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WPTE Rethinks Forced Donations for Ladies Championship

World Poker Association Brings the Issue to the Forefront


The World Poker Tour Ladies Championship attracted 150 women, but much of the publicity surrounding the event was not about who played. Rather, it was about who did not play. A number of high-profile female poker players refused to play in the event because of their opposition of the obligatory 15 percent charitable donation taken from the prize pool. The World Poker Association, an organization dedicated to promoting player’s rights and professionalism in the sport of poker, assisted in bring the issue to the WPT Enterprise, resulting in a re-evaluation of the conditions for participation in the next year’s event.

“The furor has centered on the WPT’s insensitivity to the varying financial means of ‘working players’ and more broadly on the decision to compel a charitable donation in an event labeled as a championship,” said WPA Chairman Wendeen H. Eolis.

Another factor contributing to why players feel that this was unfair is that no previous WPT championships have ever had required donations. One player who made her decision not to compete in the event very public is Susie Isaacs. She said that even though she believes in promoting the event and encouraging women to donate, it should be each person’s decision to do so in order to ensure that the payment is appropriate to their bankrolls.

According to the WPA’s press release, founder and CEO of the WPT said that his intentions for the Ladies Championship were to advance opportunities for women in poker to get television coverage while also creating a relationship between the WPT and players with a good cause.

Chairman of the Board of WPTE Lyle Berman assures that in the future, there will be no such requirement.