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Bathrooms at World Series of Poker Stir Debate

Some Female Players Unhappy With Removal of Bathroom Near Amazon

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The Amazon RoomThere are two bathrooms along the wall of the main hallway in the Rio Convention Center. In years past, there was one men’s room and one women’s room. In an effort to mitigate long lines, both have been reserved for men at the 2012 WSOP.

Those two bathrooms are the closest and most convenient for poker players in the Amazon Room, the primary tournament floor space, according to bracelet-winner Vanessa Selbst. She’s not happy with the change.

“I get [the decision] for starting days of huge events, where there is always a huge line out the [men’s] bathroom,” Selbst told Card Player during a break in Tuesday’s $1,500 no-limit hold’em. “But, days like today, when there is never a huge line outside the men’s room, it’s really not that big of a space issue. I just think it sends a really bad message to women. It’s not inviting of women in poker.”

Selbst said it’s fine if you are in other places, such as the Pavilion and Brasilia Rooms, because there’s a bathroom nearby, but it’s inconvenient if in the Amazon. She added that women don’t have time to go to the bathroom unless it’s a break in play — meaning that one can’t leave while waiting for a hand to play out.

Vanessa SelbstSelbst said the women she’s talked to are all in agreement. Fellow poker pro Maria Ho Tweeted: “@VanessaSelbst @wsop I strongly agree with Vanessa and am extremely concerned about the message it sends. Please reassess.”

Seth Palansky, communications director for the WSOP, said there will be a meeting Wednesday to discuss the issue. Palansky said there was “good rationale” for the decision. According to Palansky, 97 percent of WSOP players are male.

Palansky also pointed out that there are portable facilities for both genders out back, close to the Amazon Room. He said that the Rio would ideally have more bathrooms, but that new ones can’t be built.

Poker Hall of Famer Linda Johnson Tweeted late Tuesday that the WSOP had reversed the decision, but she didn’t name a source.

There have been other occasions when Selbst has felt that the annual poker festival isn’t cognizant of its female players.

“There have been a couple instances, not just this, where it feels like they aren’t really inviting of women — comments that are made like ‘Let the best man win.’ We talk a lot about trying to invite women to poker — that’s why we have the ladies event. Then you get things like this, and it’s really counter-productive. It’s not that anyone is doing it on purpose, but people just don’t see the implications. I really don’t think it’s a small point.”

At around 7:30 p.m. local time in Las Vegas, Selbst was chip leading with about 50 players left in the $1,500 no-limit. The top prize in event no. 2 is $517,000.

Update: On Wednesday, May 30, the WSOP changed the aforementioned bathroom back to women’s.

Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus

 
 
 
 

Comments

xIcemanxx
over 9 years ago

get real

 
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shaunnn
over 9 years ago

no disrespect meant to the ladies but they should try worrying less about bathrooms and more about winning because their record at the WSOP is horrible!!

 
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rgreco500@yahoo.com
over 9 years ago

inconvenience hundreds or thousands of men to accomodate the ladies

 
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Venable
over 9 years ago

Huge article about a gd dm bathroom but not one sentence about who is leading event #2 or who some of the notables are that entered, who's still left?, who got knocked out early ect ect ect,,,,, i notice event #1, the casino employee tournament had fairly decent updates on it but of course nobody gives a s$#@ about that tournament!!!!

 
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Henny
over 9 years ago

This article was about the bathroom situation - or did you not read the headline?

 
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John22
over 9 years ago

Big deal!!!! I played in the Employee Event (the one no one gives a s$#@ about, thanks Venable), and went to the washroom out by the WSOP merchandise area. That is even FARTHER than the Ladies washroom. Drink a little less, and you won't need to run to the loo. If there's another type of situation, NO LOCATION will be close enough. get over it.

 
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Diana1
over 9 years ago

For the venue argument the portables are close enough for both genders, then the men can use those just as easily as the women. For those arguing going farther to the bathroom shouldn't be a big deal for the women, then it shouldn't be a big deal for the men, either. They can walk to other restrooms just as much as the women can.

And I love how people use this to bring out more of the misogynistic comments about women in poker that run rampant in the game.

 
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