Female poker players now reap the fruits of their labour after enduring growing pains on the felt tables
Throughout the years, women have made a name for themselves in various fields. Whether it is in entertainment, sports, politics, even in poker, women have shunned away from the typical housewife role and started to change the standards of an often cruel society. And much to the surprise of a doubter’s cynical eye, history has constantly proved that women can successfully mix it up with the best even in a male dominated industry like poker.
Poker has been spreading around the world for ages. People played it religiously as a way to effectively battle boredom while earning a nice day’s salary. As much as it was just a simple past time during its early days, players began developing a competitive streak against their opponents which eventually led to the creation of today’s most prestigious tournaments. The World Series of Poker, the World Poker Tour, and the European Poker Tour have all been the battlegrounds of infamous card sharks – mostly men – out to establish their supremacy on the felt. In a game where testosterone runs supreme on its tables, the world saw the struggles and frustrations of its female players. Veteran players such as Kathy Liebert, Jennifer Harman Traniello, and Annie Duke all had to endure their fair share of setbacks. They’ve busted out on the bubble, fell short of a coveted tournament title, and more infuriatingly, under-estimated and bullied by some players who didn’t believe in their talents.
As the game progressed even more, a new wave of female poker players emerged from – what looked like – the glossy covers of magazines. Players like Partypoker sponsored pro Kara Scott, Hollywood actress Jennifer Tilly, and former MIT blackjack stud Erica Schoenberg, all had to bear the burdens of being labelled as a “Female poker player,” and of being the apple of the watchful eyes of their peers. The terrifying card sharks were like seeing blood every time these women dipped their feet on the waters of poker. It was like a feeding frenzy on the felt for a number of years, but these ladies never gave up. They scratched, clawed, and sometimes went out of their way to earn rightful admiration, not for their gorgeous looks, but for their overall game. As they courageously swam out of the depths of scepticism, they slowly began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Little by little, female poker players – in general – secured the respect they desperately needed. They’ve established their respective style of plays, while successfully cashing in on their finishes. And now as the new dawn in poker arises, they’ve impressively turned the tables, and went from being a timid prey to becoming a menacing predator.
Human beings, no matter what gender, have the capabilities to do something that is sometimes beyond comprehension. A man can start a revolution, just as much as a woman can. A woman can change the course of history, just as much as a man can. It just shows that even in a game like poker; there are limitless possibilities that women can also become world champions and future Hall of Famers.