Some of the main hubs of poker are also the most sexualized cities in the United States, name New Orleans and then later Las Vegas. These cities are absolutely oozing with sex, and although this paper is not trying to make a moralistic argument decrying these wild cities’ lifestyles, much of these images have stuck to the game of poker itself. Perhaps this phenomenon would not be so bad if it played out evenly between the two sexes, but all one sees is the portrayal of partially disrobed women advertising for poker sites. One only needs to log onto the internet and search for “Women and Poker” to have a dozen women in bikinis immediately pop up on the screen.
In fact, yours truly actually did run a search specifically for “Women and Poker”, and here are some of the surprising results. In no particular order we present 10 of the most tasteful poker sites on the web:
-Pokerium Online Poker Room and Casino: The front page of this website is a model of good taste and restraint. Many of the searches yielded interesting results, but this website was head and shoulders ahead. Upon opening the home page one finds an illustration of a scantily clad brown-haired vixen with a flower in her hair(no real women were harmed during the production of this design). The interesting part of this drawing is that she is placed inside of a huge Ace of Clubs. In the middle of the card, where the woman is located, lies a very large club, and the stem of said club just happens to terminate in the center of the woman’s crotch. Although there is a possibility that this not-so-subtle innuendo was unintentional, we would not bet on it.
-Next on our list is the deliciously tasteful advertisement on hollywoodpoker.com for their “Babes & Bounties” tournament. To begin with, the title itself should be enough to ruffle the feathers of most women poker players. Then, the image used on the page is of a woman in a bikini top with money in the background behind her. And finally, for those players who aren’t sold by the picture in the middle, the site claims that “12 of the sexiest poker hostesses in the game” will be present at the table. It’s a good thing too, because most serious poker players refuse to play in tournaments with any less than 8 sexy poker hostesses. Finally, jus tto make sure that one can notice all the different features on the side, there is a picture of a woman on the left-hand side of the screen dressed in her rather unsupportive underwear lying down in front of a laptop with poker chips lying around her body. She is happily wearing a pair of flattering white high heeled shoes so that she can model at any moment during her poker game. A truly classy website.
-PokerWorld.com, an up and coming online card room, is another tastefully crafted website, with nothing to offend save for their new “Topless Bonus”. The “Topless Bonus: The Shape of Things to Come” seems a stretch: with this promotion they will “top up” your account with a free 20% bonus. The stingy bonus does not only fall way short of the 200% bonuses floating around on various sites, it also offends the eye. They advertise it with a small silhouette of a woman, hardly exposing anything whatsoever. Why they chose to try and correlate a 20% with topless women is a mystery, but they surely went for it.
-Not to be outdone, Jungle Poker has its own female spokeswoman: none other than the lovely Cheynelle Fraser, a bartender/model who is now the official face of Jungle Poker. Why a poker site would need a sizzling hot model as a spokeswoman is a grand mystery. We suspect it is because the photos of Cheynelle – which include several excellent cleavage shots – surely have everything to do with poker and nothing with selling sexuality. Although the site may be using the good looks of beautiful Cheynelle to help promote their site, they are not just about T & A on their site: on the front page of the site they have an advertisement for their heads up Sit & Go tournaments, featuring two headshots of a man and a woman, both fully dressed, challenging each other to a card game. Hurray for equality!