Justin Bonomo Speaks Up About Sexism in Poker


The discussion about sexism in poker continues to grow after Cate Hall – among others – came out and talked about the misogynist culture women face, when we sit down at a poker table. Melissa Burr and Vanessa Selbst have criticized Daniel Negreanu and Alex Dreyfus for excluding women, when they habitually refer to poker players as “guys” and “big boys”, and yesterday high stakes player and WSOP bracelet winner Justin Bonomo gave an articulate and spot-on perspective on the subject to PokerNews’ Sarah Herring:

”We are very fortunate to be white males, and in poker everything is kind of designed for us. There’s no barrier; it’s really easy. I don’t think there needs to be any guilt associated with that. But I think what Daniel [Negreanu] is missing is when you have these privileges, you should stop and listen to people, who don’t have that same privileges. It kind of shows some empathy and try to understand what they are going through. The main example I want to bring up is Vanessa Selbst. She has said to Daniel a couple of times: “I really don’t appreciate it, when you say ‘Come play with the big boys in the high stakes game’”. She says it kind of belittles women and show that they are not equals to men.”

In order to combat sexism in poker and attract more women to the game, Bonomo makes clear, that we have to: “Cultivate an environment that’s friendly for women poker players; we need to all work on that together. And when we see something that’s out of line, speak-up on it! Like men just catcalling women at the poker table … just making it an unwelcoming environment. If I were a girl, I wouldn’t want to be playing a table with these eight gross men that are just saying these filthy things. “

Hardly was the interview uploaded before tweets pro and con were fired. One thing is certain: the discussion is not over yet.

You can find the interview with Justin Bonomo here:

And in case you missed Cate Hall’s brilliant essay, you can find it on our website right here.

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