THE Challenge at Hard Rock Poker The women’s event attracted a field of 82 women and one man.
David Hughes, a 70-year-old poker player from Florida, was one of 83 total entrants in the $250 buy-in tournament, which is traditionally a women’s event.
His unwanted presence was almost immediately noticed by others in the field, including poker pro Ebony Kenney, who placed a $300 bounty on his head for anyone who busted him. Many others attended, including people following the tournament on social media.
When the field hit the money bubble, the bounty on Hughes was over $2,100, which was the equivalent of third place.
You can see a video of Hughes playing, taken by Kenney, below.
Play the @WPT at today’s women’s event, and Dave is the only man here. (Filmed with permission!)
While we appreciate dead money, I really wish men understood what these events represent.
So I put a $300 bounty on her head and Tamra and Noah Piderit matched it.
Let’s get it. pic.twitter.com/dXVZVlriAP
— Ebony Kenney | Poker and purposeful pleasure (@Ebony_Kenney) April 29, 2023
To his credit, Hughes was reportedly not bothered by the bounty and even threw in an extra $100. However, Kenney reported that his demeanor changed once he went head-to-head with Dayanna Ciabaton, and that he “talked completely disrespectfully to the dealer” as the “nice guy facade crumbled “.
Unfortunately for Ciabaton, Hughes returned to heads-up play to win the tournament, but as the last woman standing, claimed the bounty.
The event was part of the Poker World Tour series to be held at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida. THE WPT is committed to growing the game among female poker players, announcing a series of 13 new events for their season XXI program leading to WPT Women’s championship at the Wynn this December.
Of course, men have already participated in women’s poker tournaments.
In 2007, former Major League Baseball player Jose Canseco made headlines when he and five other men asked to play in a women’s event at the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles.
In 2009, Abraham Korotki won a $300 women’s event at the Borgata in Atlantic City. In that case, Korotki pledged a portion of his $20,982 to cancer research in honor of the woman he defeated in heads-up play, who was also battling breast cancer at the time.
Shaun Deeb infamously dressed as a drag queen while competing in the World Series of Poker Women’s Championship in 2011, stating that he would also donate his winnings to charity.
After seeing 11 men enter the tournament in total, the series responded by upping the men’s buy-in to $10,000 while keeping the women’s buy-in at just $1,000. It was a move designed to circumvent state anti-discrimination laws.
Despite the 10x buy-in, Tony Roberto entered the event in 2017 after losing a prop bet.
A man named Tom Hammers also entered the tournament in 2021, donating any winnings to charity. He didn’t cash, however, and would have had to finish eighth or better to profit.
Another controversy occurred at 2019 Battle of Malta poker series, in which tournament organizers decided that the women’s event needed topless male dealers at every table. Most of the women on the court were shocked by the distraction and the dealers were asked to put their clothes back on after the first break of the tournament. As an apology, the tour donated all tournament fees and rake to a women’s organization.
For his part, Hughes would have quoted the WSOP‘S rule change as one of the reasons she was competing at Hard Rock and would continue to play in women’s events. In this case, her “protest” also earned him prize money worth $5,555, even though she had three buy-ins into the tournament.
The first major women’s tournament was held in 1977 at WSOP with a $100 stud event.
Poker Hall of Famer Linda Johnson, known as the First Lady of Poker, warned that the bounty could have a Streisand effect and encourage more men to play.
“I love all-female poker tournaments,” Johnson wrote. “I wouldn’t have a problem if they had a men’s only tournament, and I wouldn’t enter it because I wouldn’t qualify. I would have no problem if they organized a tournament for 26-year-olds, bikers, crested players and I wouldn’t participate because I wouldn’t qualify.”
“I don’t think men should play in women-only tournaments. That said, I think there is a total overreaction to the few men who come in. They usually seek attention, so why give it to them? I think we should just ignore them and play our best.”
While most of the poker community thought Hughes shouldn’t have attended the event, which is designed to be an outlet for women to learn the game in a more casual and friendly atmosphere, a small minority of players disagreed. with women-only tournaments. and I feel events should be open to everyone, regardless of gender.
Meanwhile, the WSOP Circuit The women’s event in Tunica, Mississippi also took place this weekend and was won by Cynthia Compton for her third gold ring ever.
The poker world reacts
How would you have done?
How do we highlight that men continue to frequent the spaces created for women without talking about it publicly?
Want us to add extra protections for a man who feels entitled to be in a feminine space?
— Ebony Kenney | Poker and purposeful pleasure (@Ebony_Kenney) May 1, 2023
finished 3rd in the women’s event!! it didn’t work well when it counted. gg to all women. and to the man who won it? do not do that again
— Abby Merk (@abbypoker34) April 30, 2023
…made new friends and cashed in a little icing on the cake.
I won’t discuss the trolls, but these events are fun and I could tell that every single woman was comfortable and having a good time.
The man? He was grumpy
Thanks for a super fun night ladies!
— spicy (@ElleSriracha) April 30, 2023
These guys who attend the girls’ events have the worst “main character syndrome”. Let other people have fun, it’s not all about you.
— Jamie Kerstetter (@JamieKerstetter) April 30, 2023
I have had a great time connecting with all the women who have played the @wpt yesterday’s women’s event.
I’ve met so many Embodied Confidence members and had so many great convos and moments.
That’s what it’s all about.
— Ebony Kenney | Poker and purposeful pleasure (@Ebony_Kenney) April 30, 2023
How can the problem of the women’s event not be circumvented?
For example, men can enter but only receive a single 100 chip.
Or is it a separate private event that you need to get an “invite” to which they do when registering.
There has to be a way around it.
—Vanessa Kade (@VanessaKade) May 1, 2023
As much of an anti PC troll as I am, you’re rat trash if you’re a man and play women’s events
They are meant to make the game more inclusive and less scary for beginners
You’re hurting poker growth (which makes everyone $) other than just being a diarrhea weasel
— Ryan Depaulo: degenerate gambler (@depaulo_ryan) May 1, 2023
So one guy won the Ladies Event at Hard Rock and everyone got pissed. I’m sure the guy is an asshole and it sure is a fucking move. But what I don’t understand is that if this same guy decides he wants to “identify” as a woman and then plays the game, no one will be badmouthing him. You would all be silent. pic.twitter.com/bLqJxXS3Wp
— Matt Glantz (@MattGlantz) April 30, 2023
Women-only events are about creating a safe and comfortable space for women. Walking into a poker room full of men can be intimidating for most women. Especially new players. We are helping women feel comfortable in this amazing live game.
— Char (@char47507985) May 1, 2023
With all this talk about women’s poker events, it looks like some guys’ heads are going to explode when they find out about women’s chess events and the women’s math association
— sammie g (@thefakesammieg) May 1, 2023
Are you looking for women’s events? Check cardplayer.com/women to visit the Women In Poker page for the full schedule, results and latest news.