Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Men in Women's only poker event at IP (4 of 5).
Continued from previous posts on men not being allowed to play the women's Texas Hold em poker tournament at the IP...
It’s framed in a way that I look like an ass by turning it down, and some people donate just for that reason. So some might not have spoke up to join the minority of women who did because they didn’t want to look like they wanted to turn down the charity. And had they played and won, in a way they are kind of forcing people to donate to that charity of their choice. Granted you can do with your winnings whatever you want in any poker tournament or Sit'n go, and nobody's complained about Barry Greenstein donating a chunk of his earnings to charity. Still simply playing for charity doesn’t grant you entrée into any event.
There are a variety of reasons that women’s tournaments are good for poker. I have argued they make poker more lucrative for men in the long run, and I think there is some truth to that (even if overstated and really not marketed at all to accomplish that). So even men should have a vested interest in protecting those fields as we should always be trying to expand and grow the game (a goal we sometimes forget when we let short term greed or anger color our emotions—which ironically, I’ll suggest was just the reason they should have played because it was short term greed or anger that were the prevailing reasons they didn't play... that's a mouth full).
The slippery slope which can diminish the efficacy of the cause of bringing women into the game is you let a couple of men in one year and next year you have five and the next year you have ten. Suddenly, it’s not a women’s event. They are already dubious enough in terms of their legal restrictions so it’s in the interest of the women that play to keep them “women’s” events. Again, this makes sense.
So, I think some combination of all those reasons conspired to keep Monkey and Kai out. However, when you get right down to it, it was a harmless, fun-spirited and well intentioned effort. I don’t think those two playing would have hurt the women’s game at all, nor inspired a cavalcade of like minded cross-dressers in the future to show up to every LIPs event and turn it into a charity event.
It was a one off. And should have been embraced, as it was by most women there, as a light-hearted and noble tribute to breast cancer (which mostly affects women). In the grand scheme of things, the sanctity of a woman’s tournament was never endangered by Kai or Monkey, whatever equity the player would have given up by allowing them to compete, was small at best.
They only women that it would have minimally harmed were the female poker players that already love the game, not the ones we are “recruiting.” From a legal perspective, and I think this shows Kai and Monkey’s true intentions, had they wanted or insisted on playing they could have. The fact they didn’t, shows their intentions were as stated.
Why not let those guys look like bozos for a few hours? It’s not like this was the World Series of Poker with a huge “purse” to be won it was a small local ladies event. Poker should be about fun. If you really want to grow the game, let all these novices that are supposedly dipping their toes in the shallow end of the pool by playing in a ladies event, see it as a fun and lively endeavor.
They are far more likely to play more if it’s fun to play. Seeing some rule-bound nits excluding jocularity under whatever thin reason I’ve listed (or missed) is hardly going to inspire neophytes to play again in fact, it might deter them.
---To be wrapped up, next post---
Posted by C.S. at 1:44 PM