The recent allegations of sexual harassment and racism made by cash game specialist Dr. Jaclynn Moskow against a number of men associated with poker TV show Poker Night in America has shined a spotlight on a number of issues pertaining to the role of women within the world of poker.
According to a blog post made by Moscow and a follow-up appearance on the Poker Life podcast of Joey Ingram, Moscow was apparently willing to overlook alleged racism and sexual harassment incidents for an opportunity to advance her poker career by playing and appearing on PNIA telecasts.
For a woman to (at first) turn a blind eye to such serious charges is disturbing in and of itself and it likely happens far too often in society in general. But doing so for the sake of perhaps obtaining a poker sponsorship or other opportunities in the realm of poker, as was Moscow’s apparent intent, shows that the availability of such coveted positions for women in poker is quite limited.
Poker Coaching Sites
Those limited opportunities seemingly extend also to coaching at the industry’s top online poker training sites. A look at the current rosters of a number of popular coaching sites shows a shocking lack of female players.
Cardrunners lists 120 poker pros on its site, with 81 currently labeled as inactive instructors. Out of that whole bunch, active or not, the only female player on the roster is Lana O’brien.
Phil Galfond’s Run it Once training site has mug shots of 84 pros. You’ll find names like Stephen, George and Brian listed among them, but Jen Shahade is the only female player out of that seven dozen.
The mini-biographies of 30 pros are posted at Tournament Poker Edge. Following the theme established at the other top poker coaching sites, Jamie Kerstetter is the lone female pro.
Over at Ivey League Poker where Phil Ivey and his 32 coaches aim to teach the world to play winning poker, nary a lady pro is on the current roster. There were top female players coaching at Ivey Poker previously as photos of Jennifer Harman and Jackie Glazier once graced the Coaches page, but no more.
Not Enough Women
Of course, one argument as to why there aren’t more women players on the rosters of top poker coaching sites is because of the lack of female poker players in general. Estimates put the typical percentage of women players in live tournaments somewhere in the 3% to 7% range. For instance, last year’s WSOP Colossus event drew 1,416 women entrants out of over 22,000, only 6% of the field.
If we look at the four poker training sites analyzed, we find the photos of only three ladies out of 267 on pro rosters. Let’s be generous and include Glazier and Harman as they represented Ivey Poker not that long ago. That makes five women pros out of 267, less than 2%.
Getting back to the issue of Jaclynn Moscow and her desire to further establish herself in the poker world, it’s not hard to see the limited opportunities available to women players if one looks only at the gender split at the industry’s most popular poker coaching sites. The allegations Moskow made against the parties involved, whether you believe them or not, will be sorted out in some fashion eventually, one would think.
But the point of this article is to show that female poker pros are under-represented at top online poker training sites. Shouldn’t that be fixed if we would like to attract more women to the game?