Florida man sparks debate over male inclusion in female sport after winning an women's-only poker tournament
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A Florida man has sparked debate over male inclusion in female sports after he entered a women-only poker tournament and won.
Dave Hughes, 70, snaked the USD$5,555 (£4,419, AUD$8,361) kitty from his female opponents after he decided to ignore the ‘women’s only’ ruling.
He entered the $250 (£198, AUD$376) no-limit Texas Hold’em event at the World Series of Poker’s Ladies event at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood.
He was permitted to enter as Florida casinos are prohibited from disallowing men from entering such tournaments due to the state’s anti-discrimination laws.
83 players signed up for the poker event with a total prize pool of up to $17,450 (£13,883, AUD$26,263), with Hughes being the only male to enter.
Playing the @WPT ladies event today, and Dave here is the only man. (Filmed w/permission!)— Ebony Kenney | Poker & Purposeful Pleasure (@Ebony_Kenney) April 29, 2023
While we appreciate the dead money, I really wish men would get what these events stand for.
So I put a $300 bounty on his head and Tamra & Noah Piderit matched it. 🥳🥳
Let’s get him. pic.twitter.com/dXVZVlriAP
Lo and behold he ended up winning the tournament, beating out Dayanna Ciabatoon in the final to take home the money.
Hughes’ actions have not gone down well with many, but sparked debate over anti-discrimination laws in sports and transgender females competing.
Professional player Ebony Kenney lashed out at Hughes on social media for entering the women's tournament.
She wrote: "Playing the World Poker Tour ladies event today, and Dave here is the only man.
"While we appreciate the dead money, I really wish men would get what these events stand for."
Professional poker player Charlie Carrel also weighed in.
"It pokes fun at the idea that anybody can identify as a woman and be allowed to enter women’s spaces," she wrote.
"It's a real issue that people are taking advantage of in many different areas, including sports, prisons, and changing areas. This has lead to some horrific repercussions (female inmates being raped in prison, or women getting destroyed in MMA fights by somebody who spent 95% of their life as a man).
"It does suck that it comes at the expense of the women's only space. I wouldn't do it, even though I probably share the same criticisms.”
1) Hilarious that he won.— Charlie Carrel (@Charlie_Carrel) April 30, 2023
2) It pokes fun at the idea that anybody can identify as a woman and be allowed to enter women's spaces.
It's a real issue that people are taking advantage of in many different areas, including sports, prisons, and changing areas. This has lead to… https://t.co/EKgnPgU9sO
She added: "Female-only spaces in poker are really needed. Mixed poker can often be absolutely horrendous environments for women to be a part of."
Other competitions, such as The World Series of Poker offers up a 90 per cent discount to females playing in women’s-only comps in order to deter men from entering.
The World Series of Poker’s Ladies event costs $10,000 (£7,955, AUD$15,052) to buy-in, so that discount is rather significant.
Featured Image Credit: @Ebony_Kenney/Twitter.
Topics: US Sports