What happens when fifteen men play at the ladies’ event at the World Series of Poker 2011?

Legally speaking, the organizers couldn’t prevent the men from playing. However, strictly speaking, many women US poker players believe that the men should not have been permitted to play and even go so far as to claim that it was a crazy and thoughtless thing to indulge in such an act.

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The inevitable question here is, what are these men trying to prove? As it is, poker tournaments are very male centric and there are hardly any female players. The WSOP events have a 20:1 male female ratio. The ladies’ event at the World Series of Poker, was strictly dedicated to women to celebrate womanhood and mother’s day in particular, which was very organized, with mothers and groups of girlfriends having a blast. Many players are of the opinion that fifteen men gate crashing is not justifiable under any condition, and may have brought down the integrity of the entire event.

Some players believe that no matter what the intention of the 15 men may have been, whether it was vindictive or just a funny prank, the act was intrusive on many levels. It is the one occasion where women were actually coming together and enjoying a rare opportunity of playing a poker tournament and having a few men hinder the occasion because they lost their prop bets with their friends is definitely an issue which has to be condemned severely.

A similar incident happened last year when an old lady had won $1000 in the tournament and it was probably the happiest day of her life and just when she thought she could look forward to the day of victory, her aces where cracked by a man in a dress. She clinched with disgrace and embarrassment as she realized what had happened. This is not an act of bravery from the men’s end but something which may end up being construed as an act of disrespect.

There are plenty of reasons as to why many women do not take to poker – just like how bingo is not considered to be a man’s game. The reasons may be cultural, sociological or even historical. Gambling as such was a very patriarchal leisure activity in the olden days. As with the other realms of entertainment, there is a gender disparity in games too and poker is definitely one of them. We’ve always had predispositions on what men are good at and what women can do best and sadly they have been rubbed off on something as free spirited as poker.

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