2010 isnt quite over, yet many venues in the media are giving 2010 to the women. Its true women have made a huge splash this year, Liv Boree took a major title in Europe, Vanessa Selbst took down two major titles plus a great showing at the WSOP, and Kathy Liebert; leading woman tournament player in the world was inducted into the Women of Poker Hall of Fame. There are so many more women I could mention that have made a mark on their poker careers in 2010, but why should I have too? Women have been making an impact on poker for many years. All we want to do is be recognized for our poker complishments, not necessarily our gender. Why say this woman or that woman was the last one standing? Is it so important to emphasize a gender? Does anyone ever say, this guy is the last Afro-American standing? Arent we all just poker players? So why is everyone so absorbed in the number of women playing poker?
The womens market is a very sought after demographic. The problem with acquiring any percentage of this demographic is that women have less disposable money, are often providing a second income to a family household, and of course are the primary caregivers to a growing family. A small percentage of the womens market is made of ladies who devote their career and income to poker and who do have or make the time for poker and traveling the various curcuits. So how do the poker venues draw women into their fold? The answer is easy, MARKETING! Have you ever heard the phrase, “Build it and they will come?” Finally a poker venue has opened the flood gates of ideas to attract women poker players of all levels of skill.
PokerStars began two womens leagues a couple of months ago to attract more women to their online tournaments and qualifiers for their live tournaments, even before that, they provided qualifiers for major live tournaments in London and the United States. Based on a point system, PokerStars has impressed even me with their due diligence and concern to accomodate women players in both America and Europe. Precise times for anyone to make any number of online tournaments and qualifiers makes it so easy and convenient for ladies to play no less than two tournaments a day if they so wish. In addition, PokerStars has gone another step further and keeps a running ledger of every woman who plays in the leagues and accumulates points towards prizes that include cash, trips, live tournaments and lots more. The numbers have indeed been an impressive 150 and often tops 200 players in the league games.
There have been many women organizations working the womens poker market for several years, but one stand out organization has to be the HHPT, also known as the High Heels Poker Tour. HHPT is co-ordinating with PokerStars, freerolls, qualifiers and partnership/sponsorship to provide women a way to win their trip package to the Bahamas /PokerStars Caribbean Adventure series. A recent FREEROLL sponsored by HHPT drew over 300 players online. A highly sought after package and trip, this getaway will also highlight a poker seminar featuring Beth Gains theory on Eat, Play, Love for ladies to tap into their spiritual self as well as maintaining a confident poker mind. It appears PokerStars has opened the flood gates to the womens poker market and is on the way to swimming happily to the top.
I’d like to take a moment to THANK PokerStars personally for finally opening a venue to invite more poker players in a wide open market that I am a part of. You took a chance on a market that doesnt respond in over whelming numbers, but does indeed respond, and is grateful and thriving in this opportunity. I hope it continues on for a very long time and turns into a great relationship with womens poker.