How women are changing the face of poker

Poker has been a popular game in the U.S. for decades. Casinos and other organized betting venues that offer poker games—including tournaments—are sprinkled all over the U.S. Recently, poker has been growing across Europe with cities like Dublin and London leading the poker craze. This increase in poker playing has led many women to begin hitting the tables and online poker sites. In an interview with Bluff Europe, Hippodrome Casino Head of Poker Kerryjane Craigie mentions the rise in the number of female poker players. With women like Vanessa Selbst, Liv Boeree, Kara Scott, Ana Marquez, and Ebony Kenney hitting the tables, ladies are proving to be just as good as their male counterparts—if not better.

During the 1950s, Las Vegas, Nevada witnessed a boom in gambling as hundreds of casinos masked as resorts begin to emerge along the Strip. By the 1960s, many of these casino resorts expanded and became grander as major corporations began to invest in the industry. Today there are nearly 900 casinos in the U.S. with the top three American casino markets located along the Las Vegas Strip as well as in Atlantic City, New Jersey and the Chicago metro region. Besides Macau and the U.S., the U.K. enjoys some of the most lucrative casinos in the world with many cities and towns hosting small casinos. Although women traditionally stayed in the background when casinos initially came about, the role of women in gambling has shifted within the past few decades. No longer are women seen as just lucky charms and eye candy at poker tables as more are becoming players, dealers, and executives at casinos.

As casinos grow in numbers, card tables are seeing more and more women playing hard and winning big. Vanessa Selbst, for instance, is by far the most successful female professional poker player with her winnings totaling over $9 million. Selbst has made six final tables and two heads-up semi-finals at the World Series of Poker and, according to the World Series of Poker, Selbst had won over $3.5 million in live tournaments alone by the time she was 27. In addition to scoring big at the tables, women are also benefiting from sponsorships and appearances. Major female players like Kara Scott are building a strong following as they move up in the poker player ranks and gain fame on the live poker circuit. Unlike some other poker ladies, however, Scott got her start behind the scenes as the host of Poker Night Live, a popular poker show. Excited by the action at the tables, Scott moved from simple presenter to player and won over $400,000 after finishing second in the Irish Open, according to her profile on PartyPoker. She’s gone on to win back-to-back cash prizes in the World Series of Poker Main Event while still hanging on to her poker event and television hosting duties.

Although more women are hitting casinos and other gambling establishments to get their poker fix, there is still a lack of women at live poker events. However, more than one-third of online poker players are female, according to BoxingScene. This could be because of the convenience and intimacy of online betting and, unlike at live poker events, the anonymity that comes with playing on a computer. With online poker playing, women can hone their skills and become better players without feeling intimidated by all the men in the room or feeling that their gender is an issue. Also, women tend to prefer the lower stakes that online sites offer.

Poker may still be considered a game dominated by men, but women are gaining in the ranks of top poker players. From big-time poker competitors to favored poker entertainment presenters, females are becoming heavy hitters in all aspects of the industry. And whether they prefer to hit the interactive tables online or at a live poker event, women will remain fixtures on the poker scene.

End the year on a high

Source: Georgina Sweeney

HOW TO END THE YEAR ON A HIGH and prepare for an amazing 2013…

This isn’t a complicated process by any means but it does involve setting aside some quiet time for reflection and a little writing. Don’t worry, nothing too laborious 😉
You’ll need about 30-60 minutes to complete this exercise.
You’ll also need a pen and three sheets of paper (printer paper works great.)


First, create your gratitude list. Understanding why we are grateful for something or someone allows us to not only experience an even deeper level of gratitude and raise our vibration but also attract more of the same on a more conscious level.

Step 1

Take a sheet of paper and draw a vertical line down the middle so that you have two columns.
At the top of the left-hand column write the words “WHAT I AM GRATEFUL FOR IN 2012.” At the top of the right-hand column write the words “WHY I AM GRATEFUL.”

Step 2

Now, in your mind, replay your year from January through December pausing to write down the positive highlights from each month in the “what I am grateful for” column. These can include the people in your life, your health, your wealth, your home, business achievements, how you handled tough situations, where you grew emotionally, fun events, happy memories, family additions, new connections, anything that makes you and your heart smile as you recall them 🙂 Really allow yourself to go hog wild here, using more than one sheet of paper if you wish. If you find the calendar approach is too linear for you, simply write whatever you are grateful for as it comes to you.

Step 3

Next, opposite everything you feel grateful for, write down the reason WHY in the “why I am grateful” column. The easiest way to do this is to say “I am grateful because…” and then fill in the blank.
No matter how “good” or “bad” you think your year has been, I guarantee you will see it in a whole new light once you complete this exercise 🙂


Now that you have spent several minutes re-experiencing happy thoughts and feelings and raising your vibration, it’s time to release what you no longer want, so you can start 2013 unhindered.

Step 1

Take a second sheet of paper and draw a vertical line down the middle so that you have two columns.
At the top of the left-hand column write the words “WHAT I NO LONGER WANT.”
At the top of the right-hand column write the words “WHAT I WANT INSTEAD.”

Step 2

Replay your year again only this time write down anything that you wish to leave behind in 2012 in the column entitled “what I no longer want.” Once again, go hog wild! This is your opportunity to pull out of you all the thoughts, feelings, emotions and situations you no longer wish to experience in the future.

Step 3

Next, opposite everything you no longer want, write down what you want instead.
By focusing on the positive instead of the negative, we immediately raise our vibration and put ourselves in a position to attract what we DO want.


Now comes the fun part: dreaming up your ideal 2013.

Step 1

Take your third sheet of paper and, at the top of the page, write the words:
“MY AMAZING 2013!”

Step 2

Now, unleash onto the paper everything you want to create in 2013. In business, in your personal life, in your relationships, in your health and body, in your finances… This is your opportunity to start attracting NOW what you want to experience in the New Year and beyond.
An easy way to do this is to fill in the blank after the following sentence:
“I am so happy and grateful now that….”
For example:
I am so happy and grateful now that I am 100% healthy and happy.
I am so happy and grateful now that I earn over $10,000 every month.
You can also include what you wrote in your gratitude list, as well as the opposite of what you chose to release from the “what I want instead” column.
Note – whatever you write should be in the present tense and be positively-worded. For added closure, you can also burn the list of things you no longer want and watch the flames transform them into new energy.

Step 3

Keep your Amazing 2013 sheet of paper handy and read it on a daily or regular basis, incorporating as much emotion as you can and visualizing how good life will be.
And that’s it, a simple but effective way to end the year on a high and prepare for an amazing year ahead.

Black Women Bloggers in Europe Series – Azerbaijan – One Dream at a Time

This blog is about how a late bloomer-finally takes a stab at some of her personal dreams. Let’s start with Dream #1 – JOINING THE PEACE CORPS. Status: Actively serving as a PCV in the Republic of Azerbaijan. But it doesn’t stop there…


Meet the blogger:

  • Job: Peace Corps Volunteer
  • Country:  Azerbajdzjan

Presentation Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? I believe I’m the tortoise. I have an affinity with Dr. Pepper, spend too much money on books, and I swear everything can be fixed. After countless dating Faux Pauxs, I finally have a great boyfriend. My cat loves him more than me, but he loves me more than masturbation. I’m a college graduate and one of the many african americans that doesn’t identify with THE GAME or anything on BET.

  • Interest:  Dancing, Traveling, riding motorcycles, cooking, reading, soaking up the sun, sleeping, playing with my bad cat, kissing my boyfriend, cooking for my sisters, shopping and most importantly giving something to someone who may not have what I have. Also staying open to receiving.
  • Favorite films:  Wall E, 300, Scent of Woman, She Hates Me, Do the Right Thing, UP, Crooklyn, Muppets take Manhattan, Into the Wild, 300(again), THOR
  • Favorite Music: Anything that stirs my emotions.
  • Favorite books: The Alchemist, The History of God, oh the list is longer than you really want to know.

Visit the One Dream at a Time blog.

Black Women Bloggers in Europe Series – Germany 6 – Afro Meets Europe

Afro Meets Europe

This blog is home of 2 afro sisters living an intercultural life in Germany. Here we share our daily afro-euro experiences and our passion for the arts and culture, fashion, mode, design and everything in between. We love all things afro, ethno, and boho(bohemian) .

Donna and Lucy are the ladies behind this blog. We are not only best buddies but also sisters-in-law. Living in an interracial marriage does come with it´s challenges. Unfortunately one encounters lots of misunderstanding and even prejudice from “potential” friends. We are very lucky we have each other and we live a very similar lifestyle….. It makes the friendship quite easy-going, relaxed and rewarding. Donna Nakumba Axenkopf was born and grew up in a beautiful little coastal town called Victoria in Cameroon(West Africa). The sea was my first love and I come alive each time we meet. I presently live with my beautiful and loving intercultural family in good old Deutschland(Germany)….. Lucy Katana Straubmueller was born and grew up in Kampala the capital of Uganda (East Africa). Coming from an ecclectic family that seemed eccentric to some… i learnt at an early age to keep an open mind .I presently live with my beautiful & intercultural family in Germany as well.

Visit the Afro Meets Europe blog:

Black Women Bloggers in Europe Series – The Netherlands 2 – Sprottje



Read the who and why behind the blog:


It’s up in the air and ready to go. My blog on Black hair from a european perspective. I am also writing a book on trend, styling and managing ‘black hair’. For the view americans amoungst you, this might seem strange, but on this subject, here in Europe we are far behind.

As a ‘kick off’ for the book, and also for feedback and inspiration, I started working on this here blog.

Why Sprottje?

That’s always been my nickname as a kid, and getting older I started to get used/ or even like it. I have always been working in a creative environment, not driven by ambition, but by the need to be surrounded by creativity, regardless of whatever I had to do. Workspace and location are very important but it’s mostly the people I work with who inspire me.

I love music, food, cooking, looking out for new places, trendwatching, chicken, couchette hats, portrait cameos, chicklit, my collection of biographies of people I find inspiring, Lychees, Flow Magazine, my G11 camera by Canon with leather retro cover, Banana bread, hatboxes, New York, Copenhagen, Sushi, Mac computers, my Iphone, white wine, classic Vespa’s and last but not least, I have a deep rooted fascination with Black Hair.

It’s not hard to detect where this obsession came from. Having a dutch blond mom and an Aruban father with a strong afro, I had hair issues for as long as I can remember. On top of this, being raised in Scandinavian Norway didn’t help. Finding the right product for my hair in Oslo, back in the 80′s, was as easy as finding a needle in a haystack.

Therefore I have always gained as much information as I could on black hair, bought books on this subject, had my hair braided in the most unattractive styles when I was on a family holiday by my aunt’s, just to see how skilled and swift the pattern would appear… It was like magic!
Before I knew it, I developed a hair fetish…

So here it is, a blog on black hair trends, products, scoops, and just fun things to see, know or read. I hope you will enjoy it. I hope you will take out the time to see the blog.

Best regards,

Sandra Sprott

a blog about black hair fashion & trends