I needed a better poker face.
A Florida man faces backlash after competing in a women’s poker tournament and winning.
David Hughes, 70, of Delton, Florida, played a game of $250 no-limit Texas hold ’em at the World Series of Poker’s Ladies event at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, during the weekend of week. And social media was quick to skewer the player for his entry into the $17,430 prize pool, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported.
Hughes was allowed to enter the women’s tournament along with 82 other women.
Under its anti-discrimination legislation, Florida casinos by law cannot bar men from participating in a women’s tournament.
Nevada also prohibits excluding men from competing in a women’s tournament.
The event was heavily priced: $10,000 entry, and women got a 90% discount to discourage men from participating.
Hughes took home $5,555, beating poker player Dayanna Ciabaton for second place.
Hughes’s disregard for all-female competition sparked a wave of controversy.
professional poker player Ebony Kenny took to Twitter to offer a bounty, which rewards players for attempting to eliminate another, by Hughes.
“Dave here is the only man. While we appreciate dead money, I really want the men to understand what these events represent. So I put a $300 bounty on his head and Tamra and Noah Piderit matched it,” Kenny tweeted.
Others, like the British male professional poker player Charlie Carrel also weighed in On twitter.
“It makes fun of the idea that anyone can identify as a woman and be allowed into women’s spaces,” Carrel wrote. “It sucks that it comes at the expense of the women-only space. I would not do it.
He added: “It speaks loudly about the madness that is unfolding on a larger scale.”
Linda Johnson, a member of the Poker Hall of Fame, said via Poker News: “I love women-only poker tournaments. I wouldn’t have a problem with them having a men’s only one and I wouldn’t go in because I wouldn’t qualify for it.”
He added that he would have no qualms about a “tournament for people over the age of 26, motorcyclists, with a Mohawk haircut and I wouldn’t enter because I wouldn’t qualify.”
Hughes is not the first man to go all-in in a women’s poker tournament. Former World Series of Poker circuit event winner Abraham Korotki won the pot in a women’s No Limit Hold’em event at the Borgata Poker Open in Atlantic City.