- David Hughes competed against 82 women in the WPT Ladies Event
- He ended up winning the $250 buy-in tournament for $5,555
- It wasn’t the first time that a man joined a ladies tournament
Ladies events in poker are primarily aimed at female players.
The main goal of these exclusive tournaments is to attract more women into poker, given that the game is dominated by men.
But David Hughes from Florida chose to ignore the essence of organizing such tournaments when he entered the $250 buy-in Ladies No-Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry) which recently took place at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The man ended up winning the tournament, sparking an outburst within the poker community.
Florida Man Bested 82 Women to Win the Tournament
Hughes probably knew he wasn’t supposed to participate in the event but decided to join anyway as he’s protected by Florida‘s anti-discrimination law which prohibits casinos from barring male players from taking part in women’s tournaments.
The 70-year-old successfully gained access to the tournament and competed against 82 women. He emerged victorious, defeating Dayanna Ciabaton heads-up to win $5,555 in top prize.
The event took place on April 29 as part of the World Poker Tour (WPT) Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown. Among the participants was poker pro and Americas Cardroom (ACR) ambassador Ebony Kenney, a well-known advocate for women in poker.
Playing the @WPT ladies event today, and Dave here is the only man. (Filmed w/permission!)
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
— Ebony Kenney | Poker & Purposeful Pleasure (@Ebony_Kenney) April 29, 2023
Disappointed to see a man competing in an all-female poker tournament, Kenny placed a $300 bounty on Hughes’ head, with two other female players matching it. Unfortunately, nobody won the bounty as Hughes was the last man standing in the event.
Poker Community Reacts
The 70-year-old was criticized by several poker players, with his actions described as insane by Charlie Carrel. In a lengthy post on Twitter, the English pro lamented the fact that anybody can identify as a woman and be allowed to invade women’s spaces.
1) Hilarious that he won.
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
— Charlie Carrel (@Charlie_Carrel) April 30, 2023
Poker Hall of Famer Linda Johnson also shared her thoughts on the issue, saying people should respect the rules regarding exclusive events. If it’s a tournament designed for women, then common sense would tell you men should not participate.
Interestingly, Hughes wasn’t the first man to join an all-female poker tournament. In the past, two male players competed in separate editions of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) $10,000 Ladies Event in Las Vegas. Organizers couldn’t block men from entering the exclusive event as Nevada also implements the same anti-discrimination law as Florida.
In 2009, Abraham Korotki entered the $300 Ladies Event at Borgata Poker Open and took down the tournament for $20,982.