Kara Scott: “Poker Has an Enormous Untapped Market in Women”

Olivier Busquet and Kara Scott
Kara Scott and Olivier Busquet at the WSOP.

Kara Scott tells it like she sees it.

Just one of the many reasons she's one of the most popular figures in poker, Scott isn’t afraid to give her opinion on whatever hot-button issue is at the center of the poker world.

And unlike a lot of opinions out there, Scott's is also always very well reasoned, thoughtful and open to a variety of points of view.

Of course one topic that hits close to home is the still-underrepresented female poker player community.

PokerListings’ Lars Liedtke caught up with Scott at Party Poker WPT Vienna and got Scott's insight on being a female poker player, talking with Dan Colman, the return of High Stakes Poker and more.

PokerListings: Hi Kara, we saw a tweet from you during WPT Vienna and took a look around the tournament area. It seems that you were the only woman playing on Day 1A. How do you feel about that and why do you think women are still underrepresented in poker?

Kara Scott: I looked around and initially I didn’t see anyone and it’s too bad as we know that the numbers are much higher online. Woman play poker and I asked via Twitter why they don’t go to live tournaments.

Kara Scott
Kara Scott at the Battle of Malta.

Among all the answers I got there was just one woman. All the rest were guys telling me why women don’t play.

The only woman that replied said she has a family and it’s hard for her to find the time to travel. But it doesn’t seem to be as much of a problem for fathers, so I think it’s a societal thing.

My honest opinion is poker has an enormous untapped market in women. If we really want to see another boom happening now, look at the female players!

PL: Did you have to fight a lot against prejudice or haters because you are a woman in the beginning of your career and did it affect your game?

KS: I actually started playing poker on a television show in England.

I learned playing poker on that show in front of people, so on the one hand it was embarrassing as you don’t want to make mistakes on national television, but on the other hand it was great as I had so much support from the viewers.

I didn’t get haters, or they were so minor. Seven years later I’m still talking with people, who are fans of the show. So no, I was really lucky as I had a lot of support when I started playing poker.

That’s why I want to create the same atmosphere for other people, no matter if they are male or female.

PL: You moved to Italy, in contrast to a lot of Italian poker players who moved out of the country, because they can’t play on international sites. What do you think about this legislation and do you play online poker when you are in Italy?

KS: When I’m in Italy I play on GD Poker, which is an Italian version of PartyPoker. For me it’s not how I make my living, so I play recreationally.

If I was a professional, it would have been a harder decision to move to Italy but the lifestyle there is so good and I love it.

My husband is an Italian professional poker player and he said if you want to move you can, but there is still a living to be made in Italy and hopefully it stays like that for a long time as I want to continue living there.

PL: GSN recently posted a video on its YouTube channel asking viewers to complete a survey about High Stakes Poker. Now there are rumors of a new season, can you tell us more about it?

Annette Obrestad and Kara Scott
Kara Scott interviewing Annette Obrestad

KS: Unfortunately I have no inside information, I wish I did. High Stakes Poker was incredibly special, something like the canon of poker television.

Everyone I know would love to see the show come back, so I hope it does.

PL: You were the host of the first two editions of the Battle of Malta. Unfortunately you can’t make it this year, because of the November Nine. What are your thoughts about the Battle of Malta?

KS: The Battle of Malta is a really great idea. I’m a big believer in providing poker tournaments to players of different financial levels.

The buy-in is small enough that people can go and enjoy themselves without having to invest a huge part of their live bankroll.

The coverage is at the level of a much bigger tournament, so people get the experience of a big tournament, but for much less money and all of that in a really beautiful place.

Malta actually is one of my favorite places in the world.

PL: Were you nervous when you had to interview Daniel Colman after he didn’t speak with the media during the Big One for One Drop? What do you think about his decision?

KS: It’s funny, nobody ever asked me this. I wasn’t nervous, more hopeful that he would speak to me and I was very deliberate in what I was gonna ask him.

When it comes to Daniel Colman, I knew it was important to not step on his toes so I wanted to respect the fact that for him it was important not to focus on individual achievements.

I spoke with one of his best friends in the crowd, Olivier Busquet, just to get a better understanding of why he wasn’t talking to the media as I was curious and genuinely wanted to know why.

Before the cameras came on I went over to him very quickly and said 'Daniel I need to ask you a question on camera, this is the only question I’m going to ask you.'

I told him what it was and it was about the charity aspect of it and he answered. It was a very short answer, but it was something and I was glad that he did that.

Our job is to get people to talk to us and it’s frustrating when somebody says no. We are all trying to do our jobs.

Sometimes the people forget that the poker industry isn’t just made up of poker players, it’s made up of all of us. The media, the dealers and the massage therapists, we are all trying to make a living out of this and our job is to get as many good quotes as we can.

Kara Scott

But he has every right not to speak with the media if he doesn’t want to.

PL: Where did the inspiration for your PartyPoker Blog “5 Ways You Know That You’re a Poker Player” come from?

KS: My teammate Jamie Kerstetter told me this funny story about a friend of hers who had a really silly auto correct on his phone.

He was trying to type the word “actually” but his phone changed it into “Aces got cracked again” and it made me laugh.

Then we had a conversation about different ways you know that you’re a poker player. I asked her if I can steal it and make a blog out of it and she said yes. So I give her the credit.

PL: What are your goals for the future?

KS: I want to do a really good job at the WSOP Main Event Final Table.

Working live on ESPN is such a huge buzz, it’s so much fun, but also terrifying at the same time, so I hope it goes well.

Apart from that I would love to win money at poker (laughs) and I'd love to do more television.

That’s why I hope that more poker shows return to television.

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