Gender-bias and poker, does it really exist? For pro-poker player that goes with the pseudonym Sia Layta, it does exist. In fact, she plans to launch her upcoming book, Black Widow Poker in the boldest way possible. She plans to launch the book publicly entering a $10,000 buy-in main event by July as she disguises herself as a man. The book will discuss gender bias in the poker world as she claims that women typically experience bullying within the industry.
Layta mentioned that “women aren’t able to play poker the way men are”. She cited a strategy as an example. She mentioned that most women are better off slow playing their hands to get action from men. According to her, “It’s really hard to win a tournament when you have to limp in”. Aside from discussing gender bias, the book will also feature a strategy guide for its readers.
Women Hasn’t Won WSOP Main Event
Is there really a connection between gender and winning the WSOP main event? Only one woman in 1995 was able to make it to the final table over the years. In addition to this, there has been no woman who has ever won WSOP for more than 40 years. If you will also look at the statistics, only a small chunk of poker players are women. There are just 272 women out of the 6,949 players in last year’s main event.
Layta will plan to remove her disguise including facial hair. Her disguise will take around 30 minutes to assemble before she gets to play. But of course, it still depends if she will be able to make it far enough. Layta has been playing poker for more than a decade already. However, she declined to give her real name.
Foul on the Rule Book
But of course, her plan is to really make a statement rather than to just win. Also, it could be another publicity stunt in order to get her book to sell in case she wins. This plan will most likely be foul on the rule book WSOP.
In 2008, Phil Laak was able to play day 1 of the tournament in Rio Hotel and Casino wearing a latex mask disguising himself as an older man. The mask in itself wasn’t exactly convincing and people knew from the start that it was Laak. This stunt created a rule in order to protect the entire integrity of the event itself.
According to the WSOP rule, “Participants may not cover or conceal their facial identity”. In addition to this, “tournament officials must be able to distinguish the participants at all times and may instruct participants to remove any material that inhibits their identification or is a distraction to other participants or tournament officials. Participants may wear sunglasses and sweatshirts with hoods, but may be asked to remove them if tournament officials cannot identify them”.
According to Seth Palansky when asked about Layta’s plans, he said that “My advice is that she take her idea to another event without that rule”. There is a chance that she is going to forfeit her $10,000 entry fee if she gets caught.