy Doan's passion for the game and would recognize the struggle for women to come into the game... and the struggle for those who want to expand the game to find new players and create new interest in the game. Women are probably the biggest untapped potential resource for the game. Everyone who cares about poker growing for everyone... and themselves... should support any and all efforts to introduce poker to women and vice versa. I sympathize and understand if women feel such a tournament demeans them, but I have two points about the tournament which I deem much more important One, nobody is forcing women to play it... certainly not only that. Women who have won this tournament, or at least done well in it, have continued on to greater success in future major open tournaments, including Vanessa Rousso, Jennifer Tilly and 2009 WSOP Ladies Champ Lisa Hamilton. Hamilton needed much encouragement just to enter a tournament with that high of a buy-in, but has had another WSOP cash and a final table appearance in a NAPT high-roller event. Second, it's not an insignificant point that men and women just don't congregate together. Most women wouldn't want to be around an overwhelming majority of men, whether it's at work or socially. Poker really is both. Now add the pressure of playing for high-stakes. Men who enter this tournament simply do not understand this point. They don't get how entering this tournament ruins it on that level. And the detractors of this event won't like the poker landscape after they've alienated the majority of this extremely valuable player pool.0
JamesDaBearwell... that didn't add any of my paragraph returns. lol0
biggpokerfanThuy, I would like to respectfully disagree. I started playing poker in 2004. I was 43. Like many I started watching ESPN's WSOP coverage and started playing online at free poker sites. I fell in love with the game. I sent years playing and trying to improve my game. Much of what I learned about poker was from women. Honestly, poker is one of the activities that women and men can compete at the same high level. Women like Cyndy Violette, Kathy Liebert, Clonie Gowan,Jennifer Harmon,Vanessa Rausso, Anne Duke,Annette Oberstrad, and yourself will strike fear into 90% of the male poker players once you sit down at their table. In fact, I would jump at the chance to sit and talk poker strategy with any of the names above. I would even dress in drag for the chance to sit at a poker table in play with you gals. Trust me, that would not be a pretty sight. I would support a first timers tournament more than a ladies tournament. Everyone is nervous the first time they sit at a real poker table. Even if you have played thousands of hands online, sitting at a table with other players is intimidating. My first live tournament was a $65.00 tournament at the Taj in Atlantic City. I was terrified, I was getting yelled at, I made mistakes, I thought everyone at the table knew I was a rookie. That night I made it to the final 3 tables until I guy went all in and I was in the big blind and I looked down at pocket Aces. I called, he had kings and flopped a king. When they stacked our chips up I had one 500 chip left and was busted the next hand. It was the deepest I have ever went in a tournament, The whole night was such a rush I was hooked on poker for life. I know men can be fat, sweaty, rude, crude and gross. But many of us love the game and want you ladies at the table, not because you are fish, but because you are sharks. The game of poker is a true equalizer. It don't care if you are male or female, tall or short, fat or thin. Poker doesn't even care if you are better than your opponent. If it did there would be no bad beats. So come on ladies, please let us play? 0
poeticacesI think the Ladies Event at the WSOP needs to be changed a bit. Better starting chip stack maybe a rebuy option. Is it true that some man were playing in the Ladies Event if so that's not a surprise it's happened in other tourneys before. In my opinion the structure of The Ladies Event should be changed to encourage more women to compete.0
IFlyLikePaperI like your writing but I don't like the font. Now I will actually read this entry and think if I have something to comment about.0