Published on August 24th, 2020 | by Neil Jordan0
Poker Queens – An original look at women in poker
It is no surprise that the gambling industry isn’t necessarily considered as an industry dominated by females. In fact, it’s not considered as an industry for women at all. But no matter what the majority of the world might believe, there is a huge amount of women who actually earn millions by playing at poker tables. And the new movie ‘Poker Queens’ gives an insider scoop on what it is actually like for women in this specific male-dominated universe.
The movie came out on Amazon Prime Video and it portrays the lives of some of the most popular and successful female poker professionals and what their journeys have been like on their way to success. It focuses on 5 poker players whose lives are all somehow connected. The movie is full of interesting interviews and is very good at representing exactly what their adventures have been like, dealing with misogynistic men discouraging them from making a name for themselves in poker.
The director of the movie, Sandra Mohr is an accomplished poker player, while some fans may only recognize Jennifer Tilly who is an actress as well as a professional player. In fact, the director actually goes undercover in the movie in order to get into a highroller casino online which is otherwise a restricted venue. Mohr also talks about her struggle in terms of being able to finance this movie which shines a light on the struggles women face not only in the world of poker, but in general as well.
The most important aspect of the movie could be considered its focus on the current situation regarding females in professional poker, with statistics showing that women make up no more than 7% of all pro poker players, which is undoubtedly a very low percentage. It touches on the worn-out mindset among many organizers in the game regarding having female participants. And alongside exposing the lows of the industry the movie portrays the five women as intelligent, confident and likable, it manages to portray each one’s individual personality and does not reduce them as eye candy for men or as trying to fit into the industry by trying to be ‘one of the guys.’
One of the scenes in the movies that best portrays the unconscious and perhaps even conscious bias that can exist against women in the game is when one of the female players shown in the movie, Sia Layta, dresses up as a man and enters a game with the result of her winning almost tripling. There is even a controversy that the World Series of Poker actually threatened to forfeit Sia’s $10,000 buy-in if she showed up for it dressed like a man.
At the same time, it is highlighted that Loni Harwood has been named as the best poker player by many dealers while Kristen Bicknell is also one of the best players in the world. This goes to show that women can be just as good, if not better, at playing poker as men.
In the past, there have been a lot of books published regarding this very topic, that say that women and men play very differently when it comes to poker with statistical anomalies that have no explanation other than the difference in gender. The movie touches on this subject as well, but this still has to be delved into deeper and there still has to be a lot of research carried out. This will not only shed some light on controversial topics but also make the game more competitive and interesting for everyone.
While doing an amazing job at representing the struggles women go through, in the traditionally men-dominated industry, Poker Queens is a must-watch for any poker fan and not only. This should be especially helpful for men as it will provide a deeper understanding of the experience different to their own.