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Will WSOP Colossus Attract More Women to Poker Than Ladies Events?
Very slowly we're seeing more and more women playing poker, but it's a process that most people want to see sped up.
One of the most common ways organizations like the World Series of Poker try to attract women is with ladies-only tournaments.
But Melanie Weisner, a poker pro who also happens to be a woman, thinks the way to get women into poker isn't to segregate events by sex but rather to make poker more accessible to everyone.
“I think The Colossus actually does a better job of getting women into poker than, say, the Ladies Event,” Weisner told PokerListings.com.
“Promoting women vs. women poker, to me, isn't the exciting thing. The exciting thing is being able to compete in these giant events against anyone no matter their race, background, age or anything.
“So making poker more accessible to everyone is what's going to get more people of all kinds into poker, including women.”
With 24,000 entries expected for the inaugural Colossus event, it's become the most accessible WSOP event of all time.
More Than a Small Buy-In and Big Prize Pool
The small buy-in and enormous prize pool are the most obvious reasons for the event's success, but Weisner explained that there's more going on than just money.
“I've been through the tournament room and I basically don't recognize anyone so I think for amateur players it's nice not to feel like it's just a bunch of pros waiting to pick you off.”
“Everyone's kind of in the same boat and it's the biggest poker tournament a lot of these people have ever played so there's this exciting buzz.
“It's similar to the Main Event except in this event the less experienced players don't have to feel like they're just going to get eaten alive.”
It's a sentiment echoed by other female recreational players competing here at the WSOP for the first time.
Amanda Opp is from Montana and came to Las Vegas to cross a big item off her bucket-list: playing in a WSOP gold bracelet event.
Opp said that while the small buy-in and huge prize pool are definitely appealing, they weren't the only reasons she came to play.
“I just knew there would be this energy here that I wouldn't be able to find anywhere else,” explained Opp.
“The biggest tournament I've ever played before this had like 600 people and they said this one's going to have 24,000.
“I think this is the best thing the World Series of Poker has ever done because before, you kind of had to have baller status to play but this event lets a lot more average people experience the WSOP.
“It's so much less intimidating when you know there are tons of other people here for the first time just like you.”