Women have long been underrepresented in the world of poker. While they only tend to comprise four or five percent of most live tournament fields, a higher percentage is known to play cash games as well as online poker. And regardless of the numbers, it only makes sense to hire more women as poker ambassadors and team pros in order to draw more women to the game in general.
Within the past week, three online poker sites announced the signing of four women to sponsorship deals. PartyPoker and 888poker are the best known of the trio, but Adda52 has an increasing presence in the Indian market and signed a woman to its roster as well.
The move on the parts of all three sites indicates that there is a sincere effort to increase the visibility of women in poker.
888poker Signs Natalie Hof
The first of the four announcements came on October 5 when 888poker revealed Natalie Hof as its newest ambassador. The 888poker team boasts of names like Dominik Nitsche and Chris Moorman, while Sofia Lovgren was the only international female sponsor for some time, though Jessica Dawley represents the site in the United States market. Earlier in 2016, the site brought Kara Scott into the mix.
Hof is an exciting addition to the team, as she spent some time as a “Friend of PokerStars” several years ago but now takes her place on a prestigious 888 team. She has played poker since her university days, and she got even more involved with the game as a presenter for the European Poker Tour in Germany for several seasons. Her career has blossomed since then, which led to her invitation to join 888poker.
She will be playing online as 888NatalieH but also attend live poker events, such as the upcoming 888Live Poker Festival in London this month. “With such talented pros and a variety of games,” she noted, “it’s quite an honor to have the opportunity to play as an 888poker ambassador for a game I love so. I’m very motivated to improve my game and travel a lot playing with amazing teammates.” She is also set to stream some of her games on Twitch and produce content for her new YouTube channel.
Adda52 Signs Nikita Luther
A day later, Adda52 of India announced that Nikita Luther became the first female member of the quickly-growing online poker site. She joins a team of men but looks to break the stereotype of poker being a man’s game, a notion still particularly prevalent in India. The site’s founder and CEO, Anuj Gupta, said, “Signing Nikita as an Adda52 Pro is an important step in helping promote the game among the women in India where poker is only just coming to the fore.”
Luther may not be known outside of her home country, but she also took up the game while in college and has played for several years since. As a professional player, she won the Ladies Finale at the 2015 India Poker Championship in Goa and plans to play much more regularly as a part of the team, both live and online. And she expressed her excitement in the press release: “It is poker’s biggest platform in the country, and I can’t wait to start my term with them. I passionately aspire to remove the taboo and ignorance associated with poker.”
PartyPoker Signs Jackie Glazier and Beata Jambrik
One day later, the best known of the women announced her partnership with PartyPoker. Jackie Glazier had only recently discontinued her deal with 888poker, and the Australian didn’t take long before finding a new online poker home. With more than $1.3 million in live tournament earnings and some success online as well, Glazier will be a key representative to widen PartyPoker’s range in the Australian market.
Tom Waters of PartyPoker noted the importance of the expansion to Australia: “We are looking to invest in grassroots poker in Australia and Jackie is the perfect person to assist us in achieving these goals.” Glazier is also keen on the idea, saying that she knows the market well. “I am confident that together our passion will help us to expand the game of poker in my country. I am looking forward to announcing some games and promotions over the next few weeks that will offer great value to the Australian poker community.
She joins players like Mike Sexton and Tony Dunst on the PartyPoker team roster but will mainly play on the Australian live poker circuit, as well as online under the name JACKSTARPARTY. Her first outing wearing the PartyPoker patch was at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, but she will also be jetting off to play the PartyPoker Million and WPT Caribbean in November.
Feeling so much love since joining @partypoker Thanks to every1 that sent congrats and thanks to the partypoker team for such a warm welcome— Jackie Glazier (@JackieGlazier) October 10, 2016
A few days after announcing Glazier, PartyPoker added another news item by revealing that Beata “Wild Hungarian” Jambrik was joining the team as well. She is a newcomer to the game, only having begun her career in January of 2015. But her journey through poker has been playing out on Twitch through live streaming, where she has garnered a following.
With the launch of the PartyPoker Twitch channel this week, Jambrik and friend (and PartyPoker ambassador Patrick Leonard) will collaborate to play online poker on the stream and host some competitions for PartyPoker players.