Man Crashes Ladies WSOP Final Table

Jonathan Epstein
Jonathan Epstein

Jonathan Epstein found himself surrounded by women on Sunday.

Ordinarily that wouldn’t be an issue but Epstein had just made the final table of the $1,000 Ladies Event at the 2011 WSOP.

In the last couple years the Ladies Event has attracted a handful of men but this is the first time that one has made the final table. WSOP organizers have been unable to block men from playing thanks to gender-discrimination laws.

Over the last three days of action Epstein has outlasted 1,041 players and received some enthusiastic booing every step of the way.

Epstein, who hails from L.A., was in town for the weekend and after running bad in cash games his friend convinced him to play in the Ladies Event.

He was leaving on Monday so the Ladies Event was the only WSOP tournament that worked with his schedule. Epstein had also heard that a number of men play the tournament.

“I figured it wasn’t going to be a big deal but I was clearly wrong,” he said. “Obviously there are a lot of people who are upset.”

Over the course of the tournament Epstein received his share of insults including the crowd constantly shouting, “Beat the dude! Beat the dude!”

“The players have been great,” he said. “Some of the people watching have been kind of rude but I’ve just been ignoring them. It’s fine.” 

One of Esptein’s opponents at the final table, Carol Tomlinson, didn’t have a huge problem with him buying into the event.

“I really didn’t have a problem with it because I think that poker is an individual sport but a lot of ladies feel it’s disrespectful to the event,” she said. “I kinda feel sorry for the guy, he’s really been reamed for the last two days.”

There are male players who play the ladies event purely to protest what they see as gender-discrimination but Epstein merely wanted to play a WSOP tournament.

When asked his thoughts on ladies events, Epstein sounded torn.

“To be honest in the beginning I thought it was fine but now I don’t know,” he said. “I’m undecided about it. I feel it’s somewhat unfair that women get their own event but I see the reasons behind it.”

There may be changes in store for the ladies event, however, and Caesars Communications Director Seth Palansky thinks men won’t be a problem in next year’s Ladies Event. 

“A law has recently changed and we think this issue will be resolved for next year,” said Palansky. 

The 2011 WSOP continues through July 19. For comprehensive coverage live from Las Vegas check PokerListings' Live Updates brought to you by PartyPoker.


There will be no male winner in the $1,000 Ladies Event as Jonathan Epstein was the first player to bust from the final table. He earned $13,701 for coming in ninth place in the event.

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