Men in Ladies Poker Tournaments… Your Opinion?

Please leave your opinion about men playing in women's tournaments… yes, no, who cares… what is on your mind? I'm looking for response from men and women. I'll publish the results in an upcoming post.

Men playing in women's poker tournaments… there is a lot of buzz this week. From the dozen or so men that competed against 1048 women in the 2011 WSOP Ladies Championship… to the 4 men, who competed against 17 women poker players, in Daytona Beach, Florida, this past Saturday.

Meet good-natured Mr X of Tampa. When he sheepishly walked up to the table, the journalist in me came out. I asked him if I could publish his picture, his name, and his story. He readily agreed. (However, since the post came out, he asked me to remove his name from the blog. I gladly complied. He is now Mr X.)

Mr X lost a bet, which resulted in him dressing up in yellow pig tails, blue blouse, and fake boobs to compete in the Daytona Beach Kennel Club LIPS "Luck be a Lady" monthly event.

(Note to myself: I have to talk to this guy after the game about dressing for success and table image.)

I was seated in seat 5, which gave me a good vantage point from which to watch his play in seat 10. As players go, my first impression was that he was being timid with his play. I was unsure if that was his normal style of play or if he was just uncomfortable.

After about 10 minutes of play, another man walked up to Mr X, shook his hand, and apologized for not getting there on time to also buy in. Since there was a vacant seat beside Fredo, several of us chimmed up all at once and said, "There's still time."

In a few minutes, he returned with his yellow receipt and took his place beside Mr X. The second hand the new guy played, he busted out. First person out.

Just into the second level, another man came up to Mr X making fun of the first guy out. Again, as if it were planned, several of us spoke up simultaneously.

"There's an empty seat."

"You're money's good here."

"You can still buy in."

He did. A few hands later, he was the second player out.

Green chips were colored up. We moved into the third level.

Mr X had limped a few times and folded after the flop. Once he raised 3X the big blind in mid position and everyone went away. He pulled in a small pot.

A while later, I was in the big blind. There was a limp, limp, and Mr X raised 3X the big blind. The button called and so did the small blind. That put a total of 12 big blinds into the pot before the action got to me. I looked down to find Q4 diamonds, which would normally jump out of my hand and sail into the muck.

At this point in order to call, I only had to put 2 big blinds into a pot that already contained 12 large blinds, giving me 6 to 1 to call. My read on the two players behind me was that they would likely just call without raising. I called, and so did they. There were six players in the pot.

As Mr X watched the board intently, the flop came 4s 7s Qh. I saw no flash of recognition from him, nor on the two other players I could see. However, I could not see two of the other players in the pot that were to my left.

It was checked all the way around to him. He bet roughly half the pot. The two players between Mr X and me folded. There are two additional players behind me.

If we had been heads up, I might have just called with two pair. However, I did not like the flush draw; I did not like the two other players left to act after me; and top and bottom pair are very vulnerable.

I raised 4X his bet. Fold. Fold. He sat with a dazed look on his face and reluctantly folded.

Shortly after Mr X busted out as the third person out. When I asked him what I could tell everyone about his experience in the tournament, he said, "Tell them it was brutal!"

The fourth man in the tournament was out shortly after that.

What is your opinion about men playing in ladies poker tournaments?

Please leave your opinion below.

Until next time remember my motto:

When you can't raise, don't call.

Donna Blevins
Dean of Poker Mindset

15 thoughts on “Men in Ladies Poker Tournaments… Your Opinion?”

  1. i think it's wrong. no matter how you look at it. lost bet or not. why would u even bet that? who would think of that as punishment for loosing a bet??? only a male chauvinist piglet would. it's just retarded for lack of a better word. i take it personal any man who shows up in the get up “Mr X” did. use the two balls the good lord gave ya and walk in without a disguise. any man who bet another wouldn't include the disguise, just for the mere embarrassment. i wouldn't be surprised if the get up was his idea. maybe the bet he said he made and lost was just an idea too. i find it a mockery of all women who play poker. it's not only rude and disrespectful, it's almost a desperate cry for attention. what kind of attention is beyond me, but it's not positive in any way. for the record, i will be playing the same tourney next month in august. if i encounter any man in an all ladies tourney he will never forget my name or my face, and that, u can take to the bank.

  2. Actually, in addition to the bet, he also dressed up because Tara and I tease the men who ask about entering the tournament by telling them "Sure, you can play, but you have to wear a skirt." I used to get incensed about the men playing, but anymore I just consider them to be dead money. I can't imagine any guy being proud to tell his buddies that he won a ladies tournament. Trust me, they are far more uncomfortable than we are and they know that we are all gunning for them.

    1. Thank Joanne for you input! Frankly, I was amazed at how uncomfortable 3 out of 4 of the men were.

      A word of advice in relation to “gunning for them”… anytime I find myself targeting a player, it affects my ability to make correct decisions. Believe me, it does!

      1. Yes, I agree. It is like being on tilt. You make decisions that you wouldn't make if you weren't concerned about eliminating them. That's one of the reasons I enjoy playing knockout tournaments. I don't worry about the bounties. If I get one in the course of proper play, yippee. But I love to sit back wand watch people make bad decisions because they are trying so hard to eliminate other players.

  3. Womens tournaments should be just that; a tournament for women…there is no conspiracy afoot here, just a chance for women to experience tournament play in a comfortable enviroment, without men…I don't think that is too much to ask.

    Once these women become more confident with their game they will move onto bigger tournaments…they then realize they are better than most male players. (better intuition) ..

    dam it… The disrepect that men show women & the game of Poker by playing these events only goes to prove their own personalities & mindset are flawed, I have seen men disrespect women in Tournaments, personally I find it disgusting…these 'players' are weak & unable to hold onto their chips for very long. 

    1. thanks peter @ least u prove that not all men are the same! in my opinion, u were raised with manners and morals from what u replied and i appreciate ur post. i don't just play all womens events. i've entered far more events for both men and women than just women alone. my confidence is @ the same level whether it's all women or a mixture of both.

      my point being no matter where ur confidence level is in any given event, it is morally unjust for a chauvinistic piglet to show up to an all ladies event, which is rude to begin with,  and put on a public display of disrespect while demonstrating a mockery of women who play poker. it may be legal, but it's just wrong in so many ways…

  4. I must admit, I find women are harder to play poker against than men, so I say let the men play all the good Poker women out there, I think they will find that most women can really play well, some in fact can take it down and the men find it difficult to play against them.  It is fascinating to me that they would want to play in a women's poker tournament they may find themselves swimming with sharks.

    1. Jackie, I agree with you. I’ve often said that women are much more difficult to compete against than men, which is why I have generally preferred open, mixed events… maybe because I win more when I am in a field of mostly men. And we all know, it is a lot more fun to win!

  5. Its a tricky question . I actually think that men shouldn´t be allowed to play a Ladies event under any circunstances since it is a tourney specifically designed to attract female players and increase the number of women in poker.

    On the other hand, i have to say i think there could be other ways or motivating women to play poker whilst integrating them with the general poker comunity instead of creating an exclusion environment around this event.

    A poker player is a poker player, regardless of Sex, religion, race or sexual orientation. Can you imagine the scandal if there was a WSOP "whites only" event? Exactly the same principle, i just think its wrong in either case. don´t you ? 
    Great site, will be following .

    1. Thank you Manuel for your thoughts. When someone called me a lady at the poker table, I used to say, “Don’t call me a lady, I’m a poker player.”

      In fact, for many years, I was opposed to ladies events, until I realized that they did create an enviornment that fostered women’s participation when regular open events were sometimes intimidating.


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