At one point of time, there was a concerted effort in the world of online poker to draw in more women to the game and make them feel comfortable participating in it. While most poker operators signed female pro players to their roster of professionals or included an article here or there regarding women in the games, there was often a noticeable void in the online poker world.
However, that changed for a few years – around 2013 and 2014 – but faded away soon again. Today, there exists an outreach in some new ways to women in the poker community, but a dearth of new initiatives and efforts is noticeable.
PokerStars was one of the premier online poker operators to include women to its roster, with names like Celina Lin, Liv Boeree, and Vanessa Selbst leading the group. Additionally, there was also a Women’s Poker League that featured in 2010, followed by the Women’s Special tournaments offered online games on Sundays.
However, by mid-2014 the writers were released from their contracts, and the content for PokerStars Women halted with the exception of two subsequent articles that followed later that year. The PokerStars-sponsored European Poker Tour carried on with its women-only events at several EPT stops, but online satellites for those events stopped. The Women’s Sunday tournament continued, but there exist no write-ups or features to display the tournament or its players outside of a dedicated Twitter account that remains sparsely active.
In the past year or so, other online poker sites have become more attentive to the need for female faces in the game and signed many women as sponsored pros and ambassadors. But even so, there exists a significant void in the online poker world. Women are a crucial part of the industry and vital for the growth of poker in general, but everything ranging from articles to forums remains dominated by male writers, commenters, and subjects.
Live poker venues have taken extra steps in recent years to ensure the safety of women at the tables and to increase their comfort level in cash games and tournament rooms. But, there is still a long way to go in that respect, although there has been some progress. Online poker could much more easily branch out to female players and enhance the game’s popularity with that demographic, yet most internet operators are less likely to take the necessary steps in that direction.
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