By Sean Chaffin
The WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open kicks off Jan 27 for five days of action. The last six players will then head to Las Vegas on March 13 to film the final table for Fox Sports at HyperX Esports Arena at Luxor Hotel and Casino. Borgata will be hosting 22 other events as part of the fun – with one particular event standing out on the schedule.
The property and WPT are teaming up to bring something new to the series in an effort to expose the game to more women and get them playing. The Ladies Poker Brunch and Learn event will be held during WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open festival on Jan 26 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Studio No. 2 in the Event Center.
Along with learning more about the game and strategies, the event will include raffle drawings and gifts, and also coincides with the $120 Ladies Deep Stack re-entry event. The tournament kicks off the same afternoon at 1 p.m. and allows players to jump in on the action and practice what they’ve learned.
The effort was borne out of the WPT Women in Poker Summit in August (pictured) where WPT officials proposed making these types of events a part of upcoming stops. The Borgata brunch is the first in these efforts and the WPT will be working with the tour’s global partners to continue with similar activities and initiatives throughout Season XVII and beyond.
“Borgata has always been committed to increasing the number of women who play poker both in their live and online tournament offerings,” says Angelica Hael, WPT vice president of Global Tour Management. “We’re happy to partner with them on this initiative and we plan to work together even more in the future.”
Women will enjoy complimentary mimosas while learning the game of poker. Players are asked to bring friends who may want to learn, with how-to instruction offered from female professional poker players and WPT regulars Loni Harwood and Jessica Dawley.
Harwood has more than $2.9 million in tournament winnings including numerous championships and final table appearances. Dawley (pictured) is a former member of the U.S. Air Force and has almost $760,000 in tournament winnings. In 2018, she won the $1,000 Ladies Championship at the World Series of Poker for $130,230.
“Our goal is to empower these women so they feel comfortable on the felt,” Dawley says. “We’re excited for the opportunity to share the plethora of knowledge we’ve acquired throughout our poker journey.”
Both women plan to play in the Ladies Deep Stack and see it as an opportunity to grow the number of women in poker.
“Events like these are imperative for the ever-growing female presence in poker,” Dawley says. “In a field that’s predominantly male, it’s tougher and more difficult for women to insert themselves into the poker community. This is a great opportunity for women to learn the subtle nuances of the ever-changing poker lifestyle in a friendly and fun environment.”
The WPT will be giving away five seats in the event at the brunch as well as T-shirts and jackets to all those who attend. The brunch costs $45 and players must be over 21.
“Hosting events such as this makes poker accessible at an affordable price point and in a welcoming environment,” Hael says. “Building from the grassroots level is a wonderful benefit to the poker ecosystem.”
For more information on the WPT championship event, click here. For a complete Borgata Winter Poker Open schedule, click here.
Sean Chaffin is a freelance writer in Crandall, Texas. His work appears in numerous websites and publications. Follow him on Twitter @PokerTraditions.
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