I find the subject often rises about men intimidating women in poker; especially beginners. Due to this intimidation and wanting more women to take to the felt in a friendly atmosphere, we have a lot of tournaments for women exclusively in mind. Some suggest that by offering these tournaments or women’s only events the fairer sex will feel more comfortable to play.
In typical Sex in the City type fashion, I placed myself as Carrie Bradshaw in my most recent live tournament, which was for ladies only. As Carrie writes her pieces she places herself in scenarios much like I did for this article. However, I wasn’t looking for an answer on love, sex or marriage - instead I was looking for an answer about poker and intimidating other female player by my appearance.
Before heading out to my ladies only tournament, I did everything I could to make myself look hot, perfect, rich, cool, important, beautiful and of course sponsored. I spoke to a friend and showed her my new fashion, expensive jewellery, perfect nails, made up face, and salon-styled hair. Her words were “HOLY!” I was more than happy with the outcome of my new look. I also admit that I looked and felt fabulous! Was this going to be intimidating to the other ladies? Was looking hot going to give me an edge up at the table with the girls? Lord knows it distracts the men!
As I sat down at my seat, I saw other ladies that looked well, perfect. I also saw ladies that looked like they hadn’t brushed their hair in a week, and others who appeared to quickly get dressed and run late from the house for their night of freedom without thought to their appearance. There were professional female players there and one that did chip tricks like she may as well have been. What I noticed that stood out more than anything, was something I had never witnessed before. Each and every lady only took a quick glimpse at me! I sighed. It was obvious my charm and good looks certainly wasn’t going to work in this environment.
I had men gather around quickly where I was seated and a few pros kiss me on the cheek as they walked on by wishing me luck. As for guys, I know how to handle them and use certain skills to gain an edge on. The whole girl thing though, I didn’t know what was going on. How could I distract and intimidate other women? Bad news for me - it didn't seem like I could. If these ladies were even the slightest bit intimidated by my looks, they sure had their poker faces on.
I finished up in the tournament and made my way to the bar. I passed many men that night and whether on the tables or in the bar, indeed their heads turned to gaze in my direction. I felt a reflection from their eyes of intense intimidation and also desire.
I also passed many women as well. Some of the women from the tournament were sitting at the tables in the bar early. An interesting thing happened; off the tables they were intimidated! There was no hiding the fact and no poker face that could be used; they held their men closer in my presence, and their looks in my direction assured me that I intimidated them off the tables.
A poker table at times resembles life. We make decisions, we come across people we need to whole heartedly battle, and others we are not too concerned with. One thing after my brief analysis is I found that looks don’t make the same impact when there are chips involved between women at a poker table. The other ladies don't seem to care about wealth, sponsorship, immaculate manicures, or a fashion sense that would kill Ralph Lauren.
But then again, ladies who play poker wear their poker faces to the table don't they?