WPT Aims to Attract More Female Players with Women’s Poker Summit

Women's Poker SummitThe World Poker Tour is taking the initiative in attempting to attract more women to the game of poker by hosting a Women’s Poker Summit that will take place at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 26 in the Dynasty Room at the Bicycle Hotel & Casino in Los Angeles, coinciding with the WPT500 set for Aug. 18-27.

While the WPT fosters an open dialogue with players on a regular, seasonal basis, the Women’s Poker Summit will be the first of its kind by the popular poker tour. The summit will be led by Angelica Hael, the VP of Global Tour Management for the WPT.

A Game Dominated by Men

Many people throughout the poker industry have long lamented the fact that women are severely under-represented in poker rooms the world over. Ladies typically account for about 5% of the players entered in live poker tournaments and the percentage was even lower than that at the recently concluded 2018 WSOP.

Poker requires intelligence, and players rely on neither size nor muscular strength to excel. It also requires patience, proper bankroll management, and a certain degree of intuition at times. These are all areas that, in general, are geared more toward the fairer sex. It’s somewhat puzzling, then, that the game continues to be dominated by men and that more females don’t participate.

Part of the reason behind the woeful numbers of female players is that a poker table is not always a place where women feel welcome. Ask just about any woman player of her experiences at the tables and you’ll likely hear stories of insults and sexual harassment that females have had to put up with. Undoubtedly, the behavior of short-sighted and ignorant male players is much of the problem.

A Poker Boom Waiting to Happen

The WPT recognizes an opportunity to grow the poker tour and the game in general by sharing ideas with women at the inaugural summit. That’s not to say that men can’t attend and provide their input on the topic. In fact, men are more than welcome to participate and play a part in identifying areas of improvement for how we can both attract more women to the beautiful game of poker and keep them playing for years and years to come, Hael said.

Player forums held by the WPT in the past have typically followed a familiar format on addressing issues. However, organizers of the WPT Women’s Poker Summit intend to veer off from the routine and establish a more informal discussion and meeting that will hopefully lead to results and put more ladies in seats at live poker events. Anyone wanting to attend is requested to inquire via email at events@wpt.com, as seating will be limited.

There may be more such Women’s Poker Summits hosted by the WPT in the future, depending upon the vibe and success of the first forum later this month. Hael admitted that the goal of reaching more females won’t happen overnite and that continuous and meaningful communication are integral parts of the process of integrating more women into the poker ecosystem.

Jacqueline Packett
Jacqueline Packett