Living up to a low standard


I don’t usually feel much pressure when it comes to writing good articles. I mean, I think I do a pretty solid job overall. I have a solid understanding of the languages of poker and English, I can string sentences together, they’re usually juxtaposed nicely… I get the job done, even if it’s a little late sometimes. Today though, I’m staring pressure straight in its manicured nails, its fashionable high-heeled boots and yes, occasionally its cleavage. I’m doing my best to avert my eyes though.

Last year, I wrote an article called ‘1268 Ladies and a Gentleman’ for ESPN. The first half of the article was about Allen Cunningham’s bracelet win; the second part was a scathing but obviously (or so I thought) tongue-in-cheek look at the ladies event. When it got published, people got pissed; one USA Today blogger, apparently unfamiliar with high-brow stylistic devices like sarcasm, called me “A good impression of Peter Griffin writing about poker” and not because Peter Griffin is a satirical character. Of course, it’s not like I didn’t expect it, considering it contained gems like;

“On top of the hugging, I heard all of the following at the tables;

  • “You played that really well!”
  • “Let’s all introduce ourselves!”
  • “Where did you get that dress?”
  • “Good luck, all-in!”
  • “Three queens! That’s really good!”
  • With one out in the deck; “You can still win!”
  • Cat-like hissing

… I mean, is this a online slots real money usa game or a cotillion? Imagine in your mind’s eye, a pudgy, balding, cynical, pompous man in his mid-thirties projectile vomiting. That’s me. Hi!”


I have to admit, I still get a perverse little tingle when I read that, but a point I made in the aftermath was right on the money if I do say so myself:

“I felt I could write what I did because all things being equal between the sexes, the habits of women are just as susceptible to parody as those of men are, and to not treat them as such would be to suggest they aren’t equal.”

There you have it. Men and women, sharing the table, sharing the exposure to my sharp tongue. Thing is, I haven’t sharpened my tongue towards men in particular. I figure its about time that I rectify that.

After the final table’s done, I’m going to write something about just how stupid male poker players can be in relation to our maleness. I’ll throw in a little something about being one woman against nine guys in a locker room setting and how it feels to be on the receiving end of that (I was today for a brief moment).

Thing is, after the attention last year’s article got, I’ve gotten a lot of knowing looks in anticipation of this year’s. I hope I can live up to the low standard I set in ’07.

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