Indeed, I almost never play live, and those times that I have I found that as a woman you splinter from the majority of the field, which is usually comprised of men. I felt exposed, like everyone was watching me and my play even closer just because I am a woman.
Even playing online, I sometimes feel a difference in the way men treat me as a woman playing poker. Either they seem to think you have a really conservative and tight style of play or they think you're dead money, that you don't know how to play just because you're female. I can't understand why there should be a difference though, considering that there aren't many existing sports that are better for mixed fields than poker. There are no fundamental conditions that men really have an advantage over women in, as could be argued in lifting weights or running track.
Perhaps the women who came to play in the Ladies event feel like I do, and that is why there are so few female pro poker players on the circuit. Currently, we have Jennifer Harman, Cyndi Violette, Katrina Jett, Clonie Gowen, Annie Duke and Kathy Liebert as the sole representatives of pro female poker players in the industry; Sadly, there aren't many more women for me to cheer for in the 2005 WSOP. I really hope rising stars like Liz Lieu and Isabelle Mercier will continue to inspire women to shed their social constrictions and take their first steps into the mixed field poker room.