5 Reasons to Keep Ladies-Only Poker Tournaments
For years, ladies events have served as a launching pad for many beginner female players and the training ground for budding professionals.
Below are five reasons why ladies events should remain part of live tournament poker.
1. Women's Events are More Social
Poker is supposed to be a social game but this has been lost on the modern generation of internet wizards used to playing 20 tables at a time, with no chat, while listening to their iPods.
If you look at many live Texas Hold'em games beyond your daily tournaments, you will find many tables with very little chatter or maybe just a couple of people conversing. One reason why outgoing players get so much attention on TV is because it breaks up the monotony of the average poker tournament.
However, if you look at the average women's event, you will notice something completely different. Many of these tables are filled with women chatting it up about everything from poker to their kids and why their husband annoys them with that noise he makes while chewing.
Some women's events are more of a party atmosphere than they are a poker tournament. Some female players admit they only play ladies events because of this atmosphere.
It's fun and that's the way poker should be.
2. Competition is Softer
The average women's tournament is softer than your average open-field poker tournament. One of the main reasons behind this is the sheer number of beginner players that frequent these events.
A solid percentage of these events feature women playing their first live tournament and, in some cases, it's the first time they've played poker. This naturally makes the fields softer.
Barbara Enright once shared that one reason she plays women's tournaments is that it gives her the chance to work on her game and "play like a man." By this, she meant she could try bullying techniques in the game that might intimidate female players but not her male counterparts.
Amateur and some pro female players appreciate the chance to play in events with higher expected value. This gives them a better chance to grow their bankrolls and improve their game.
3. Some Men Are Unpleasant
Despite the claim by Ho that women would come out to play even if the field were open, the reality is that some women are more likely to venture out if there are Ladies events.
The first and most obvious reason is that they don't have to put up with some of the negative atttitudes exhibited by a lot of male poker players.
There are still many men that have negative feelings towards women in the game. They may not be as vocal as in the past, but their actions still speak volumes.
For some women practicing avoidance is just easier than putting up with chauvinistic men or male bullies at the casino. They also don't have to put up with being hit on by male players during events.
4. It's Understood You Might Not Now How to Play
The social atmosphere of most Ladies events allows some to get by their apprehension of playing in the casino. As mentioned earlier, some of these women are playing poker in a live casino for the first time.
In most Ladies events, it is understood that some players will not know when the action is to them or how to perform a proper checking or betting motion.
Ladies events serve as partial training tools for newer players and the more experienced ladies in the field not only understand this concept, but they welcome it.
5. They Help Build Future Female Champions
Almost every female with a major live poker resume in the modern era has been the beneficiary of Ladies events at some time in their career.
These events serve as training grounds for many women and some go on to become champions in the game.
Kathy Liebert has over $6 million in live earnings and has been a proponent of Ladies events. She has numerous deep runs and even cashed in the "Ladies Stud Event" at the 1998 World Series of Poker.
Vanessa Rousso started in Ladies events, finishing 45th in the women's event at the 2005 WSOP. She has since gone on to win over $3.5 million in live tournaments.
The most dominant female tournament player in history has a solid track record in Ladies events. In 2007, Vanessa Selbst made the final table of the Ladies World Championship at the World Series of Poker and finished eighth.
The following year she finished runner-up in the Ladies Championship at the WPT Championship in Las Vegas. Since then Selbst has won three WSOP bracelets and over $10.6 million.
Even Maria Ho has cashed twice in the Ladies Event at the World Series of Poker. She has went on to win over $1.6 million in live events.
While maybe not the most prestigious events among professional players, Ladies events serve as a training ground for developing female players and as a launching pad for others. There's no doubt they should remain a part of live tournament poker.