Two prominent members of the poker industry have written interesting views on sexism and misogyny in poker, with one of them noting accusations of rape aimed at a former sponsored pro.
A sponsor dropped a professional poker player after allegations surfaced that he raped at least two women claims Sexism and Misogyny in Poker, a blog post penned by Justin Bonomo.
In the post, written on Saturday, 21 Nov, Bonomo highlights the presence of sexism and misogyny within the poker industry by drawing attention to three very different forms of abuse carried out by three prominent male poker players.
Bonomo claims that all three of these players are amongst the ‘hundred most famous poker players of all time.’ He also stated that all three have had, or still have, sponsorship deals with major online poker sites.
You can read about Pros A & B on Bonomo’s blog, but I will rip the quote about Pro C directly.
“Pro C was the one that surprised me the most. A female poker player accused him of rape. Upon finding out about this, another female that’s connected in the poker world instantly spoke up saying she too had been raped by Pro C. His sponsorship contract was terminated the very next day.”
Linking sexual harassment at the poker table to rape is a pretty big leap. It’s one that I am glad Bonomo has made. It raises awareness. I would like to raise that awareness even further.
If the allegations are true, then we have a rapist in the poker community. Bonomo states that the alleged rapist was released from his sponsorship contract, but he didn’t say that this person quit poker. It’s highly likely that this person could still be playing live poker today. You could be sitting next to him right now.
His anonymity is a difficult topic. Bonomo is right when he says it’s down to the victims to name the perpetrator, otherwise all we have is gossip. When the accusations are this severe, you have to be correct in your assertion.
But the anonymity also creates a problem within the industry. It is quite common for masseuses working in the poker industry to do private work away from the tables. Very often, this work is carried out in accommodation owned or rented by the player.
As a husband of a masseuse myself, when my wife does private work we employ a buddy system. She will tell me who she is working on and where, text me when she arrives, tells me how long she will be working, and texts me when she finishes.
My wife will only work on clients she knows and trusts, and has a history with, but there are times when a new customer comes along. When this happens, it is generally a high profile member of the industry, and that has made us feel more comfortable with the arrangement.
There is an alleged rapist within our community.
Until the identity of the perpetrator is revealed, it’s important that all females working within the poker industry are on their guard. This means all poker players, dealers, masseuses – anyone.
This matter should be tweeted and retweeted until everyone is aware of this risk, and I am sure if this happens the rapist will be flushed out.
It’s not an issue of sexism.
It’s a criminal act.