The once dark smoke-filled liquor ridden poker tables is now being decorated with fresh flowers, afternoon tea, and biscuits as ladies come together for the love of poker during the recently concluded Women’s Poker Summit.
Hosted by the World Poker Tour, the Summit–first of its kind, happened last August 26 at the Bicycle casino in Bell Gardens, California which aims to encourage and increase women’s participation on the game table.
During the event, Linda Johnson, poker hall of famer, shared her experience about poker and how she has played mostly with men in the big leagues.
The game is not always pleasant, she recalled. Some men would intimidate her by blowing cigarette smoke on her during the game.
It is because of these experiences that the summit has a three-fold mission: to change the unwelcoming environment of poker room;, eliminate negative social attitudes against women who play poker; and improve game table access to females.
According to Johnson, more work needs to be done so women can get the same treatment in casinos, gaming houses, and poker tables worldwide— a summit is just kicking the ball of the ground.
Johnson believes that poker is a game that women can competitively play, a bet they can win, and an activity they can participate in.
Proof of this success is reflected by the victories of known poker champions like Vanessa Selbst, Maria Konnikova, and Kathy Liebert.
The summit is hopeful that every year the participation of women will increase in the league as monitored by the World Series Poker.
This year alone, about 5,717 women joined the tournament or about 4.86 percent of the entire gamers’ population.