Pokerstars, Poker Power Team Up to Increase Female Participation at the Tables

Over the past few years, several initiatives have tried to attract more female players to poker. PokerStars has made some previous attempts to increase women’s participation in the game, and is now introducing a new program with Poker Power that it hopes will be even more successful.

Jennifer Shahade
Jennifer Shahade
Poker player and PokerStars ambassador Jennifer Shahade celebrates winning the Open-Face Chinese Poker World Championship High Roller. PokerStars and Poker Power, both of which she is affiliated with, are teaming up on a new program to encourage more female participation in poker. (Image: PokerNews)

Barbara Freer was the first female to enter a World Series of Poker (WSOP) open event in 1979. Not much has changed through 2016, with women comprising only around 5% of the entire poker field until that time.

Things have moved faster recently, with 888Poker reporting a 23% increase in female participation since 2016. However, the field is still overwhelmingly tilted toward men. Flutter-owned PokerStars and women-led Poker Power think they can change that.

Poker Bootcamp for Women

PokerStars and Poker Power will offer a new “bootcamp” program aimed at attracting more women to poker, according to a PokerStars announcement. They want to reach women who are new to poker, but who have an interest in learning more.

The bootcamp will run for four weeks and is open to all women worldwide. It will focus on gameplay and dive into negotiation, capital allocation, and strategic decision-making. PokerStars says the program is just one of several initiatives it’s introducing to attract more women to poker.

These bootcamps are an essential first opportunity to pique interest in women who have never played the game before and to motivate those that play poker, to continue to evolve their skills and gain confidence at the tables,” said PokerStars Director of partnerships, PR and consumer engagement Rebecca McAdam Willetts.

Course content will include practice sessions using Poker Powers’ teaching app, Poker Power Play. It will also involve tournaments and home games at PokerStars.

To help prepare for the European Poker Tour (EPT) in Prague, participants will be able to receive one-on-one tutorials from PokerStars’ ambassadors Jennifer Shahade and GJ Reggie. They will also be eligible to win a Platinum Pass and a paid trip to the PokerStars Players No-Limit Hold’em Championships in the Bahamas.

A Just Poker Recommendation

Poker is anyone’s game, and numerous studies have found that being successful at the table can also mean being successful in business. It’s because of this that Jenny Just recommends all women – even young ones – play the game.

Just is the cofounder of Peak6 Investments, which has over $23.4 billion under management. She’s also a former member of the board of the Chicago Board Options Exchange. All of her success in the corporate ecosystem, she recently told CNBC, also has direct links to poker.

She even taught her daughter and her daughter’s friends how to play, knowing that it would help them in life. She is convinced that learning how to play poker is a way to improve at capital allocation and strategic thinking.

This is an idea that Poker Power shares. It has formed partnerships with key companies, including Morgan Stanley, Kellogg, and others, to teach leadership skills.

Poker isn’t just about learning how to be smart away from the tables, though. It’s also a fascinating experience at them. It can provide an incredible adrenaline rush, especially when you can outplay your competition and send a player to the rail.

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