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Florida Man Takes Down Women’s Poker Championship

There’s a fascinating story about a WPT poker event in the most recent “What is Florida Man Up to Now?” installment. David Hughes, a 70-year-old man, earned $5,555 after finishing first in the $250 Ladies No-limit Hold’em tournament, sparking much discussion in the poker community.

David Hughes Takes Down a $250 Ladies Poker Tournament
This past week saw the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown go place at the Hollywood, Florida casino and hotel, the Seminole Hard Rock. The Ladies No-limit Hold ’em tournament was a highlight, with 83 competitors.

Hughes, who presents as male, was admitted to the event by using a legal loophole in the state of Florida. This law ensured that he could participate in the competition without fear of discrimination, allowing him to eventually finish in first place.

achieved third place among women! didn’t have a good race when it counted. gg, gals. and the victorious guy himself? do not repeat that

On April 30, 2023, Abby Merk (@abbypoker34) tweeted:

Is That Why Hughes Went to the Match?
Hughes’s participation in the all-female poker tournament drew the attention of Ebony Kenney, one of the other players there. According to her, he first entered as a joke but then entered again for the reward.

There is just Dave, a male, in the @WPT women’s tournament I’m playing in today. (Authorized filming!)

I wish men could see through the dead money to see what these celebrations really represent.

I offered $300 for his capture, and Tamra and Noah Piderit doubled it.

Go grab him.

The following is a tweet from Ebony Kenney, sent on April 29, 2023: “Poker & Meaningful Pleasure.”

This seemingly innocuous motivation has brought up serious concerns about women’s safe places. Kenney said that gatherings of this kind aim to facilitate conversation amongst female poker players who have common experiences.

Having a male there devalues the significance of these occurrences and completely undermines their intended meaning. It’s well knowledge that women experience bias and intimidation while playing poker, thus David Hughes’s presence at the tournament may have made some players uneasy.

After Kenney explained everything to him, he expressed regret. Their 14-part Twitter discussion is worth reading in its entirety for more of her insightful commentary on the need for women-only poker rooms.

Poker Tournaments for Women: How to Keep the Men Out
This has occurred before as well. Abraham Korotiki, a man, won the Ladies NLHE tournament at the Borgata Poker Open in 2009. It’s not unheard of for guys to play in events designed specifically for women.

There is analogous legislation in Nevada. The World Series of Poker gets around this by charging males $10,000 to enter and offering women a 90% discount. In this approach, male visitors are intentionally discouraged.


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