They may be few, but women are winning at poker table

Linda Romer and Team Gladstone took home the recent 888 Poker Tournament hosted at the Queens Hotel.
Linda Romer and Team Gladstone took home the recent 888 Poker Tournament hosted at the Queens Hotel. Mike Richards GLA180214POKE

THERE are fewer women competing in poker tournaments, yet those that do are becoming formidable competitors.

In a growing trend, women are producing a poker face that is red hot.

Patience is a virtue and for Queensland Licensee of 888 Poker Allan McLauchlan, it may be the underlying reason for women's successes.

"I think it comes down to patience," he said.

"Men usually want to move from one game to the next fairly quickly, whereas women will sit back and wait for the right moment."

With Fiona Kemp taking out the top spot on February 8 and Linda Romer taking out the grand final the next day, Mr Lauchlan said it was a superb effort from the women, who make up only 27% of entrants.

"Both the women, who took out the top places, persevered away, when their male competitors had much larger chip stacks," he said.

Ms Romer said she believed it was an ability to effectively read body language that allowed women to emerge victorious.

"It's a good feeling to be able to play against the men and win," she said.

High stakes

  • In 2006, US poker player Jamie Gold took home $12 million - the biggest haul to date;
  • The longest poker game lasted eight years, five months and three days;
  • Revenue for online poker is estimated at $47m a month.
Linda Romer and Team Gladstone won the recent 888 Poker Tournament hosted at the Queens Hotel.
Linda Romer and Team Gladstone won the recent 888 Poker Tournament hosted at the Queens Hotel. Mike Richards

Win is luck of the draw

SITTING at a felt table for 11 hours may not appeal to the masses but for Linda Romer, it is exhilirating.

Taking out the Mastara Grand Final on February 9 at the Queens Hotel with Team Gladstone F.S.U, Ms Romer insists each game of poker is a luck of the draw.

"I have had some lucky hands," she said. "I like to do each hand and leave each hand at the table.

"Pocket aces do get beaten."

The self-described extrovert believes her outspoken nature contributes to the ruthlessness of her game.

"I think poker teaches people valuable life skills," she said.

"Mainly not to take everything to heart. Poker can't be good to everyone. The main thing is to say 'congratulations' when a better hand is played against you."

Ms Romer only took up the sport a year ago and has excelled in mastering the craft.

It's a friendly atmosphere and it's a good confidence builder.

 

Travelling the circuit is a necessity for Gladstone poker players and it's all part of the allure for Ms Romer.

"Every team and town play a different way," she said. "But when you drive to go to a venue, you cut out all of the attitude and the grumpies."

A Gladstone local since 1983, Ms Romer encouraged those who had reservations about poker to give it a go.

"Don't be scared of it," she said.

"It's free to play, we welcome people of all nationalities and ages. It's a friendly atmosphere and it's a good confidence builder."