Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Women in Poker and Positive Changes for Equality

     Where to start on this one?  Let's start with a nice blog post over on 4flush Poker Still Has a Woman Problem
It neatly summarizes the problem of women still being objectified in Poker.  I agree with this article.
     Hot on the heels of this article, was a tweet by WickedChops about their most viewed post:
Wow. Our top viewed post of the year is actually one from 2010. Thanks @Liv_Boeree for sitting on that toilet. wickedchopspoker.com/liv-boeree-in-… #seo
The article was a photoshoot of Liv Boeree, and the irony was not lost on me that I saw this while I was writing this blog post!   For I have a confession to make, if I were to have a type, it would be Liv Effin Boeree!  She's beautiful, she plays poker and wins tournments, she's intelligent with a degree in astrophysics, she's down to earth, and she plays GUITAR!  But this is all my personal preference, and not much to do with poker.   This photoshoot, is still part of the problem.  If you want to share or get paid for a sexy photoshoot, feel free to do so in Maxim or Playboy, as this is what they are about.  But seeing the same thing on a poker magazine or blog, doesn't really do anything positive for the industry as a whole. (plus she hangs around with Stapes! no offense meant to Liv Boeree, whom I think is simply awesome!)

     And now, I'm going to throw some more wood on the fire, with my opinion, that Women only Poker Tournaments are almost as bad, and contribute to the problem.  You can't battle segregation, by using segregation.  You can't battle racism, by using racism.
     I was lucky. I grew up near Oakland, California, with every nationality you can think of in the Bay Area, and never saw any racial problems in my formative years.  You might even say I championed equality in my peers in school, and in the rock music scene afterwards.   Everywhere I went, I saw people of all walks of life, rich and poor, black and white and every color under the rainbow in between, and I saw no lines.  In my eyes, everyone was equal.  Everyone had a mission in life, and unique features to be celebrated, and I still feel this way today, probably even more so than in my younger, less wise years. ;)
     So, what is wrong with women tournaments?  It's reverse discrimination.  Want to keep out the pros?  Lower the buy-in, and stretch out the pay table, so more people cash.  This will make it fun for those that just want the experience of playing, and naturally avoid too many sharks.  But don't limit it to ANYONE.  You shouldn't have Women only tournaments, without Men only tournaments.  And this, I think everyone can agree, is a step in the wrong direction.
     One of the things I love about poker, is the equal playing field.  You can meet people from all walks of life at the poker table.  The only variable really needed to cover the spectrum, is buy-in.  By having appropriate ranges of buy-ins, you can accommodate just about everyone for poker events.
     Do you think we should set the example of Equality in poker, just like everywhere else?  I do!
     Life is full of paradoxes, as well as poker, and thus the name of my poker blog, Poker Paradox.

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