Choking on Estrogen

by , Jun 8, 2008 | 2:58 pm

Today is the start of the Ladies No-Limit Hold’em World championship. Over a thousand women are here at the Rio for a girls’ day out poker tournament. Men are on the rail and out in the hall with baby strollers, and the women are positively giddy. *Sigh*

Let me begin with an example of what just happened as I was writing this post:

A woman from the table in front of the media perch walked right up to the perch and took a chair. She looked at us and said, “My chair is broken, and I need a new one.” Okay. Even though she didn’t ask if she could come up here or use one of our chairs (isn’t this what the floor staff is for?), we watched as she took a chair. She then proceeded to bring her “broken” chair back up here. Aaron said, “If it’s broken, don’t bring it up here!” She said, “Oh, it’s not really broken. It’s just squishy, squishy when I sit on it.”

Part of what I enjoy about poker is the mix of people, and though it remains a male-dominated game, it is open to anyone who wants to play. Events like the ladies-only and seniors-only tournaments are the opposite; they are exclusionary and specially designed to cater to the partipants, especially in the case of the women. This is a $1000 buy-in, whereas all open events have a minimum buy-in of $1500. Men are not allowed to play this event, as evidenced by a gentleman being kicked out for trying to play (trying to get details). And if the prize pool is anything like last year, there might be a spa and makeover treatment awaiting the winner.

Personally, I like the fact that men are more low-maintenance. Ladies events have proven to be love fests – hugs, apologies, chats about the kids, laughs about the husbands. And I don’t like it. It takes away from the hard-core nature of this game that requires thick skin and a poker face. I’m not saying that laughs and light conversation are never welcome at the table, but ladies events take it to an entirely over-the-top level.

Quite possibly, the ladies event has lost some of its zing. The total number of entrants was down from last year, with 1,190 this year as compared to 1,285 in 2007. A secret source also told me that much of the mainstream media did not want to cover this event, despite a few celebrities (Camryn Manheim, Cheryl Hines) joining the Queen of Hearts team to play for charity. It seems that the novelty of women playing poker has worn off, and if they want to seriously compete in this game, they should buy into open events. Period. (Pun intended.)

5 Comments to “Choking on Estrogen”

  1. zach

    It’s the best event to deal, the ladies let the dealer run the game 99% of the time.

  2. DanM

    Jen, do you have numbers? I hear it was smaller than last year.

  3. California Jen

    Please read my last paragraph. I think those non-alphabet characters are numbers. 😉

    95 players less than last year.

  4. tbonezz111

    You see Jen… for Dan to format a conclusion he would have had to understand mathmatics… I think we all know, by his poker game, math to dan ??…… “THIS DOES NOT COMPUTE, THIS DOES NOT COMPUTE”

  5. DanM

    Sorry, I have a short attention span. how can i be responsible if i don’t make it to the important info in the last paragraf?