Patty Baumier: Ladies Events Contradict the Spirit of Poker

Patty Baumier

Much have been said about women-only tournaments lately. It’s a subject surrounded with a lot of controversy. At EPT Deauville 22 male players entered the Ladies Event, which prompted Victoria Coren to say: “Those are not 22 men, those are 22 idiots!”. And just a couple of days ago Katie Dozier’s open letter to PokerStars, where she points out that the poker site has cut down on women’s tournaments and satellites, created an intense and somewhat rancorous debate on 2+2.

In an interviews with PokerNews France PKR pro Patty Baumier gives her take on the episode in Deauville and women-only tournaments in general. Baumier points out that the issue of men registering ladies event is not new and that the debate resurfaces every time it happens. The only thing special about Deauville was the number of men entering and the fact that one of them won it. Baumier continues:

“We should relativize. There are currently more serious things going on in the poker world, and particularly in French poker, than 23 impudent persons participating in a tournament in which they are not wanted (…) I think, and this is my own opinion, that ladies tournaments are not the right place to be. One of the peculiarities of poker is the diversity that exists in the community. Whoever we are and where we come from, we can all find ourselves at a poker table and play together. In this sense, the game is not like most sports where men and women, old and young people are not equal going into a certain discipline. In poker, good and bad players, professionals and amateurs can compete. And that is the richness and beauty of this game. The creation of tournaments for women, are in my opinion, a contradiction of the spirit of poker.”

Confronted with the argument, that ladies’ tournaments can make poker more accessible to women, who would otherwise not play in a male dominated environment, Baumier agrees that the world of poker can be “testosterone and macho”, but she doesn’t see ladies events as the solution. Instead of isolation female players should try to change things from within and take advantage of the fact that most men seem to underestimate female players:

”Being a woman at the poker table is such an advantage that it would be stupid not to play. All men know that a woman is never bluffing and always folds unless …! (…) I think very few players manage to ignore the fact that I am a “young woman.” They can react in two ways: Either they take me up because “poker is a man’s game.” In this case, they will play very aggressively and try to show who’s boss. The difficulty here is to try and not be impressed. On the contrary, they are very considerate, doing everything to avoid confrontation. If I am the original raiser preflop, they will be the types to fold a hand that they would otherwise call. They will play more passively (…) Under these circumstances it is easier for me to bluff profitable.”

We are sure that the discussion of women’s tournaments will continue, in the meantime you can read all of the interview with Patty Baumier (in French) here

Photo: Patty Baumier, PKR.

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