A Different Approach to Men in the Ladies’ WSOP Event
by Andrew Brokos | Published: Jul 02, '12
Last year, I addressed the ethics of a women-only event at the WSOP. In classic Thinking Poker fashion, I wrote a long, formalistic, and in some cases legalistic argument in defense of the event and, at least implicitly, critical of the men who insist on playing:
Segregation is reprehensible when it carries with it a “badge of inferiority” or assigns privileges and opportunities to people based on factors beyond their control. This is not the case here, where men have 50+ other WSOP events, including numerous other $1000 buy-in events, to play. Significantly, every single one of these is a male-dominated affair. Any male player would be hard-pressed to demonstrate how the existence of a single Ladies’ Event harms him personally. The purpose of this tournament is not to push men away from the game but to draw women in.
Make no mistake: the guys who sit down in this tournament are the same sort of people who’d barge past old folk in a queue, or slide their cars into disabled parking spaces. When they think they’ve spotted weakness, their minds leap immediately to their own personal gain. Which is a pretty scummy way to think, even if they don’t know they’re thinking it. They’re not just insulting the women who play, but the men who are decent enough not to. They must see those men’s good manners as weakness as well. After all, if they were really trying to make a political point about the tournament, they would protest outside – not join it.
The common-sense ethical appeal of her argument is well-encapsulated in the British slang that she uses to describe Brandon Uhl, the young man she encountered in this year’s Ladies’ Event: wanker. The Ladies’ Event is a nice, once-a-year opportunity that nearly 1000 female poker fans from around the world enjoy playing. Men who insist on entering it are selfish and rude, ruining many other peoples’ good time for their own perceived advantage. It’s as simple as that.