A documentary featuring some of the best female poker players is expected to hit Amazon Prime in November. Poker Queens hopes to bring more awareness about the game within the female circles and to attract more women to the poker tables, which are traditionally occupied by a majority of men.
Quest for a Bracelet
Sandra Mohr is the director behind Poker Queens, and the production is focused on the most coveted event in the poker world — the World Series of Poker (WSOP). The competition, which lasts for more than two weeks, brings together thousands of players from all levels and backgrounds and consists of 89 events in total. In addition to the lion’s share of the prize pool, the winner of each event also gets a golden gem-inlaid WSOP bracelet, which to poker players is what the NFL ring is to football players.
But why is Mohr even bothering to do a documentary on this topic? Because in its 49 year-old history, the Main Event of the tournament has never been won by a woman. What’s more, it’s been only once that a female poker player has made it to the final table of the Main Event – and that was back in 1995. Traditionally, less than 5% of the participants in the WSOP are female, and in general, the gender distribution in the poker world is very much scaled towards males. For example, during the 2018 edition of the WSOP, of the 7,800 entrants only 300 were women.
Despite being a minority, female players have made a name for themselves, and it is exactly some of the most successful ones that the Poker Queens documentary is focusing on. “With a backdrop of the glitz and glamour of high-roller Las Vegas, POKER QUEENS highlights the victories and explores the struggles of women in the world of professional poker,” says the movie’s website. The feature-length movie will be following some of the top female poker players in the race for a WSOP bracelet, and will also feature historical materials about the first women to enter the professional world of poker.
Past to Present
From what is known about the documentary, it will go back in time to talk about one of the first-ever pro female poker players. One of the picture’s heroes is Alice Ivers, “Poker Alice”, who was born in 1851 in England and made a living as a poker player. One of the most successful women in poker of our time, Vanessa Rousso, will also be featured in the documentary. Liv Boeree, who is among the greatest female poker players on the live tournament circuit, and India’s first pro female poker player, Muskan Sethi are also part of the documentary’s focus. Both of them are members of PokerStar’s team of pro players, which unites some of the best names in this game.
The Poker Palace
An interesting detail of the movie production is the so-called Poker Palace that was set-up during the WSOP at the Rio hotel in Vegas, right above the casino where the tournament took place. The Palace was actually a giant hotel suite that the crew behind the documentary rented out and turned into a relaxation haven for the female pros that were featured in the movie. Massages, meals, refreshments, and a host of other perks were available to the players. Mohr said in an interview with pokernews.com that the idea was to “capture some interaction” between the players and to provide a relaxing ground for them in between gaming sessions. In the end, however, due to the different schedules that each player followed, they couldn’t really get all the players in the same place at the same time.
Nevertheless, it’s hopeful that the documentary will bring more awareness to the participation of women in professional poker. The game is currently enjoying a huge fan-base all over the globe, including an increase in interest among women, yet Mohr has said she’d like to see a higher representation of female poker players. Mohr’s creative efforts are due to be released by the end of 2019, in the meantime you can watch a trailer on YouTube.