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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Women and Poker

Settle in, this is a long read. You may want to skip if it doesn't interest you, but also note that this is my 3rd blog for today and how the hell did you, my reader, get so damn lucky??!!

As posted on RGP by "Debbie in Ohio":

I have to say I was very disappointed on how the Rio/Harrah's/WSOP people treated the ladies at the 2005 WSOP Ladies Only event.

We had 601 women in our event, and I busted out in the first 20 min when I misread a tell on someone who'd been pushing our table around (She'd been flinging her chips and glaring as if she was bluffing), when she had a better kicker than myself.

However, I stuck around for the whole thing, and watched.

I think if the WSOP people are going to HAVE a Ladies Only event, then they should treat the event equal to all the other events.

It's sad really, that it took a Movie star with a chip lead to get them to even NOTICE us.

Now, how you ask did they disrespect the Ladies and their event?

1) This should of been from the start, a two day event. When asked why it wasn't, several ladies were told, by the staff even from FEMALE staff:

"Well, this is the first time we've done it no limit ... and hey we figured the ladies wouldn't know how to play it as well, so they'd bust out faster than a mixed event"

and also:

"We didn't think we'd get this many women to show up"

Like, gee, didn't they learn their lessons from Tunica and New Orleans, where women showed up in DROVES. In Tunica they had more women in the Ladies event, then the WHOLE turnout for the MAIN event there!

In New Orleans, they would of had TWICE as many as they did (there were 300 women there), had they not played fast and loose with the schedule and changed the event a few months before hand.

In New Orleans, the other events were put up on the stage on the TV tables, where the women were shoved off in a corner ... and we didn't get an announcer either then.

In New Orleans, the table I was at, between when we lost one player and the 3rd player a whole 20 min elapsed, and then when we refused to play more,and ONLY then (and started yelling in unison for the floor), did the tournament directors tear themselves away from WATCHING other satellite tables play to come over and do their jobs and fill the seats.

2) Back to Las Vegas WSOP event ... When they came to get their seat assignments ... they told women registered in the 2005 Ladies WSOP event, THREE, count them, THREE different times that the event would start at.

11:00 am PST, 12 noon PST, and 2pm PST (the correct starting time was at 11:00 am PST)

3) When it got down into the money, and Jennifer Tilley had a MASSIVE chiplead (the women was luckier than snot I have to say. I think she must of had poker genies, one on each of her shoulders, based on the number of times she called with the worst hand, and sucked out the better player on the turn or the river), all of a sudden, the WSOP people and ESPN 'discovered' that there was a Women's WSOP tournament happening, simply because the Movie star was in the chip lead.

It was then and ONLY then, that they (TPTB and ESPN) proposed that play stop, and the women come back again the next day. Problem was, most women had planes to catch the next morning (because they had been told it was ONLY a 1 day event), and in one case that I know of, a single parent had small children and had to get back again because she'd have no child care, and couldn't find someone else to care for them.

Again, all because of piss poor planning on the part of the WSOP people.

4) Finally, the final table. I don't care if the event had NOT been planned to be filmed or not, or if people agree if there should or should NOT be a Ladies ONLY event in the first place. If there is an WSOP event, it should be respected just as much as the other events.

The other events, when they got down to the final table(s), the final 9 if you will, each had their final tables announced. Well, when the Ladies got down to the final table, we had to BEG and CHANT for an announcer. When realized that NO final table would be announced, crowd began: "Respect the women! We want an announcer for the Women" and also simply"Announcer, Announcer!" over and over again.

Well, about this time Phil L. (the Unibomber) showed up (again, as he'd been coming over every now and then to check on Jennifer's progress) and began talking to the women spectators. Several of the ladies started talking to him how totally disrespectful that the women were being treated (BTW ...Phil L. Is a VERY nice young man). He agreed, and then was talked into going to the officials to speak to them, and use his pull with them, about getting an announcer for them.

It's only because of Phil and when the ESPN film crew came over to check on Jennifer's progress again, and began filming, the crowd chanting, then and ONLY then did suddenly an announcer appear. This was AFTER as well, the 9th lady was knocked out, and as such, SHE never got announced AT all!

5) Phil also pointed out to the powers that be, that there was a TV camera final table available, as Phil was convinced by the crowd watching the ladies (which BTW the crowd there watching the Ladies event towards the end.... was 4 times as many as were watching the Omaha Final table that was happening at the same time), to use his pull with the WSOP and the ESPN people, and thus on the next break, the remaining 6 ladies were moved over to a TV table, but NOT the stage where normally final tables were filmed and played at.

6) When after 17 hours of playing (the ladies played from 11am on Sunday until 4am on Monday Morning), they were down to the final 4, then and only then ... when Jennifer had a MONSTER chip lead (she had about 1/2 of the chips when she first sat down at a camera table, which grew to 3/4ths of the chips when she knocked out the 2nd chip leader, by getting lucky on the river and getting her belly buster straight draw filled there), that ESPN rejoiced when the ladies decided to then come back the next day, so they could film the 'final table' on the stage.

This all because Jennifer Tilley the Movie star, and girlfriend of the Unibomber had such a huge chip lead.

There were other things going on as well.They had to institute a penalty rule towards the end, because some of the professional poker player husbands, boyfriends and significant others were going into the playing area ... DURING the event and coaching their wives and so on.

Phil L. was NOT one of them, and had been getting a sandwich for Jennifer and came back into the area to give it to her, almost giving her 15 min inthe penalty box, all because he was NOT aware of the rule when it was announced

Carlos Mortenson and his wife were the WORST offenders.

Mrs. Mortenson was going to Carlos or Carlos to her after EVERY hand she was/had been in at one point, asking his advice or getting coached ... right there ... in the middle ... DURING THE EVENT that is!

It got several of the women and spectators upset, as most of these women didn't have such an advantage (having professional poker players coaching them in the middle of the event). Thus because it was sooo bad and sooo obvious ... TPTB instituted the rule where the spectators had to stay behind the ropes and not give advice to the players during the event.

There is something good though about Jennifer winning ... perhaps it might draw more women into the sport, and make TPTB sit up, take notice, and take women in Poker more seriously. You'd think with the fact that most men who are of age who would go into Poker are pretty much there, that TPTB might realize that their 'growth industry' for Poker, is NOW getting Women into playing. This is where the 'fresh money' is, if TPTB would simply stop and think about it.There is money to be had by getting more women into the sport, and if the TPTB would simply realize this, they just might treat the women with more respect than the disrespect they showed them at the 2005 WSOP Ladies only event.

Lastly, be it where you are one that agrees that Ladies only events should or shouldn't be, I think that everyone should agree that if you HAVE the event, then it should have the SAME respect given to it, that the other events are given.


Oh posted by me in reply:

Was gone for a few days, but have to respond to this thread.

Being a woman who played in the Ladies Event, I do agree with several of Debbie's points. However, here is where I differ: I feel the women (and women's events) bring disrespect onto themselves.

Did you hear the whooping and hollering that went on everytime that there was a bad beat? Did you hear the whooping and hollering that went on once they were in the money? While you may hear this occasionally in a "regular" event, you don't hear it general, as a rule. (Unless it's final table and ESPN is filming it).

I was disgusted by the behaviour of the ladies (as a whole) at this years event and it has caused me to "wake up" and decide to boycott all future ladies events. I will never play one again. In regards to disrespect, the whole poker community (again, generalization) disrespects the Ladies Event. They ROLL their eyes at the ladies who cheer,clap, whoop, and holler everytime they win a hand. They come up to "real" poker players who happen to be women, and ask them "Are you here for the "Big" event?" MEANING the Ladies Event. Even the bracelet is a smaller, "feminine" version ofthe "real" bracelets. The media puts out a list of "The Wives" who are playing the event.

Women's events were started with the sole intention of giving the ladies, the"wives", of the "real" players something to do while their man was playing in a tournament. That day and age has come and gone and Women's Events should no longer exist, IMO.

At this point, it appears that the Ladies events are becoming well attended due to the number of women who are playing poker, by starting online usually, and who....what?....are too afraid or intimated to play against the Big Boys??

I don't know, I know that I played it in order to have one more chance at a WSOP bracelet, which I found out later was different then the "real" bracelets.

I'm rambling, but my point is, Ladies Events are disrespected as a whole why would a poker player, who happens to be a woman, want to play in them? Soft money is the usual answer as to be quite honest, I don't know how proud I would be with the title of "Ladies Event Winner" knowing that I am a "real" poker player and knowing that other "real" poker players disrespect the Ladies Events.

Just my one cent, 1/2 price today.

Next post by G-Man in response to my post:

Are you the same Tanya Peck that wrote a column in a recently launched "WOMENS"
poker magazine? Perhaps you should reconsider your stance on this subject about
boycotting womens events based on this affiliation or maybe WOMENS magazines
shouldn't be avilable either and you can boycott them also.

OTH... if you are not the same person, please accept my apology.

Then on the next post by Pokerhoe:

I happen to know that she is the same Tanya Peck that is a contributing
writer at the afore mentioned magazine. I say good ridence...take a
hike ....ladies poker doesnt need ya! and BYE, BYE!!
(and on an off note, why the HELL would a woman choose the name of PokerHoe as their handle????)

TURNS OUT G-Man and PokerHoe are one in the same person (or a husband/wife team), a woman who used to be a member of Women's Poker Club, then defected over to WPC's rival, Her comments didn't really get me riled up but I did have to respond to both of the posts and here it is:

NO, I AM the same person, and believe me the stances that I have now have seriously affected my decision on whether or not to continue writing for WomenPoker Player magazine. I have had a long conversation with the owner of the magazine, I told her that I would be unable to write for the magazine in the future until a few points were made.

I am NOT against women in poker (duh), I am against segregation of women in poker. I believe that women, if they want to enter the poker field, should be prepared and ready to play with men. Thus, you will never find me writing articles (and you never have) about how "good" Ladies Events are to the world of poker, I have always spoken out loud about my dislike of them, however I still played them....just didn't like them.

Now that I have publicly announced my intention to boycott all Ladies Events, I had a hard time deciding if my continuing of writing articles for WPP and my involvement on a Women's Poker Forum would label me as "hypocritical".

I have come to the conclusion that it won't, as again, I try to write about strategy, hints and tips for newcomers (who just happen to be women) and my next article may not even get published since it will be about the WSOP Ladies Event and live play etiquette. WPP is for women who play poker, not just for women who only play Ladies Events, Annie Duke is on the next cover and we all know SHE doesn't play Ladies Events. Therefore, I feel justified at this time.

Thus producing the next response by WPP:

Woman Poker Player magazine is very pleased to have Tanya's articles and she is more than a welcome contributor. The feedback from our readers on Tanya's contributions are excellent.

Woman Poker Player's mandate is not segregation among players, and we do not promote exclusively women's only tournaments. We also have male writers contributing, and male subscribers as well. It is our mandate to encourage more women to enter the field of poker and we include lifestyle items of interest to women.

Tanya is a great person, and a very good poker player, and as she mentions, Annie Duke, who once played in women's events but does not do so anymore, is on the cover this issue. Annie is a role model for many women in poker.

Thank you Tanya for your contributions, and we look forward to the next issue.


So where does that leave me now? As I tried to explain, I do feel "funny" continuing to write for WPP and continuing to be a member of WPC, as I am afraid of appearing to be a hypocrite. I do NOT like Women's only events, I never have, but now I will no longer be playing in them. So can I still continue writing for a women's poker magazine, and still continue being a member of a women's poker forum? After talking with Maryanne, YES, I can.

Again, I am not against women in poker, I am against segregating them. I think women should be comfortable in poker enough to play against men. I don't think it's right to segregate us into our own little event, as it's been pointed out before, there are no "Men's" events, and to be quite honest, if there were, I would be pissed!!

On WPC, I am regarded as a professional. Many of the members look up to me and come to me for advice. I have been told numerous times, and my husband was told as well, by members how much they respect my play and the advice that I do give, when given. A lot of these women are beginners who really only play online and they have no idea about the real world of poker, outside of their house. My goal and intentions are to make them comfortable enough to leave the confinements of their home and get out there and PLAY! Shit, it took me a year to get up the courage to sit down at a real poker table. I had NO ONE to offer me advice or support as I was the only one I knew who actually played poker, and look at me now!

Felicia Lee HATES women's only events, she finds them absolutely degrading and disgusting. I never agreed with her until after this year's WSOP event. Now, I do find them degrading due to the amount of disrespect that they garner from the other "male" poker players in the poker community, it just took me a while to wake up and see the disrespect that Ladies events get.

I will continue writing for WPP and I will continue being a member of WPC. I will start boycotting women only events and will encourage other women to do the same. I will not play any WPC online events, although to be quite honest, the only events I ever played with WPC were WSOP qualifiers. I never joined in on their weekly scheduled tournaments as I have stated before how much I dislike playing with only women. I have my reasons and since I'm going all into depth here I'll spill them.

This is my opinion only and I'm sorry if you disagree with them or you feel offended by them. I dislike women's only events because it's filled with two different types of women:

1. Gossipy, chit chatting women who can't seem to talk enough about their hair, makeup or husbands.
2. Bitches.

When I play a ladies only event, I will fit into one of these categories myself. I adapt to my table and to my mood for the day and if I'm not in a bad mood then I fit into #1, if I am in a bad mood, then I fit into #2. I find this generalization to be true for the most part and that's just how it is.

Now, I have made a lot of friends on WPC and I would never categorize them into one of those two, as I don't play with them so I don't HAVE to. However, I do believe that they will fit into one or the other. Every lady does that plays in a Ladies Only Event, and that includes moi.

And THAT folks is how I feel about Women and Poker.


Blogger Easycure said...

Great post!

I agree about "Ladies Events". If poker events are open to all, why is there a need to have a women-only event? I think it's an outdated concept to that was created to "level the playing field".

You don't get more "level" than men AND women competing against each other in the same tourney, such as the main event.

7:32 AM  
Blogger ChaseNFold said...

First there's BET ? Then ladies only WSOP Events ? The white male has lost his grip on the planet. Some might say it's about time.

8:35 AM  
Blogger Ignatious said...

wow, excellent post. thanks for taking the time to write that all up.

9:20 AM  
Blogger Felicia :) said...

I'd play, but I doubt they'd let me keep my nuts in order to do so. LOL ;)

Seriously, I'm glad you saw it for what it is, finally. It's always left a taste in my mouth like chewing tinfoil.

11:33 AM  
Blogger Otter Chaos said...

I see no conflict between being active in an organisation (or whatever it is) that promotes the interests of women in poker and speaking out against an event that you consider is detrimental to those interests. Seems pretty consistent to me. (But golly, that was one long post!)

12:25 PM  
Blogger "MissT74" said...

I warned you otter, LOL. Thanks everyone for your comments, it's pretty interesting to see how many comments this post has received already and it's only been up for less then 12 hours.

1:48 PM  
Blogger PokerPlaya said...

I agree. Writing for the magazine and not playing in Womens events are not related, so I hope you will continue writing for the magazine (not that I have ever read it, although I am sure it is good writing, but because I know how much you love to write and talk about poker!).
So T, screw those RGP assholes!

- PokerPlaya

6:45 PM  
Blogger "MissT74" said...

Thanks, I WAS worried about appearing to be a hypocrite, but I don't anymore. And those TWO RGP assholes were actually related and just trying to start shit, and on RGP, that's nothing new. LOL


6:54 PM  
Blogger Green said...

That is messed up, women can play just as good as men. I hope you have a better time next year.

7:43 PM  
Blogger Akbar The Phat said...

he women's event is the weakest and worst played event in the whole set of wsop tournaments. It has no place or reality. It's much more fun to really play among "people", i.e. humans, and not an estrogen or testerone based qualification.

More power to good women players. We need their money!


8:25 PM  
Blogger "MissT74" said...

I think you take the post to the extreme, and as far as you taking my (women's) money:

"Let's play heads up man, 100/200 Limit. Let's go, what, you scared??"

(tongue in cheek, OBVIOUSLY)

8:29 PM  
Blogger Akbar The Phat said...

Let's get it on!

I think I would win. Even if you named the game, I would kindly take your money, chips and heart! :-)

8:34 PM  
Blogger "MissT74" said...

Well, even though I was joking, I would surely hate to take YOUR money as then your ego would be devasted for years to come and I'd be responsible for turning you into a derelict who has lost all meaning and hope in life, and I simply cannot be a party to that.


8:49 PM  
Blogger Akbar The Phat said...


Thanks for the kind thoughts.
I'll be in Southern California next
month for 1 or 2 events at the Legends at the Bike - probably the lowball & the event after - like the 10th - 13th of August. You can come see me at the Ritz Carlton in Pasadena & we can play Chinese Poker - I'm not even that good at that, but will take every centavo you've got to lose!

Or play the lowball on the 11th of Aug. I'm sure I'll beat you. Wanna make a last longer bet, baby?

I guess not; you're really just a wannabe anyway, and I wouldn't wanna hurt you...

8:59 PM  
Blogger "MissT74" said...

I AM just a wannabe, and I admit it, so it's OK. See, I knew you would pick up on the challenge and run with it, when it was just said in jest! I don't challenge anyone to poker, nor do I accept any challenges in poker, unless we happened to both be in the same tournament, then I'll do last longer bets anyday of the week and twice on Sundays. I WILL challenge anyone to a drinking contest though....

GL to you in CA!

9:04 PM  
Blogger Akbar The Phat said...

Baby, following the name of the song,
" You lose again". Check it out, very perfect tune...

9:15 PM  
Blogger PokerPlaya said...

I'll take you up on the drinking contest challenge!

7:18 AM  
Blogger "MissT74" said...

Your ON! When do you leave Vegas???

8:11 AM  
Blogger PokerPlaya said...

I'll be there this weekend, Friday 8th through Monday morning 11th.

10:41 AM  
Blogger "MissT74" said...

The ONE weekend I'm NOT in Vegas.

sigh. Next time??

6:30 PM  
Blogger Debbie in Ohio said...

Please don't take this the wrong way as I'm NOT angry about it ... but Gee, I must be one HELL of writer for my RPG post to keep popping up reposted on the Net, without my permission I might add (if you had asked, I would of said okay go ahead, so no worries there, I guess, but still, it would of been nice to of been asked first).

I guess that is just part of the beast on how the Internet works I suppose. Someone sees something they like, and it gets reposted elsewhere, author's permission or not.

Now to the meat of the subject here. Tanya, I do understand your feelings, and how you were treated was not right when you were knocked out.

However, I will also say (as I did on the thread that someone recently started (also) using my RPG article/post) that this kind of treatment is NOT limited to just women doing it to those they knock out. A lot of the young guns who are MEN act this way as well. I think it (acting in that manor) has more to do with lack of experience in playing poker, than to one's gender more than anything else. Give those women some time, time to be sucked out a few times themselves, and they will most likely change their behaviour and act more properly as well in the future.

Please don't give up on Women's only events, as they DO serve a purpose. For me, I like them because I find them much more challenging events than the mixed events.

Also, I consider myself to be a poker player first and formost, and not just a member pokerchix. However, since you bring up the affliation, I find it quite Interesting that I found just the opposite experience than what you have found for yourself.

I found where many have been banned from the WPC simply because they either posted on PC or attended or even EXPRESSED a desire to attend, not even a PC event, but a LIPSTour event.

I know you write for MaryAnn's magazine, but perhaps it might just be better to address the issues as a poker player, and leave PC and WPC affiliations out of the mix period.

Glad you found my article interesting enough to repost it here.


I hope in the future you will change your mind, and play in Ladies Only events, as they can be quite challanging and rewarding events.

I also continue to hope that if a tournement does indeed HOLD a Ladies Only event, that they treat it with the SAME respect that they do their other events. Otherwise, what's the point of having it in the first place?

BTW ... I think there is a third person you left out at the table. The woman who simply wants to play poker period, and win the event in question. They are there as well, right along with the gossipers and as you call them, the 'b*tches'.

On any one day depending on mood, a woman can be any one of those three, or yes, even all three of those at once.


Debbie in Ohio

9:23 PM  
Blogger PokerPlaya said...

Nice excuse Tanya, I know you're just scared now and backing out of the drinking contest. I am flying all that way to accept the challenge against you and you back out!

Fine, we will delay this event, which I am naming "The World Series of Drinking"

9:32 PM  
Blogger EC said...

How I missed this discussion I will never know!!

Here is my humble opinion. I agree with you on most points. I refuse to play a ladies only tournament because of the disrespect you get and the complete lack of respect you get if you win. I think women tend to play recklessly and crazy when they are playing with each other. Don't get me wrong I know plenty of experienced excellent poker players that are women - but when they get together they do stupid shit like Jennifer Tilly did. She didn't deserve to win as far as I'm concerned ~ she got lucky and that doesn't earn respect. Once or twice you need luck, but not the whole game. I won't play in womens only tournaments because I want to win and earn respect from both sexes and I want to know that I beat the best of the best, not half of the best. I don't agree with the comments made about being 2 kinds of women - I certainly never talk about my hair, and I am definately not a bitch. If other women do that then they shouldn't be at a poker table they should be at a hair salon. Sorry for the long post but this whole discussion made me want to express my feelings, lol. Good luck in whatever you do!

11:55 PM  
Blogger "MissT74" said...

To Debbie in Ohio:

First, according to internet netiquette...anything and everything is up for graps (unless copyrighted) and as long as credit was given. I gave credit to you for what you've written and therefore did not need permission to copy and paste.

I disagree with what you say about the two clubs. They are rivals, one group hates the next. As a member of both groups at one time, I've SEEN it. Just look at how I'm being slandered over there SIMPLY because I am a WPC member. If I was a PC member, I NEVER would have been slandered and cursed at the way I was over there for what I wrote. I would have been disagreed with, sure...but they would not have gone as far as they did because I would have been a fellow PC'r. Due to the fact that I am not a fellow PC' holds barred.

It was brought up that I was pissed and upset because a WOMAN knocked me out, and that I don't get pissed off or upset when a man knocks me out. Oh contrair monfrair. IF a man were to knock me out and act the way that she did, I would be even MORE upset as it would be even ruder since he was a man. I just can't compare because I have NEVER, EVER been treated that way by a man.

The proper, classy, poker person will be cheering as loud as can be on the INSIDE, while tapping the felt and saying "Good Game" on the outside. NOT jumping up, whoopping and hollering, giving high fives to all the players to his/her right.

I do not agree with WOE being more challenging and rewarding. I have never found them "fun" as most ladies who play them do, and therfore I continued to ask myself, WHY am I playing them?? I have always admitted to hating them, but still played them. Now it's just time I put my money where my mouth is and the boycott stands.

I just have no respect for the Ladies Event as a whole at the WSOP due to the way the group acted as a whole. It was disgusting and it was a disgrace, and again, it's frustrating when men look at us and roll their eyes, so why would I (or anyone for that matter) want to be a part of that? I simply don't.

Thanks for your response Debbie.

9:45 AM  
Blogger "MissT74" said...


WSOD is ON tell me when your coming out to Vegas next, as I can usually get away at anytime. However, to be the WSOD, we must get more involved. We'll set up a website for it once we're ready. LOL

9:47 AM  
Blogger NewStudentTwo said...

I just won my way into the ladies event with $5.00 on and I came up against some good players. I've been playing poker since 1989 and I rarely got a chance to play up against a good female player. It's nice to see women finally getting involved, especially younger woman. I know we are all considered equals, but's it's nice to call an event our own and to be able to compete with supposedly the best female players in the world...See ya there:)

8:02 PM  

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