On Sunday, August 26, 2018, the World Poker Tour is hosting its first-ever WPT Women’s Poker Summit. Angelica Hael, VP of Global Tour Management for the World Poker Tour is heading up the initiative and provided the following information about the summit.
Why is WPT now focusing its attention on the topic of women in poker?
“One of the WPT’s key responsibilities is to grow the game of poker. Too long has the lack of women in poker been a topic of conversation in our industry, and it’s time we work to both attract more women to the game and keep them playing poker for years and years to come. Women represent half of the population in the world, but they only represent a small fraction of the poker-playing community in tournaments and cash games. It’s no secret that poker is a male-dominated industry, both on the business side and the playing side. I’m fortunate enough to work for a company where 50 percent of our executive team is made up of women. Unfortunately, we don’t see that same percentage in poker events around the world, but this is something we want to improve upon. We can either stop talking about the topic or we can choose to do something. I’m proud to say that our team has come together and decided that it’s time to put words into actions and initiate a plan of attack that achieves the goal of bringing more women in poker, starting with the WPT Women’s Poker Summit.”
Can you tell us a little bit more about the recently announced WPT Women’s Poker Summit?
“The WPT now wants to share our ideas and have a direct dialogue with the women in our community. Hosting the WPT Women’s Poker Summit event is in line with what we typically do every season, where we have an open dialogue with the players to discuss a variety of topics. Together with the players, we discuss issues and work to find out how to address them. We recognize that there’s always room for the World Poker Tour to improve and to grow, and keeping an open dialogue with the community allows us to do so. With the WPT Women’s Poker Summit, we will be looking to identify areas of improvement for how we can both attract more women to the beautiful game of poker and keep them playing for years and years to come.
“The upcoming WPT500 Los Angeles event at the Bicycle Hotel & Casino is a great time to host the inaugural WPT Women’s Poker Summit. The summit will take place on Sunday, August 26, 2018, at 2 p.m. in the Dynasty Room at the Bike. WPT headquarters is right down the road in Irvine, which allows us to have plenty of resources on the ground and executives in the room, plus several executives at the Bicycle Hotel & Casino are women, much like here at the World Poker Tour.
“The WPT Women’s Poker Summit is going to follow a slightly different format than the usual format of our player forums. We want to maintain a more informal atmosphere that will generate meaningful discussion on the topic. In order to do that, we feel the best course of action is to limit the number of seats available so that we can gather real, tangible items that will yield actionable results. We encourage those interested in attending to email [email protected] to inquire.”
Who will be in attendance?
“You will find representatives from our global casino partners, poker media, executives from non-poker industries, and representatives from various women poker organizations all in attendance. Plus, there will be professional and non-professional female poker players at the summit.”
Can men attend the summit?
“Absolutely! If we want to succeed in increasing the number of women who play poker, then we most definitely need the input, encouragement, and support from the other 50 percent of the population. If you haven’t already, we encourage you to read the recent WPT blog by WPT Executive Tour Director Matt Savage. Matt is completely on board with this initiative and I am honored to have his strong support as we work to grow the game.”
How often can we expect to see these types of events?
“We will want to see how the inaugural WPT Women’s Poker Summit goes before committing to anything in the future, but we understand our goals won’t be achieved overnight. Just as we do with all of our player summits, we will survey the landscape and schedule future summits as we feel best fits our objective. Coming out of this inaugural summit, we’ll want to understand if the format was sound, what tweaks need to be made, and how we can improve before we announce additional summits.
“Integrating more women into the poker ecosystem is a very important subject for all of us at the WPT, and likewise in the community. We not only want to be part of the dialogue, we want to drive it and be successful in attracting more women to poker. Continuous and meaningful communication are integral parts of the process, starting with the first WPT Women’s Poker Summit in August.”
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