Poker has always been outspoken when it comes to gender equality in the Poker world. Although over 90% of the players are male, women have been encouraged to take part just as their male counterparts do. In spite of the warm welcome Poker tournaments express to the female public, certain issues are seriously undermined, as suggested by WSOP player Vanessa Selbst.

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One such issue are the restrooms during the playoffs. The Rio Convention Center where the World Series of Poker 2012 has taken off has become a topic of debate. Traditionally the Amazon room, where most of the tournaments happen has two restrooms – one for the men and one for the women. In order to alleviate long lines in front of the men’s room, both the restrooms have now been reserved for men. However, this does not bode well with the women participants who represent about 10 – 20% of the gaming public. Vanessa Selbst, a bracelet winner says she is not happy with the change. This angry cry is not just Vanessa’s, as fellow Poker pro Maria Ho followed league and expressed her dislike on twitter.

Selbst on her break on Tuesday’s $1,500 No-Limit Hold-em told the press that, “I get [the decision] for starting days of huge events, where there is always a huge line out the [men’s] bathroom. But, days like today, when there is never a huge line outside the men’s room, it’s really not that big of a space issue. I just think it sends a really bad message to women. It’s not inviting of women in poker.”

However, Selbst said that this decision would be all right if it was the Pavilion and Brasilia Rooms, where even under these circumstances, the women could find a bathroom nearby. Since players are pressed for time, and cannot leave the premises for a bathroom break, the management’s rule to make both the restrooms for men does seem rude.

WSOP’s Communications Director – Seth Palansky, claimed a meeting is scheduled for Wednesday to discuss the problem faced by the female participants. However, Palansky said that the management’s decision was based on good reason, considering that 97% of the WSOP players are men. However, other issues pointed out by Selbst, meant that the Poker world was biased towards the men. Comments like, ‘Let the best man win’ did not help the resolve either, said Selbst.

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