Justin Bonomo Speaks Up About Sexism in Pkv Poker



The discussion about sexism in poker continues to grow after Cate Hall – among others – came out and talked about the misogynist culture women face, when we sit down at a poker table. Melissa Burr and Vanessa Selbst have criticized Daniel Negreanu and Alex Dreyfus for excluding women, when they habitually refer to poker players as “guys” and “big boys”, and yesterday high stakes player and WSOP bracelet winner Justin Bonomo gave an articulate and spot-on perspective on the subject to PokerNews’ Sarah Herring:


”We are very fortunate to be white males, and in poker everything is kind of designed for us. There’s no barrier; it’s really easy. I don’t think there needs to be any guilt associated with that. But I think what Daniel [Negreanu] is missing is when you have these privileges, you should stop and listen to people, who don’t have that same privileges. It kind of shows some empathy and try to understand what they are going through. The main example I want to bring up is Vanessa Selbst. She has said to Daniel a couple of times: “I really don’t appreciate it, when you say ‘Come play with the big boys in the high stakes game’”. She says it kind of belittles women and show that they are not equals to men.”


In order to combat sexism in poker and attract more women to the game, Bonomo makes clear, that we have to: “Cultivate an environment that’s friendly for women poker players; we need to all work on that together. And when we see something that’s out of line, speak-up on it! Like men just catcalling women at the poker table … just making it an unwelcoming environment. If I were a girl, I wouldn’t want to be playing a table with these eight gross men that are just saying these filthy things. “


Hardly was the interview uploaded before tweets pro and con were fired. One thing is certain: the discussion is not over yet.


Jennifer Harman Newest Member of Poker Hall of Fame


Sixth time’s the charm for Jennifer Harman who will be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame, Class of 2015, together with John Juanda on November 6 at Binion’s Gambling Hall. Harman is only the third woman to make the cut and follow in the footsteps of Barbara Enright (2007) and Linda Johnson (2011).


To be inducted into the PHoF a player must meet the following criteria:


Be a minimum of 40 years old at time of nomination.

Have played poker against acknowledged top competition.

Played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers.

Played for high stakes.

Stood the test of time.

Looking at the criteria there’s no doubt that Harman meets them all. The 50-year old Harman has played in the biggest cash games for decades, and she was the first woman to win two WSOP-bracelets in open events. In 2000 she won the $5,000 NL Deuce to Seven Event and two years later the $5,000 Limit Hold’em Event.


She was part of “The Corporation” that took on Andy Beal in 2006 for stakes up to $100,000-200,000, in Pkv and she’s been a regular in Bobby’s Room at the Bellagio for decades playing and beating strong competition in the biggest cash games.


Harman is also the author of the limit hold’em chapter in Super System II and she has appeared on TV poker shows like High Stakes Poker, Poker After Dark, Million Dollar Cash Game and the Shark Cage.


Harman has been a pioneer and huge inspiration for female poker players all around the world. She has proven that a woman can be highly successful in a male dominated game and she precedes players like Melissa Burr, Vanessa Selbst, Maria Ho, Liv Boeree, Victoria Coren, Annette Obrestad, Kitty Kuo and Vanessa Rousso.


In an interview with CardPlayer in August Harman said it was “really important” to be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame: “Basically poker is a solo sport. You basically have to pat yourself on the back and even when you are losing you have to pat yourself on the back if you think you played well. I think getting into the Hall of Fame means that your peers respect what you have done with your life and career.”


Huge congrats to Jennifer Harman on her well-deserved induction. Here at PokerWomenNews we look forward to follow this amazing player in many years to come.