Like so many people out there, I have a Poker passion. It’s mentally stimulating, a cool form of chess. I’ve loved it since my Uncle Al taught me the difference between 5-card stud and 5-card draw at the age of 8. Before that moment, card-playing consisted of such riveting (yawn) games as: Go Fish, Crazy 8s and Old Maid.
I was hooked. I didn’t really understand the magnitude of it at the time. I certainly didn’t think Poker was anything more than a hobby. To my Catholic parents (who played the lottery more religiously than they attended Church), it was gambling and a sin.
Besides, I was a girl. Poker was a game for men. Somewhere between math, science, and corporate achievement, I heard the not-so-subtle message loud and clear - poker was not a lady-like thing.
Well, I ain’t no lady.
A few years ago I moved to Texas with my husband and young son. I heard the call of the cards. I began to see Poker everywhere, but it was not the 5-card I’d so loved. It was Hold ‘Em, baby.
Texas Hold ‘Em in Texas is sort of like religion but maybe more like football, which is beyond that even for some of the most die-hard “Born-Agains” I’ve ever seen.
Eventually, I gave in and started learning this game. If it takes me “a lifetime to master”, I’ll be happy trying. If gambling is still a sin, I'll be thrilled to challenge St. Peter to play heads up for the last spot in Heaven, or I'll enjoy making a royal killing in Hell.
I started out on the internet while looking for a face-to-face game. It seems that there still aren’t many men who want a ‘lady’ playing with them and even more who don’t want her to beat them. Even online, there are times I’ve been called something that rhymes with a “witch” or worse.
It used to bother me. Then, I started looking to the Annie Dukes, the Jennifer Harmans, the Barbara Enrights of the world. They handle themselves with grace and dignity -- and impeccable skill. They let the cards do the talking, well, most of the time.
There’s more Poker heroines out there and you’ll find out more about them (I hope) as I continue kvetching about the status of ladies in the game.
We’re not second-class citizens, y’all. Let us in and let us play the game.
Bio: Deanna Couras Goodson is a 31 year old mom of two, magna cum laude graduate of a major university, a freelance writer and a woman. She plays Poker as often as she can … and then plays some more. Her greatest wish is to be the first “Bad Lady of Poker.”
Filed Under: Miscellaneous King Articles