Friday, October 22, 2004

Women Shouldn't Play Poker

Those were the words of wisdom I encountered today.

I am a fairly tight, selective-agressive player. When I bet out, chances are I have something good. When I call, chances are I have something good, or something that may amount to something good. Odds, pot-odds, etc. etc. etc. Every now and then I mix it up a little. Pretty textbook, if you ask me.

So I was playing another ring game (which I don't really like - I am a tourney girl at heart) and I had Q J suited in late position. One raise before me, and I called. (Somewhat questionable, I know, but I felt the need to play a hand after seeing nothing but 3 - 8off and the like for the better part of an hour.) Flop came up K, J, 9 (the K and 9 to my suit). The initial raiser threw out a bet, and I once again called. Turn was another J, giving me trips. He bet, I called again, hoping to trap him for a few more dollars. (Hoping, of course, that I did have him beat at that stage.) River came up as a 7, so he bet, I raised, he re-raised, I called.

When he showed his big slick I wasn't surprised. That was what I put him on, hoping that he didn't have the trip kings or the straight. As the pot came my direction, he muttered "Women shouldn't play poker". Doing my standard poor job of keeping my mouth shut, I retaliated with "Maybe women just shouldn't play better poker than you".

Now, in all fairness, I should point out a couple of things. First of all, he did add a just kidding (j/k) after we posted those not-so-nice things to each other, as did I. Second of all, I honestly didn't think that I played better poker than he did. He easily could have had a better hand than I did. His argument was that I should not have called him on the flop with second pair. No amount of words would convince him that I was not only calling because of my pair of Jacks, I was drawing for a straight, a flush, a straight flush, etc. etc. I had tons of outs, and couldn't justify laying down the hand even though it was pretty obvious that he had me beat at the flop.

However, the hand was what the hand was. I beat him, he lost. He chose to make a gender-specific comment on my play, in truth or in jest, I don't know. This happens sooooo often while I am playing, which is one reason I don't play alot of ring games anymore. I find in tournaments, the average player is either less concerned about gender, or at least less vocal about it. So why don't I use a handle that is non-gender specific? Or why don't I chance my icon to a picture of a brick rather than a picture of me? I suppose the answer is, I have no reason to hide who/what I am.

Poker is still, for the majority, a man's game. I know that, he knows that, she knows that. And to be perfectly honest, I usually prefer to play against men too. I am not a girly-girl. Give me a beer over a pina colada anyday. On holidays, if I can't play poker, I prefer to be out fishing. That is just the way it is. It comes as no surprise to anyone that knows me well, that I chose to make poker a full-time endeavor.

So my question for the masses is this: Does it matter to you if you are beat by a woman in a "man's game", or does it just matter that you were beat? I don't really expect anyone to answer this, but answer it to yourself. You might be surprised at what you learn.