The question arises often and has been discussed more than a few times in poker media. Are women-only tournaments good for poker?
With a focus on that topic, the PokerStars.TV videographers at EPT Prague took a look at the Women's Event and gave many poker players the chance to speak their minds.
Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst noted, "At least from the stories I've heard women tell me, there are definitely a lot of women that came into the game strictly because of women's tournaments. So, I just think they're a great idea."
Fellow Team Pro Jake Cody added, "I think, if it does bring female players into the poker world who wouldn't play if they weren't integrated slowly and decided they wanted to play women's tournaments first, then it's a good thing." However, he also believes that there are so many good female players that they're just good players and the segregation is not necessary.
PokerStars.TV hosts Laura Cornelius and Sarah Grant acknowledged their support for women-only tournaments, and Full Tilt Poker Eureka Ambassador Hana Soljan concurred. She played the EPT Prague Women's Event with her mother, Iva, both of whom enjoyed the experience. Hana's first international live tournament outside her home country of Croatia was at the EPT Prague three years ago, and she won it.
"Ladies events are very good for starters, for ladies who want to start to play poker" said Soljan. "I organized ladies events for the first time in Croatia, and the most interesting thing was that there were lots of ladies who came for the first time because they were afraid to play with men before."
Everyone is entitled to an opinion, so check out this video:
As for that EPT Prague €330 Women's Event, there were 39 players and a prize pool of €11,349. Aurelie Slahdji was the eventual champion, winning €3,860 and the trophy in her first ever live tournament. The French casino dealer played for fun and said, "I recommend to other ladies this tournament." She said that everyone was very nice and the women were made to feel welcome.
The bottom line is that poker is a game for all. As Selbst also said in the video, "I'm just one of many poker players out there, and it's a game that the great thing is the differences between biological sex or by gender just doesn't really change the game."
Jennifer Newell is a PokerStars freelance contributor.