That ratio in the Amazon room is proportionally equal. It might be a little skewed due to the presence of a few extra female poker dealers and railbirds, but more or less, it's safe to say that the WSOP has a largely male-dominated population.
That being said, women are quite the commodity here. Trust me; taking a walk through the tables at noon to hunt for well-known poker players and some key poker hands is not exactly like riding "It's A Small World After All" at Disneyland. It can make a good wholesome girl from Canada feel just a little bit grimy.
And I'm not being conceited. Just look at my profile picture. Yeah. That's how I look every day here at the Rio: Windblown from the walk over from the Palms, with a layer of airborne kitchen grease on the skin that's been swept in through the vents of the media room. On top of that, the long night-shift hours leave one looking really, really tired.
Nevertheless, I still cannot escape the claws of strange, unorthodox poker players who perhaps just haven't gotten enough air and are a little high from whatever it is they're pumping through the air conditioning system in the Amazon Room. Their eyes (the ones not covered with sunglasses), communicate to me like this, in a caveman voice:
"WOMAN. NO WOMAN HERE IN LONG TIME. COME TO ME!"
The up-and-down looks are not so bad anymore. Really, I do understand. There is nothing wrong with appreciating the opposite sex; I would definitely look at a good-looking man. Hey - we were given eyes for a reason.
But sometimes, lines are crossed. Verbs are exchanged. People are touched.
Feelings of disgust may arise.
I'm scrawling notes furiously on my notepad, with my back turned to a certain fifty-something-year-old player who has already expressed his seemingly innocent admiration to me numerous times before.
I am trying to read the cards on another table, squinting my already little Asian eyes. Spades? Clubs? Man, I have to get my eyes checked.
Suddenly, I feel a pair of eerily soft hands scoop up my own hand - the hand that is currently writing down a particularly interesting poker hand, and I whip my head around, only to find myself looking into the roving eyes of said poker player.
His trembling paws (perhaps from age or from the cold room?) bring my own dry, Vegas-weathered paw up to his - ugh! - wet lips, and I am frozen with incredulous confusion. What is this man doing?
After his slightly parted lips have pressed against my skin he looks up at me and smiles. I am at a loss for words, I kind of want to hit him, but I say stupidly, "Um…thanks…"
It has always been my folly that I do not like to offend.
"No, thank YOU," he says smirking, in his fading British accent.
And it doesn't just happen to me. A fellow female member of the media, whose name I will keep respectfully private, came back to the media room and exclaimed:
"He reached over and grasped my waist - his arm was like a tentacle - and he looked at me with this creepy look and said, 'Oh there she is - my Irish Eyes!' - and I twisted away and told him - I'm not even Irish!"
This non-Irish photographer then had to venture to the far reaches of the Pavilion walls and snap her pictures with a heavy zoom, just to avoid the uncomfortable stares of the man. Apparently, she says, all the creepy ones like her.
Sometimes, the randy poker players try a different method. They try to romance you with their well-rehearsed lines and offer to marry you in the drive-thru wedding parlor. Or, buy you a Mercedes, because come on - a Mercedes is better than an engagement ring right?
But I guess I've got to hand it to these guys. They don't give up. You politely say no to dinner at break-time, but that doesn't throw them off at all. You tell them they're really not your type, and they think that's a good thing. Their girlfriend/wife calls while they're talking to you and you tell them that they are scum for hitting on you, but this doesn't faze them. To them, you're like, flirting.
And the more verbal you get, the more opportunity there is for innuendo. So really, sometimes silence is the best policy. But no matter what, there are some who will still call you "baby," talk you up, and essentially wink you to death, whether you like it or not.