PokerStars has announced that the Women’s Bootcamp – an exciting program created for women who love poker, want to strengthen their skills, evolve their experience, and make friends along the way – will return in 2023.
Following the success of the 2022 bootcamp – which saw Canadian police employee Roxanne Johnson win a Platinum Pass to the PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC) worth $30,000 – PokerStars will once again team up with Poker Power for an eight-week program.
The Bootcamp is aimed at beginners, who will then be mentored by PokerStars Ambassadors including Jennifer Shahade, Lali Tournier and Georgina “GJReggie” James. Forty female players from the UK, Canada, Brazil and France will take part.
It all culminates in a special Women’s Bootcamp Showdown tournament set to take place at the European Poker Tour (EPT) Cyprus in October. There, the winner will receive a full package to EPT Prague in December, consisting of a Main Event buy-in (€5,300), a room folio, and free flights, transfers and hotel.
Want to take part?
Registration closes July 22, 2023.
To announce the Women’s Bootcamp 2023, PokerStars held a special invite-only media event at the Hippodrome Casino in London’s Leicester Square on Tuesday, June 20.
The evening kicked off with a panel led by Rebecca McAdam Willetts (PokerStars Director Of Partnerships, PR and Consumer Engagement), PokerStars Team Pro Jennifer Shahade, and Erin Lydon from Poker Power, answering questions from attendees – which included journalists and influencers – regarding women in poker and the obstacles faced.
“These boot camps are an essential first opportunity to pique interest in women who have never played the game before and to motivate those that play poker, to continue to evolve their skills and gain confidence at the tables,” said McAdam Willetts. “We’re committed to making poker as inclusive and accessible for everyone and it’s our mission to create equal opportunities and a safe space for the poker community.”
LAST YEAR’S WOMEN’S BOOTCAMP
The inaugural PokerStars x Poker Power Women’s Bootcamp took place in 2022 across four weeks. Seven women from the United States, Canada, Brazil and Romania made it through to the Showdown event, which took place at EPT Prague 2022.
This was the culmination of several weeks of online tutorials, plus bootcamp training sessions the night before and morning of, transforming new players into competitors who can hold their own.
“A lot of these women didn’t know the rules of poker a couple of months ago, so it’s pretty impressive,” Jennifer Shahade told us that day.
Having mentored many of the recruits, Shahade was watching from the sidelines, beaming with pride. “When you’re a kid, you get a lot of opportunities thrown at you, but when you’re a grown up, you get less of them,” she said. “Sometimes people don’t grab the ones that are there because they’re not used to it. But all these women saw the opportunity and grabbed it. That’s a skill.”
Canada’s Roxanne Johnson took it down and won a Platinum Pass to the PSPC worth $30,000, a coveted prize that included:
- $25,000 buy-in to the PSPC
- six nights hotel accommodation for the winner and a guest in a five-star hotel
- airport transfers and flights
- $1,900 expense money
- Platinum Pass winner experiences during the event
She was initially inspired to join Bootcamp due to her desire to compete in a big live event.
“It’s a game that everybody can play,” Johnson said. “You do have to study a bit. It’s not just luck. There’s a lot of math in it and there’s a lot of other things. You do have to study.
“It’s super fun to play poker. It’s something that keeps your mind going, there are so many factors to it. It keeps you young.”
CREATING EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES
PokerStars is committed to creating equal opportunities and safe spaces for everyone at all of its live events. One step towards this is a new initiative to make experiences at the tables better. A WhatsApp service allowing participants to anonymously report discriminatory behaviour at the tables will be trialled at events going forward.
While PokerStars already has strong processes in place to monitor and tackle harassment and poor behaviour at the tables, we’re always looking for ways to improve and create a safe space for women to play.Back to Top