So the World Series has a day for the ladies: a 1000 dollar buy-in, ‘women only’ no-limit hold ‘em event. In the past I had mild indifference to this. I sort of felt like it I was a throwback to the 60’s and should be canned, but I didn’t really care either way. However, after the controversy of the last week my thinking on this has turned completely.
In case you hadn’t heard the story, this is what happened - a half-dozen men decided to enter the ladies event this year. Some of them dressed up as women, one used a tampon as a card protector. Pure hilarity. As you may have guessed, these were mainly very young men; Internet kids egged on by other Internet kids.
Their reasoning? Not clear. There was an explanation by one of them (Sean Deeb - a very young online player who wore a dress to the event), who said he did it because he lost a prop bet. Later he belatedly claimed he was fighting for men’s equality. Yeah, right. It was probably just some random youthful stupidity, or the early onset of life-long douchebaggery. No one really knows. The only thing that was clear is that he looked horrible in a dress.
So everyone has been pissed off by these clowns turning up and spoiling the day for many of the players. Indeed, quite a number of professionals have spoken up over the past couple of days in favour of a women-only event, and the main argument they have put forward has been this: the women’s event is good for poker. Over 1000 ladies turned up for this event. That’s right, over a thousand. So if a thousand women are willing to go to a card room to play cards against other women, then good for them. If they feel more comfortable in that format, then why stop them?
Some of the top female pros don’t like to play in it (like Jen Harman) – they only play in the open events, rightly assuming that they are good enough to play against anyone, and gender shouldn’t count. That’s their right too. One doesn’t preclude the other.
For me, if the women want it (and the numbers suggest they do) and it’s good for poker, then why fuck it up with some half-assed protest? But anyway, these arguments are all sort of obvious. The event will keep going and hopefully it will be an avenue for more women to enter the poker mainstream. And I’m all for that.
This leads me to a less obvious, though even more persuasive argument. I’d like to see more women in poker for the following reason: more women in poker means less exposed arsecracks, fewer individuals with dubious personal hygiene, and fewer morons saying “I won’t wash this shirt because it is my lucky shirt and it has been since the 2002 World Series”. That’s right. More women in the game means there will fewer men at my table and therefore a reduced chance I have to play with an obese mouth-breather eating nachos with one hand and scratching his nuts with the other. And then fumbling my chips with those hands.
This has a value that cannot be overstated. I don’t want to throw in gender stereotypes here, but I’ve never played with a woman who stank of spoiled milk and Doritos, farted loudly, and sweated profusely through the front of her shirt. But I have certainly played with men who have done all of these things.
So I’m for a women’s event because it means somewhere down the track, more women will be introduced to the game, which in turn means there will be less male arse-crack at the table.
And I have to finish by saying this - the guys who did play were not protesting against anything and are not doing this because they wanted to make a stand. They did it because they are foolish and thoughtless. If they had a social conscious and were genuinely worked up about issues of rights, then they would play the ‘ante up for Africa’ event – which, among other things, donates money to communities affected by genocide. This is what you call a real issue.
So to all you guys who ‘protested’ by buying into the ladies event? Well morons, your bus is leaving. Go back to your frat club and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
- Tim Napper