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Can Women Play Poker?

When you think of poker, you may visualize something reminiscent of a scene from Rounders, Maverick or even The Cincinnati Kid. Some people take up the sport just to have a piece of what they felt those movie moments must be like. But here in reality, every hand doesn't go to showdown, and every hand doesn't end with a guy hitting his Royal Flush.

Men may outnumber the women at least eight to one in almost every event, but women have not begun to back down. In fact, it's quite the opposite. The number of women in poker events has been on a steep and steady increase for years. Although there is no mental advantage being a man or a woman, there are definitely some hindrances and enhancements to either sex. Women tend to show more patience, but the aggression that men are inclined to show can sometimes shut down even the best hands from a woman. Women are likely to be more emotional, but are usually very good at reading their opponents. Men are typically more apt to have more alcoholic beverages than women, and because of that, will tend to make some bad calls, where a woman would have been in a better state of mind.

Given that men seem to be more aggressive, women will either be timid and bend to that aggression, or they will utilize their reading abilities and use this against their opponents. While women may be

perceived by the males at the table as weak, emotional, tight, and less likely to bluff, their best move would be to use that stereotype to exploit their opponents.

In the past few years, women have started to take to the tables in greater numbers. They are finding their niche, and placing in higher frequency in tournaments. Hopefully, in the future, the women that they spotlight on the 'Featured Tables' in the WSOP, the WPT and such, will be there because of skill and not the current criteria...looks. This present trend is not helping the cause of women gaining respect in the poker world. It may not solve this entire segregation when a woman wins the main event, but it will definitely help close the divide. Until then, woman should learn the game, hone their skills and practice. If respect is not being gained at the table, and you feel as if you want to give up, don't. Make a name online, and use your new skills where gender is not an issue. But to answer the question at hand: Anyone that has self-discipline, persistence, and willingness to delve into a game of intelligence can be a star poker player.

For more information go to

Claud Colantonio,

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