Poker is one of the most popular card games on the planet, and its playing figures are growing each year. It has become mainstream and is even being compared to traditional sports in the way players can train to help them get to the top. Spectators can watch the main competitions on television, while those who want to play can make the switch from amateur to professional if they put enough work in and are dedicated. The sad fact is, though, that even twenty years after the online poker boom, the game is still dominated by men. With the World Series of Poker around the corner, it’s high time there was a female champion.
The WSOP 2020 has recently been announced, and the sprawling event in Las Vegas is set to take place in the summer throughout all of June and some of July. There are more than 81 different cash games and tournaments for players to choose from, but the most hyped up and prestigious part of the series is the Main Event. This is an epic, three-day tournament with a $10,000 buy-in. It attracts the biggest names in the business, and whoever wins goes down in poker history books as one of the greatest players of all time. Unfortunately, however, every single one of the 49 past winners of the paramount contest has been men.
It is high time for a leveling up of the playing field when it comes to men and women in poker. There has only ever been one woman on the final table of the Main Event – Barbara Enright in 1995 when she finished fifth – highlighting just how few women compete in the live game. It should be noted that there are some successful female poker players. Vanessa Selbst, Vanessa Rousso, and Liv Boeree are considered among the best players in the world. The problem is that the proportion of male professionals strongly outweighs that of women.
Many of the world’s best poker players of the modern game started playing online before competing in major live events like the WSOP. By playing in an online poker room, players can play a large number of games as often as they like, with varying buy-in stakes. They can also learn to hone their mathematical skills, something which is so crucial in the modern game. Players who have refined their skills online for a number of years may feel ready to make the step up to live games at the WSOP.
Internet poker is something that more women should consider getting into. It is easy to get the hang of, and many players believe that it was through practice that they were able to reach a professional standard – to the extent that MIT even set up a Poker Theory and Analytics course for students and staff. It would be a real shame if the list of WSOP winners continued to be occupied by men alone.