There's been a great deal of very interesting commentary put out in the past few days about this year's WSOP Event #22, the Ladies Event.
@WriterJen, @F-train, @Change100, and @Pokerati have all written some interesting stuff on the topic.
Given all this chatter about "separate but equal" in poker, I thought I'd post a link to the case that immortalized the phrase. Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote a truly eloquent opinion in Brown v. Board of Education that furthered the fight begun in Plessy v. Ferguson, which is carried on today in cases like Lawrence v. Texas. Loving v. Virginia is one of my all-time favorites.
Soon enough, all this societal segregation on issues of fundamental importance (marriage for gays, privacy, etc) will be the case law history that our children read in amused wonder, scratching their heads at our idiocy.
Is the idea of a Ladies event in the WSOP akin to the fights articulated in the above referenced cases? Um, no. Women can beat men in poker and they do it all the time (you can read a great blog post here showing women beating men in the courtoom, too). Case in point, one recent final table at the Nugget this past week was stacked equally with 5 women and 5 men. When it got down to 4-handed play, only the women were left. For now, however, there are just less of us at the tables. We are not, however, precluded, legally, from playing in mixed company. That would be illegal. But that's not what's happening.
My take is that a Ladies event is unnecessary. It's nice because some women do feel more comfortable playing in a field of only ladies (which is crazy, in my opinion, because ladies are so tough) and so I applaud efforts that encourage more women to play. And if offering a WSOP Ladies Event draws more women to the tables, then great. But to preclude men from the event or to get upset when men enter is to weaken our position, I think.
Rather than getting upset at men entering, or even crying if you get beat by a guy in the event, improve your game so that no one, male or female, takes you out. When I win my bracelet, I want it to be confirmation that, for one day at least, I was the best of the best. Not the best woman. The best competitor in a field of equally strong competitors. And if the guy at the opposite end of the table happens to be in drag using a tampon for a card protector - all the better.
Good luck at the tables!