Monday, 27th May 2024 15:00
Home / Features / The Ladies at the Hippodrome who are bringing more women into poker

We’d like to turn your attention towards the ‘Ladies that poker at the Hippodrome’ group, a fun and supportive poker club based out of London’s Hippodrome Casino in the heart of Leicester Square.

Organised by Kerryjane Craigie, the casino’s Head of Poker, and Kelly Saxby, a PokerStars Live at the Hippodrome sponsored player, the group formed back in 2015 with a clear goal in mind: get more women playing poker, regardless of their experience level.

“We meet most months and start off with a chat and catch up over a glass of fizz or a cocktail,” Craigie tells PokerStars Blog. “We discuss successes, near misses, specific hands and general poker gossip.”

The Ladies at Hippodrome in their home base

The ladies-only club now has 172 members and on average around 10-20 women meet up each month to have a laugh and play some cards. 

“I set it up to be exactly what it is–an opportunity for more women to be introduced to poker, continue to learn, encourage others and be encouraged themselves,” says Craigie.

The fun environment at their meet-ups often means there’s more banter from their two tables than there is from the entire cash game floor. As Craigie tells us, it’s not unusual to see more experienced players running around the table to help a less-experienced player with their hand, or even playing cards face-up to speed up the learning process.

Laura Cade

But while most of the action is all in good fun, there are also top prizes up for grabs in their monthly Sit & Gos. This month, on the 15th of October, two members of the club won seats to the Road to the PSPC Moneymaker Tour stop, taking place this weekend at the plush Le Meridien hotel in Picadilly.

The winners, Laura Cade and Jay Kay, are both regular attendees at the Ladies at Hippodrome meet-ups. 

“Jay Kay has the best knowledge of who’s who in the Pro world and how they play, while Laura is always striving for the big win and has stated that this is the one!” Craigie tells us. “Both ladies are part of the foundation of our club.”

They’ll now be playing the £140 Moneymaker Tour Main Event, which kicked off today and has further Day 1 flights at 6pm tonight (Thursday 24), as well as 12pm and 6pm tomorrow (Friday 25). The winner will not only win the lion’s share of the prize pool, but they’ll also win a Platinum Pass to the PokerStars Players No-Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) in Barcelona, August 2020. That alone is worth approximately $30,000 and includes entry to the €22,500 PSPC event.

Should either Cade or Kay win a Platinum Pass, you can expect to see a big group of the Ladies at Hippodrome in Barcelona cheering them on. It certainly won’t be the first poker trip they’ve taken together.

The Ladies at Hippodrome at the WSOP

“In 2018 a group of us headed out to Las Vegas and had a good stab at the World Series of Poker,” Craigie says. “We had a giggle and all took part in the ladies’ event.”

Kelly Saxby

For Saxby–a successful player with $173K in live earnings, most notably including a recent win in the Hippodrome’s own August Series for £9,721–the group is about far more than just a monthly night out.

“Ladies Club presents a fantastic opportunity for women who play or are interested in learning more about poker to get to know other women in the game, build friendships and develop analysis groups to talk hands with as well as travel with,” she says. “I’m all for women helping more women get interested in the game.”

We’ll leave the last words to Craigie.

“I can testify that I have some attendees in our group who find playing against men daunting. We have collectively nurtured complete novices into the world of poker, and we’ve been there in support for each other like proud parents at their first major tournaments. 

“That’s what Ladies club is all about.”

If you’re interested in joining the Ladies at the Hippodrome group, visit them on Facebook.

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