"The Ladies" Help Man To Win Women's Poker Tournament In Lake TahoeNovember 16, 2009 9:19 am
A 22 year old man by the name of Greg Sessler has just won the $340 buy-in Lake Tahoe Ladies Championship to scoop the $9,932 top prize and in a twist of comical irony, the University of California-Davis student’s final winning hand was a pair of Queens, or “the ladies” as they are known in poker.
Mimi Kalem was the runner-up after she shoved pre-flop with Q6 against Greg’s pocket Q’s, and despite hitting a six on the flop, luck was not a lady that night as she was eliminated in second for $5,300.
The tournament took place on Saturday at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe hotel/casino in Stateline, Nevada, and in order to win Greg Sessler had to overcome a field of 96 players, including 3 other male hopefuls, although he was the only one of his gender to cash in the top nine.
Lake Tahoe Ladies Championship is a WSOP affiliated circuit event and after Greg’s victory a World Series of Poker spokesman said:
“The WSOP isn’t a political organization and can’t be expected to get involved in debates about sexism, discrimination, or other polarizing issues which may be applicable to poker tournaments.”
“While the WSOP makes a sincere effort to promote women in poker and offers quasi-exclusive tournaments designed to increase female participation in the game, officials generally do not turn away those who want to play in the event, based solely on gender.”
Despite not turning away male players, organisers try to discourage their participation and those males that do play are often subject to all sorts of pressures. For instance, during this one day competition each time a male was eliminated from the tournament the crowd and players would collectively burst into a round of applause.
Defending his decision to play in the ladies competition, Greg Sessler said: “Me playing in this tournament really had nothing to do with trying to take advantage of the ladies or thinking it was a softer field, I came here because I only had one day, and I really like the structures and the payout. This was the only tournament I could play.”