Victoria Coren Mitchell - Writer, Broadcaster & Poker Player


Pick On Someone Your Own Size

Saturday, 30 June 2012

THIS THREAD IS NOW CLOSED FOR COMMENTS.

VC: I’ve gone through this post and taken out the name of the guy (thanks ASUscott for your comment below). I’ll put another post up in a minute.

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  So I’ve got involved in my second row of the World Series, this time with a man - but let me tell you, he doesn’t have the balls of those hookers in the Rio bar. Unfortunately, he does still have XY chromosomes and some sort of scrotal sack; hence the row.

  I didn’t use to play in women-only poker events, or really approve of them - but I’ve written several times about why I changed my mind, so I won’t go into that again. But the WSOP ladies’ event was always an exception anyway. It’s got a long and sweet history, it’s been running here since before Chris Moneymaker and before the Rio, before the poker revolution and serious women players; it’s still peopled with the mothers and wives and women in novelty poker earrings that used to make up the entire field (back when it used to run on Mothers’ Day, in the days when you’d see 0 women in the other big events, whereas these days you see… ooh, often as many as five) and it’s just… it’s just lovely. There are now 61 events in the World Series of Poker, not counting second-chances and satellites and deep stacks and God knows what else; I love it that this unique, lively, sociable, light-hearted novelty event still survives. It’s one of the few things from the old days that does.

  But if certain people had their way, it wouldn’t survive. I’m talking about the ten or fifteen… shall we call them wankers?... who have considered it clever, in the last two or three years, to insist on playing this tournament despite not being women. Of course men can’t be BANNED from this event, that would be against the law. It can only run as a women-only event by the grace and good manners of men, who choose not to buy in because that would spoil something nice - in just the same way that any of us choose to say thank you to a dealer or a waiter, or choose not to barge past another person to get through a door, which is nothing to do with the law and everything to do with being a kind and pleasant human being.

  Unfortunately, not everybody has grace or good manners. When I first heard, a few years ago, that men had started playing the tournament, I didn’t hugely care. I just thought they were idiots. I didn’t really think it was awful until I heard about an old lady who’d been bought into the tournament as a present by her son, who’d had her aces cracked by a man in drag and (as she walked away from the tournament) wiped away tears - because she felt humiliated and insulted, and because she’d been looking forward to a friendly day of girls’ poker and it hadn’t happened, and the treat had turned into something sour and disappointing. It wasn’t the defeat, it was the deceit of having looked forward to a day out that wasn’t what it promised to be.

  I felt a fraction of what that old lady must have felt, today, when (during level seven of the tournament, after a field of 936 players had been whittled down to 250) a lad moved to our table.

  He was young, sallow and hooded. He was the first person to join our table without smiling or saying hello. The mood changed immediately. It had been so cheery, everyone gossiping and laughing and swapping stories - the one tournament where, even if you get knocked out, the money feels well spent on a fun day. It was relaxed and giggly. At one point, when the air conditioning got even more ridiculously cold than usual, I put a pair of tights on at the table. I can TOTALLY see why women who don’t otherwise play poker, who dislike the aggressive mood or fear the wasted expense, feel safe and welcome and pleased to be in this one. But when this kid sat down, the mood changed. The sorority was broken. The fun stopped. The older ones on the table looked particularly sad. One of them asked whether he’d told his mother he was playing this tournament, and whether she had anything to say about it. He ignored the question.

  It’s not like the women don’t know these guys play the tournament because it’s a soft field - it’s like saying “Hi, I think you’re stupid and I’m going to take advantage of you.” I mean, of COURSE it’s a soft field. That’s the whole point: those women who are unfamiliar with poker, or nervous of it, can fit in here and not feel stupid. If all men decided to ignore the request to let ladies play alone, and they all bought in “because it’s a soft field”, then there’d be thousands of men in the tournament, the shyer ladies would stop playing it, and it would be just another male-dominated $1000-$1500 No Limit Holdem crapshoot like the FIFTEEN others in the schedule. And then it would be axed because they don’t need sixteen. Well done everybody.

  Do you understand this, men who play in this tournament? Do you understand what happens, if everybody thinks like you do? Or did it never cross your mind?

  Make no mistake: the guys who sit down in this tournament are the same sort of people who’d barge past old folk in a queue, or slide their cars into disabled parking spaces. When they think they’ve spotted weakness, their minds leap immediately to their own personal gain. Which is a pretty scummy way to think, even if they don’t know they’re thinking it. They’re not just insulting the women who play, but the men who are decent enough not to. They must see those men’s good manners as weakness as well. After all, if they were really trying to make a political point about the tournament, they would protest outside - not join it.

  “Why are you playing this tournament?” I asked him.

  “Why shouldn’t I?” he said. “It’s not illegal.”

  “But it’s a ladies’ tournament”, I said. “It’s a nice thing. Men gatecrashing it makes it less nice. Why would you do that?”
 
  “Yeah but, yeah but”, whined the guy, like Vicky Pollard in a hoodie, “why should my friend be allowed to play it when I can’t, just because she’s a girl?”

  “She can use the ladies’ restroom as well”, I said. “Do you want to use that too? Do you think it’s unfair that girls wee together and you’re not meant to go in? Do you want to go in, to prove a point?”

  “That’s not the same”, sniffed the guy. “This is discriminatory.”

  “Seriously?” I said. “You think men are discriminated against in this world? In poker? You think a few ladies turning up with sparkly handbags and aces for earrings, to play a game by themselves on the one day in two months when it isn’t a 20-1 male-female ratio in here, means that men are suffering and you need to take a stand?”

  “Oh stop getting your panties in a twist”, said the little gentleman. Honestly, with lines like that it’s amazing he was free to play a poker tournament at all, rather than busy with lovestruck young women, or maybe some friends. Perhaps they all had other plans today.

  I mean, we were a nice bunch on that table. If he’d said something charming or funny, or even slightly apologetic, we’d have liked him and it would all have been fine. If he’d even attempted to mount a proper argument for playing, it would have been interesting. But he offered nothing. Nothing funny, nothing clever, nothing cute, nothing charming: not even the faintest attempt to be likeable as he chased this “soft” money. Just a grubby little remark about panties.

  At this point, the floorman came over.

  “I tell you what”, I told him, “I’d appreciate it if you could ask this guy to leave my underwear out of his conversation.”

  “Yeah but she’s ATTACKING ME!” snivelled the chap.

  The floor, quite properly for the information he’d been given, told us both to play nicely and walked away.

  “I wasn’t attacking you”, I said. “I was asking you why you’re playing this tournament, when it obviously upsets people and I don’t understand why you’d do it.”

  He screamed for the floor to come back.

  “She won’t leave me alone!” he bleated.

  “Come on”, said the floor. “You have to show him some respect.”

  “I really don’t”, I said. “I’m not going to abuse him, and I wasn’t, but I don’t respect him and I surely don’t have to pretend I do.”

  The floor gave me a one-hand penalty, which seemed a small price to pay, and said the next time it would be a one-round penalty. But I was a little revolted that the guy had called the floor. After all, the only possible argument for his joining the tournament (and it’s a spurious one) is freedom - but he wants to deny my freedom to say what I think? In America, the land of the free? He wants me penalised for giving an opinion?!

  But there was no opportunity for that, because a little while later I check-raised all-in against two players with AJ on a J-high flop, they BOTH called, but a king on the river hit the lady with KJ and I was out. I didn’t mind. She was really nice. I was happy for her. Before the gatecrasher got there, she’d been telling me all about fly-fishing at Yosemite. Once he arrived, she’d gone silently into her shell like most of the others.

  “Now that I’m out and I can’t get a penalty”, I said to the guy, “I’m free to give you my opinion before I leave, which is that we were all having fun until you arrived, and when you sat down the fun stopped, and you knew it would when you registered. You’ve deliberately spoiled things for these nice women and that makes you what we call in England ‘an arsehole’.”

  “FLOOR!” he shrieked.

  I mean, really? Calling the floor, against a player who’s out of the tournament and leaving? This is a guy who wants to sit down in a ladies-only event because he thinks we’re weak, and then when one woman looks at him the wrong way, he screams for nanny?

  What does he want - to ruin this special tournament, to promote himself above all the other men who politely don’t play, to throw logic and manners down the plughole, to do something obviously bad for the game (ie. be an obstacle to one of the few friendly gateways for new players to get into it), and for NOBODY to tell him he’s doing anything wrong? Maybe he thinks it’s unfair that the tournament is even played out at all; perhaps he thinks they should just hand him the money, shake his hand and tell him he’s handsome.

  I really hope he’s been knocked out by now, so those nice women on the table can go back to having a good time.

  But he’s only young. If a couple of people explain a few things to him about what really matters in the world, maybe he’s still got a chance of growing up into someone who isn’t a total arse.

 

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Comments

Ian L at 7:58 am on June 30th, 2012

Totally agree. The guy needs to grow some manners !!


Lew at 8:07 am on June 30th, 2012

A really interesting post that I am sure with draw quite a few comments (from both sides of the ‘argument’). Personally I think it’s very much like any other ‘freedom’ issue, of course you are free to play as a man but you should have the decency to understand why you shouldn’t.  I suggest the WSOP rename the tournament to ‘WSOP Ladies (if you are a man playing it then you are admitting you like to pick on women) Tornament’ and ladies ensure the topics of conversation at the table are those that make use men cringe (you know the ones!)


Colin Nutley at 8:08 am on June 30th, 2012

I just love the wit Victoria uses, and how she seems to end up abused by other less scrupulous members of the public. But, and here’s the point, Victoria can hold her own at the vital moment, and ‘ladies of the night’, wankers and and arseholes learn that there is some decency left to be had, and Victoria is flying the said banner!


Russell at 8:12 am on June 30th, 2012

He’s no gentleman. I’m very glad you had words with him, although it might be too much to hope for that he thinks about what you said and realises what a selfish thing he did.


Roger Edwards at 8:12 am on June 30th, 2012

I think that it is men with the same sort of mindset, that similarly give women a hard time within the online gaming community.

The parallels are striking.


Ola Leier at 8:20 am on June 30th, 2012

I hope you don’t trigger a lynching, but he really was an arse. Well said.


AndytheDealer at 8:41 am on June 30th, 2012

Well said Vicky.

A possible answer to this problem would be for the organisers to insist that everyone playing wears a dress.  A dress code is surely enforceable?  If you’re not wearing one, you are dealt out until you are.

That way you’d only have transvestites and guys who are seriously having some fun and who don’t mind the piss being taken out of them trying to enter, when they shouldn’t.  Whilst not perfect it should keep the whole thing cheerful.

If you ever see this scrote and I’m dealing, please point him out to me.  He will not get a hand.


Geordie Kev at 8:55 am on June 30th, 2012

I see that your young friend has the simple description “great poker player” in his twitter profile. Muppet.


Jon Weedon at 9:02 am on June 30th, 2012

I feel I must apologise for the conduct of my gender. Glad you took a stand but would have been even happier if you were a tiny bit ruder. The guy is clearly a douche and I hope one day I get the chance to tell him in person.


Joe at 9:06 am on June 30th, 2012

Obviously I am in the minority on this issue from everything I have read regarding this topic. But it seems a bit interesting to me that women have been crying forever about being discriminated against, and in regards to this event, they are the ones doing the discriminating.


palladian at 9:07 am on June 30th, 2012

[MODERATOR: TOOK OUT LINK TO HIS FACEBOOK PAGE - SORRY - MIGHT LOOK LIKE INVITATION TO CYBER-ABUSE WHICH WE REALLY DON’T WANT! DON’T MEAN YOU PALLADIAN, JUST GENERALLY MIGHT BE UNFAIR TO PUT HIS CONTACT DETAILS].

As a male poker player and, I believe, a gentleman, allow me to apologise on behalf of my dumbass sex. In this wicked world anything is possible, but that there are men willing to trash the Ladies Tournament beggars belief.

Without good manners poker is nothing. Truly. And if a fellow can’t be mannerly to a lady when he’s playing then he is no man at all in my book.


Lee Blood at 9:09 am on June 30th, 2012

Wow I can’t believe guys actually enter this tournament. Some things are worth more than that prize money, but not to these types. There’s a place in the Nevada desert where they belong, and it ain’t Vegas….


Joe at 9:16 am on June 30th, 2012

I guess you have to kiss the author’s ass if you want your comment posted.


——

[MODERATOR: OH CALM DOWN JOE, AS EXPLAINED WHEN YOU’VE POSTED A COMMENT, NOTHING GOES UP IMMEDIATELY. SOMETIMES IT TAKES DAYS. YOURS WAS ABOUT TEN MINUTES.]


david at 9:37 am on June 30th, 2012

I need to find a way of being that hostile to random strangers and keeping the high ground. I notice Vanessa Selbst played the event. If you want to preserve a cosy, sexless, shark-free atmosphere in your $1000 event, perhaps aim your invective at [ABUSIVE COMMENT REMOVED] before turning on the meek, amateur men. Or, y’know, don’t, because it’s a horrible way to behave either way.


Pim van Baarsen at 9:37 am on June 30th, 2012

What a douchbag! Well done you for pointing out the error of his ways. Let’s hope he learns, but sadly some people never do.


Eve at 9:46 am on June 30th, 2012

I agree with the author that men shouldnt play. That said, I expected more from her than a populist rant of thee lowest order. I thought you were more intelligent, Vicky.


david at 9:46 am on June 30th, 2012

Hey, moderator, calling Vanessa Selbst a “professional poker-playing lesbian” isn’t abusive. It’s factual. Read between the lines and see where I’m apportioning respect and disrespect here.


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MOD: DAVID, THIS IS ABOUT GENDER NOT SEXUAL INCLINATION, REFERRING TO SOMEONE’S LIFESTYLE IN THE CONTEXT YOU DID ABOVE WAS IRRELEVANT AND THEREFORE FELT ABUSIVE.


Neil Kendrick at 9:49 am on June 30th, 2012

A well written and thought provoking piece.  There are times when it is good for the genders to go their separate ways ... and those that ignore the privilege of choice show they are low ... low enough not be worth a waste of oxygen!  Just my opinion!


Jenna B at 9:55 am on June 30th, 2012

Eve, if it’s “a populist rant” to say people should be considerate and chivalrous and not place money above all else, then good for the populace! Personally I think it was well worth saying. I can also see if Vicky was told by a floor not to give her opinion at the table then she might want to exercise the freedom to give it on her own blog!!


Steve L. at 10:05 am on June 30th, 2012

I agree entirely, and if the majority of men that play in the WSOP next year want to do the right thing, they should make it very clear to the minority that playing in the ladies match is something that simply isn’t done.  Otherwise, the minority will grow, and everyone will lose.


E at 10:19 am on June 30th, 2012

To point a specific person out by name and to criticize him is immature and juvenile. You could have gotten your point across just as clear without giving that person’s real name.
You have over a 100,000 followers on twitter and as such, have a responsibility and apology to make towards this person.
Think of it as how men feel when a woman joins the table - The mood changes because one woman joined the table.
You talk about how he was quiet/non-friendly, and you may have been ok if he was friendly/charming. That has nothing to do with a man choosing to play a ladies’ event, thus, defeats the purpose of your argument.
It seems like you started the argument with him on the pretense that it is a ‘friendly’ question with an undertone of annoyance and sarcasm.


Jenna B at 10:29 am on June 30th, 2012

This

“You talk about how he was quiet/non-friendly, and you may have been ok if he was friendly/charming. That has nothing to do with a man choosing to play a ladies’ event”

shows you totally don’t get the point that’s being made about the ladies events. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re one of the guys who played it. If you don’t get it, why not just stay away?

By the way if some guy told me not to get my panties in a twist, “non friendly” is not how I’d describe it.


Rubbish at 10:39 am on June 30th, 2012

Isn’t there a seniors event at the WSOP and can anyone gate crash this as well?


Russ at 10:47 am on June 30th, 2012

I’d laugh if he won the tournament… and was then disqualified for ineligibility.

If the WSOP can’t enforce entry requirements, equalities law has far overreached itself. There should be no question of men playing in a Ladies Only tourney.


Jiminy at 10:49 am on June 30th, 2012

There is a seniors but nobody can gatecrash it, I guess it must be legal to discriminate on grounds of age but not gender. Makes sense. I don’t know why trolls are piling in to side with the guy here, everyone thinks the men who play these events are douches and they get name & shamed all over the internet, this is just one more. Stop getting your boxers in a twist trolls. Mod I reckon you should take the night off.


Libs at 10:50 am on June 30th, 2012

Hi, I was not at that table, as majority of people posting comments here (:-o), but this is so real to me, noone can simply make it up, and I cannot even imagine what sort of guy enters ladies event (what???). I get every point of your blog and I completely love it.


Toby at 10:54 am on June 30th, 2012

@Jiminy Agreed. This kid knew what he was getting into when he sat down, anyone who plays it is embracing the controversy and at some level probly wants it. If he didn’t know then it’s good for him to learn, poker is all about lessons.


andy at 10:56 am on June 30th, 2012

[TWITTER NAME REMOVED]  if you want to leave him a message


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MOD: NO SORRY, VICTORIA REALLY DOESN’T WANT ANYONE SENDING HIM ABUSE! ONLY TO GENTLY MAKE THE POINT IF THEY KNOW HIM, WHY HE SHOULDN’T PLAY THESE THINGS.


ole at 11:26 am on June 30th, 2012

I don’t know anything about poker & poker tournaments but I suggest ALL the women at the table ‘fold’ (if that’s the correct term) & just ‘let the man win’.  Everyone will KNOW he didn’t really win the game.  Everyone will KNOW women just allowed him to win by not in fact playing against him.  If no one but him places a bet he only ‘wins’ his own money back.  This way he actually wins nothing and loses much.  The above may clearly demonstrate I know nothing about poker.


Alex F at 11:30 am on June 30th, 2012

I find your argument for why men shouldn’t play very flawed, reason why is - If the field is filled with a bunch of nice young, middle aged and old ladies that dont have a clue about poker(and you argue that the point of this tournament is to keep it very friendly, jovial and non ‘sharky’), then why do PROFESSIONAL Female pros get into this field?? Doesnt it undermine your entire argument for why it should stay ‘female only’?  Or is it because ‘male pros’ are a bunch of hooded, anti-social young men?  Point being, if you meant what you said, you would stay out of it as well and let nice grandmas and super casuals play and not come in and try to take advantage of the super soft field while being ‘extra friendly’.


MildMike at 11:35 am on June 30th, 2012

I’d like to come at this from another angle, if I may.

Why shouldn’t a private institution be free to discriminate, if it chooses?

Should a socialist political party be forced to accept membership of a fascist, because of equality legislation? No, they should be free to disciminate against non socialists.

The issue should be based on whether the WSOP is a private or public entity.

Hopefully we all want full equality of opportunity in the public sphere.

But the WSOP should be free to put on a womens’ only event, and should be free to exclude men from it.


Nikola at 11:45 am on June 30th, 2012

All these legal issues, non- discrimanatory policies sometimes give advantage to weak people to act though. I am happy that I live in a country where this player would not be able to register. You couldn’t give him a better argument than the one with male and female restroom.


Sparkly at 12:02 pm on June 30th, 2012

I was in the Amazon room last year when the last man (wanker) standing, who made the final table of the ladies event, busted. I now wish I’d had the balls to stand up and cheer like a lot of players that night. Off to Vegas on Monday, now into my third year trying to get my ALAWP book signed. I’d like to apologies in advance should I have to thrust my book in your face whilst you’re eating or having a smoke.


@MatchesMalone at 12:27 pm on June 30th, 2012

To men, it’s strange that any guy would want to secretly admit that they’re a woman by entering a Ladies event like this, however, I’ve never pretended to understand human nature….


Sam at 1:09 pm on June 30th, 2012

Great post Vicky.
I was working with PokerNews today, partly covering the Ladies Championship, and I have to say, the atmosphere in room was like no other tournament i’ve seen so far at this year’s series. Everyone is happy to be there. Everyone is enjoying themselves. It’s not a job, or a grind for them. It’s their chance to play in a safe, welcoming environment. No one is berating your play, etc. There were so many great stories to follow in the event as well, such as Gertrude Schimmel, the 94-year-old retired deputy inspector for the NYPD. There will be a handful of asses who play every year, but you can’t let it ruin the ladies event. It’s such an integral part of the WSOP.
Either way, good luck for the rest of the Series.


Just Another View at 1:19 pm on June 30th, 2012

Victoria, this is not the entire transcript of what transpired. I was there for your exchanges with the young boy. He sat down was quiet and was just playing his poker. I agree he could of engaged the ladies. I imagine the tourney had not been too friendly to him prior so he decided to just be mum. You did not help this needling him right away. After much needling he finally gave in you and gave ya the reaction you were looking for. I do believe the comment was “Dont get your panties in a bunch” not twist. This exchange was no better then the men who choose to needle a female just for sitting down. We are and should be better than that. We all have right to play poker in peace.


seven2off at 1:22 pm on June 30th, 2012

I find it rather sad, and surprising, that a table full of women all previously enjoying themselves allowed the arrival of one daft kid in a hood to spoil the mood. Shame about that.

Personally I would have thought a male participating in a women’s tournament would have been a source of some amusement for you all, regardless of his demeanour or style of play.

You were no doubt correct in your final summing up of him though. He would have to be an arsehole to even consider entering that particular tournament in the first place.

It’s starting to sound like you’ll be glad to get back home to your garden this year.

 

 

 

 


Fish at 1:41 pm on June 30th, 2012

Oh Vicky, I think you’re just pissed because this is the only tournament you are +EV in these days… Unfortunately you haven’t moved with the times… You know the saying, adapt or die….  So I can understand why in 2012 you feel the need to play the softest event ever and get pissed when a guy moves to your table, potentially destroying your EV… Gotta maximise your edge right?  If you really cared about the ‘ladies’ then you, being pro and all that, wouldn’t enter for fear of intimidating the othe women… But oh no…


Eric G at 1:48 pm on June 30th, 2012

I don’t agree with men playing in the event because it is an event designed to get women more comfortable with poker and hopefully increase their overall presence in other events. It is by this same logic that I believe professional women players who already play on a daily basis should not enter either. They are exploiting the field in the same way a man would be.


Jenny at 2:09 pm on June 30th, 2012

What a shame that anyone has to be that unpleasant, whatever the situation. For me, the really telling moment was calling the floor - “MISS, HE’S PICKING ON ME!”, just like at school. If a man had started on him, I wonder whether he would have called the floor then?


Drew Shervin at 2:27 pm on June 30th, 2012

It seems to me Victoria that you engaged him instead of ignoring him. He didn’t start trouble at the table, you did. Your mad that he didn’t say hello and had a scowl, That sounds like thousands of players at the World Series. In my opinion the ladies tournament should be eliminated. There is no physical boundary that stops a women from competing in poker with a man. It doesn’t require size or strength. A senior tournament on the other hand makes sense. Minds do slow down as we get older. Not everyone’s but many do. It affects both men and women equally. If women want to make a statement have one of them win the main event. That will bring more ladies to poker than a gender specific tournament ever will.


Enrique at 2:35 pm on June 30th, 2012

It’s totally understandable to want to play against weak players to win some money, but… really? A ladies event? Being a young lad really doesn’t cut it, surely if you’re old enough to play a game which involves brain activity, you have also have to be capable of being a decent person and show some respect to women who aren’t used to playing poker by not play the tournament.


charliekennedy1 at 2:36 pm on June 30th, 2012

great post Ms Coren.  Any guy who would play a ladies event deserves to have their name (and poor table etiquette) made public.  Poker would be a lot more popular if so many of the players weren’t such tools.


Mick McCard at 2:52 pm on June 30th, 2012

Sadly its already too late for most of these guys.  Their heros are Rush Limbaugh and his selfish, egocentric ilk.  My argument for universal military service is that someone then has a chance to teach these brats and humility may take its place.


HouseDj at 2:56 pm on June 30th, 2012

The way you describe these ‘nice’ ‘fun’ and ‘sweet’ ladies is laughable. If it was really such a fun time, perhaps you could have tried to maintain the talkative atmosphere and discourse without engaging in a childish argument. You are only enforcing sexist stereotypes when you depict these helpless women as having their day ruined by ONE unfriendly chap.  Not to mention calling him out by name, as if that isn’t a direct invitation to harass him in the future. However correct your position may be about men staying out of ladies events, it’s hard to say you’re helping the situation with illogical and slightly sexist arguments.


Nick (NickJay6 @ twitter) at 3:03 pm on June 30th, 2012

Hi Vicky. Just read your brilliant write up about this and I so TOTALLY agree with you. What a shame these guys have to spoil what should otherwise be a great day for the ladies. I’m not a professional poker player, just someone who enjoys watching on the telly and who can’t really afford to play live games. An occasional online freeroll etc. However if I had been there, I probably wouldn’t have been QUITE so reserved in my speech as I usually am. Others have said it far more elequently. Well said!! (Nick)


Brian at 3:28 pm on June 30th, 2012

While as a man I would never play in this event, largely because of things like this angry blog post possibly being directed at me, I can understand the argument to some degree. I believe that multiple women “pros” played in this tournament, and that seems just as scummy as a guy playing it. For the women pros, they were all sure not to miss this super soft field, and then play nice to the fish to keep them happy while you take their money. Unless the pros treated it like Vanessa Rousso and got drunk during the game and just screwed around, it seems like they are capitalizing on soft spots that simply don’t exist for the men pros.

Again, I would never play the WE, but I can see a rational argument for it.


Meredith at 3:45 pm on June 30th, 2012

Victoria you just got a new follower! I was thinking about playing next year. Now I am for sure sounds like a blast..Love your wit as well! Don’t worry the “real” men of Poker will put those guys in their place today..


Kate at 3:46 pm on June 30th, 2012

Oh how sickening!  And rather pathetic.

But I see he is American, the land of the free and the brave; or more accurately, the land where people are too scared of lawyers to challenge such behaviour, however unfair or against ‘natural justice’ it may be.

Wilfully and deliberately seeking to take advantage of persons smaller (younger/weaker/less able/infirm) is bullying.  This guy is no better than a bully and a coward.  One can only assume that if he were actually any good at poker, he would compete against his peers.

Kate S.


MFD at 3:52 pm on June 30th, 2012

Just reading this blog makes me ill. I fully understand and appreciate the importance of equality for the sake of equality. However, his actions are clearly selfishness and classlessness hidden behind the ruse of equality.

It is bad enough that these guys feel the need to play the tourney, but then you hear about the calling to the floor multiple times and you just have to shake your head. He clearly needs to grow up.

All that being said, it is unfortunate you let this guy drag you down. Next time just pretend like the guy isn’t even there. If you all had kept up with your regular table vibe he would have felt left out and probably not enjoyed himself. As it was you validated him being there by even engaging the loser.


Andischatz at 3:55 pm on June 30th, 2012

Fantastic article, Victoria.
Does this event award a bracelet? Somehow I wish it on one of those douchebags to win it once, they’d never live it down. “You have a bracelet, do you? Remind me again where you won it?”


SomeCallMeTim at 4:07 pm on June 30th, 2012

At the risk of making a totally obvious pun (yet in all seriousness)...  What a dick.

(The guy, of course, not Ms. Victoria’s handling of it).

Come to think of it, I believe Ms. Victoria would have been well justified to tell the little prick to grow a pair to his face, and not go whining to the floor at every perceived offense.


zeebries at 4:22 pm on June 30th, 2012

I agree but i think he is not the only man who play there. I notice it but cant prove it :( I like to play the women tournament but when i feel there is a man on my table the feeling of nice games are going away. Next time he is on my table i will tell him to leave .


Jan at 4:24 pm on June 30th, 2012

I dont want to talk about that unkindly guy who only wants to win money as easy as possible. But i think in a 1k wsop-Event fun should be a factor,but with that money on the line there is the factor professional behaviour or the attitude to win more important. i mean its not a fun 100 dollar tournament but one Tournament of the biggest poker event of the year.
I think its clear that it cant be all about fun and i suggest a lot of female proplayers think the same way. You, lovely Coren, are a professional Pokerplayer too, so i guess fun isnt the reason you play this tournament. (or maybe it is because 1 k isnt a lot of money for you) But however an old lady can have fun in this tournament but she should know that there are a lot that live for poker or from poker, it isnt only fun for them


Lyle Bateman at 4:26 pm on June 30th, 2012

Great post ... I’ve been following the discussion about the men who are playing the women’s event and I largely agree with your analysis of the current year’s entrants.  From what I hear, they are all opportunists who see the field as +EV.  I think, with women like you in the field, that’s a pretty arrogant and potentially costly assumption.


Ms Wildhack at 4:28 pm on June 30th, 2012

“But it seems a bit interesting to me that women have been crying forever about being discriminated against, and in regards to this event, they are the ones doing the discriminating.”

Here’s the difference, Joe:

There was a time, not so very long ago, when anyone who wasn’t white and male didn’t have *any* opportunities for things like this.  Even now, in some venues in life, men have a virtual stranglehold on the opportunities.  Men aren’t being harmed in any meaningful way by having a women-only tournament because they have dozens of other tournaments to join. If you’re not a senior citizen, do you feel discriminated against by the fact that there’s a seniors only event?  If not, then there’s no *good* reason to complain about a women-only event.


Jan at 4:31 pm on June 30th, 2012

Another Point that make me a little sick is that you said if he act friendly it would been ok. I mean it doesnt change much if an charesmatic Guy try to benefit from the weak field in my opinion. Only to explain what i meant in my last comment shortly. In my opinion no male person should play in this tournament but to say that it isnt fun then and its all about fun in this tournament is a bad argument in my opinion and if the old lady get his aces cracked from a female unfriendly pro she probably would be sad too. In my country are often only women tournaments and i guess in las vegas as well probably a lot smaller onces where fun is more important and no guys are playing there cause it isnt for so much money and u as a pro has to respect players who only try to win money.


Jan at 4:36 pm on June 30th, 2012

Last think i want to say is: I dont know you enough,but i heard that you talk a lot with opponent to get a read on them and when you are in a friendly round and an old lady tell you her dream is only to cash i think you would play agressive vs her shortly before the bubble to maximize your winningchance. fun is only your second thought then i guess. sorry for my bad english and i understand ur point of view but i only want to show another side because a lot of comments are like “yeah what an bad male pokerplayer and you are so right”. Not everything is black and white


Lyle Bateman at 4:40 pm on June 30th, 2012

There’s an issue that WSOP will HAVE to deal with eventually.  Eventually, the WSOP will get a transgendered player trying to enter the tournament.  Would they be “shunned” like the men this year have been?  Would there be a difference between a fully transitioned woman, and someone still in the process of transitioning? What about a man who identifies as a woman in their daily lives, but who is still medically male?

We need to realize that in the world of 2012 with people like Caster Semenya (or Chas Bono), the definition of what is male or female isn’t always clear.  Given the visceral reaction to the men playing in this year’s event, I wonder how they’ll handle more subtle questions of gender identity when they inevitably come up.

[FROM VICTORIA: HI LYLE. ACTUALLY THERE WAS A TRANSGENDER WOMAN PLAYING IN THE TOURNAMENT. I HAD TO WONDER HOW ONE OF THE MEN WHO PLAYED ‘AMUSINGLY’ IN DRESSES WOULD FEEL IF THEY SAT ON HER TABLE. ANY SHAME? MAYBE NOT.]


Kristiine at 4:43 pm on June 30th, 2012

What a great blog ! I play poker for living, cash games in Spain and I have encoutered this kind of behaviour not only in the Ladies events ! I have grown to get used to it by now, and just whenever an arsehole wants to spoil my mood or TEACH ME how I should play, with his bla, bla, bla, I just put my headsets on, and listen to some fun music.

This blog def made me consolidate with all those poker women who want to have fun and enjoy these events, because they are the best ! :)


onespliff at 4:55 pm on June 30th, 2012

Too Long Didn’t Read


Donald at 5:17 pm on June 30th, 2012

Sorry about these bad experiences and I hope the camaraderie you also wrote about in this and your previous post has made up for them. Great reading whatever the case.


ASUscott at 5:37 pm on June 30th, 2012

Being a man (well that is up to debate) & a poker acquaintance of this guy’s I can’t defend his actions. Not a smart choice to crash the event&he; should have been better prepared to get razzed. I do feel publishing his full name with the negative comments isn’t the safest thing to do nor will it help in his pursuit to finally getting a gf! however I get you were upset.  He is a good but innocent kid, he was no more doing what he’s seen other men do. While I don’t excuse his choice or how he conducted himself, I feel you can edit this blog to perhaps not assist pissed off people in finding him in person (can remove his last name?). PS only answer I would have given to you on why I was there is I love women and you are all beautiful, how can I not play this event. Lame I know but worth a shot


Jan Fisher at 5:42 pm on June 30th, 2012

Excellent blog… I tried to counsel him in the live game the other night, as did everyone at our table. He’s young and immature and at this point, doesn’t care about his reputation. I am sorry he lessened the fun for you ladies who played. We tried to help him to the right decision. Too bad once he made that choice, the bad decisions continued. I saw him in the game and he did try to be cute. “Would you sweat me at the final table”? he asked. “Uh, no… I don’t sweat anyone”. He persisted. I did suggest that I might have time for anti-sweat. Go back to having fun. Maybe he’ll learn, but from my conversation with him the other day, it won’t be anytime soon. He’s too immature. He’s 21 but has a long way to go to be a man.


Michael at 6:01 pm on June 30th, 2012

You are right insofar as the dude should not sign up for, or play in the women’s game.  I think your actions rivaled his, though, in terms of poor taste. 


LOUIE at 6:09 pm on June 30th, 2012

Why is everyone saying professional women players shouldn’t play either? Not the point! It is only MEN who shouldn’t play. It is a WOMEN’S tournament. Professional or not, lesbian or not (obvious abusive remark above ldo), American or not, how hard is this to get: IT IS A WOMEN’S TOURNAMENT.


Victoria Coren

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