Men in Women's only poker event at IP (1 of 5).

So recently two GCPers Monkey and Kai Landry and two other male players (who backed out on the day of) were going to play in the ladies Texas Hold'em poker event at IP World Series of Poker Circuit Satellite. They struck up a deal before hand with the tournament director and thought of a way to play and to make a charitable contribution at the same time. All their winnings would go to breast cancer research and they agreed to dress as women. All parties thought that it would be a fun, memorable and essentially altruistic endeavor.

As the story goes, Monkey and Kai showed up just after the start of things in the first or second level and they were barred from playing because at the Tournament Director’s discretion registration had closed before late registration was overall. Considering the TD had never used that discretion in any other event in the IPs poker tournament history in the past five years something was rotten in Steinmart. Several women that arrived after them were also kept out of the tournament (collateral damage). After some debate the registration was reopened and the two men, or on that day two UGLY women, were allowed to play… only for several women to speak up against their inclusion. As a result, Monkey and Kai did not play.

Based on everything I’ve read about male players trying to play in women’s events, which is legal, even without the sexuality disguises, women aren’t happy about it. Shaun Deeb, in drag, was vilified for it recently, just as other players have been in the past including a guy I think in Atlantic City who won the tournament he played in. So when I heard of this plan I thought things could blow up.

Industry insiders tell you the point of the women’s only event is to grow the game. Yes, men are excluded, but we should be understanding of that exclusion because the women’s game, so the rationale goes, is less threatening to other women. Ladies who normally wouldn’t play in the intimidating male dominated fields might play in the female friendly poker tournaments. And from there make the next step to the bigger multi-sex tournaments or to the poker room. Call it a gateway tournament. So men profit by it as well.

On the face of that, I would find that offensive if I were a woman. Really? Big bad men playing scare away all the women so you need a tournament without the men until they get comfortable. This is poker we are talking about right? Not bench pressing carborateurs? If we accept that on face value, men who want to grow the game should let these soft festivals of amateur hour continue unabated.

Is there some truth to that, afterall don’t the ladies only tournaments get far bigger turnouts by the ladies than a standard event? Course, that is skewed by the fact, the better female players realize those fields are by and large softer and might even plan their tournament budgets/schedules around those tournaments (I know I would).

There is also the social aspect which draws the ladies to that event time and time again, so it makes it better attended. And from a competitive side, Annie Duke excluded, I think most women would like the title Woman’s champion, I know I would if I were a woman. Though if you are Annie Duke you can just call yourself world’s greatest woman player even if you skip the women’s event. Though I can think of a lot of arguments that suggest or illustrate the stated “purpose” of those tournaments is unfulfilled.

To be continued... this is a rather lengthy post I'm breaking up into five parts.


Popular posts from this blog

Million Dollar Heater, CryptoCurrency, Weight Loss Bets

Bullet Points and a Crazy Hand. What would you do?

Discovery Channel Poker Pilot in New Orleans