The latest Battle of Malta Main Event worth €550 was apparently not the most important event of the competition. Another not so huge event took all the glory and is now traveling around the world via social media.
Namely, the organizers of the Battle of Malta wanted to make the €110 Ladies Event on Sunday night a bit more interesting by having the dealers in charge of this event work topless.
For or Against Topless Dealers?
The impressions are still fresh since the event happened only three days ago. However, the opinions of the women present that night regarding the dealers working without clothes are divided. Some of them found it quite amusing and interesting, while others claim it was disappointing and humiliating for everyone in the room.
Among many women in the tournament, Daiva Byrne felt free to take a photo and share it on Twitter together with her thoughts on the matter. She mentioned that she found the situation “demeaning” for both the ladies and the dealers.
Dealers Who Didn’t Go Topless Were Sent Home?
Daiva Byrne spoke in the name of the majority as a poker player and advocate for women in poker. Additionally, another poker professional from Ireland, Dara O’Kearney, also used Twitter to share the information she got from one of the best professional English dealers. The dealer in question refused to take his clothes off for the event; consequently, he wasn’t allowed to work at all.
Although the issue was taken care of during the first break when the dealers put their clothes back on, it was too late to stop the news from spreading.
Rumor has it that the offer was put on the table just before the beginning of the event. Allegedly, the organizers offered the dealers additional €50 to work shirtless. The dealers decided to stay anonymous, but wanted to highlight how this situation affected them:
“I think it’s disgusting how with one hour’s notice they want us male dealers to deal the ladies event with no tops on! It’s degrading for men! In an era of social media and live streaming via mobile phones, it’s borderline prostitution as dealers who would be enticed would earn €50 more than everyone else.”
One of the dealers stated that there needs to be a line between dealers and dancers or strippers, since the day before the shirtless chaos, the management decided to transform the “Shuffle up and Deal” into “Shuffle up and Dance”. As you can guess, the dealers were supposed to dance prior to the start of the game, which was also rewarded in cash.
It comes as no surprise that they are quite disappointed in the poker system overall, as they rightfully expected the poker industry to protect them since they are an important brick in the poker wall.
Poker World Responds
No one from the poker community seems to be happy about the recent event. The founder of the Malta Poker Festival, Ivonne Montealegre, stated that the Women’s Poker Association will not support this kind of behavior under any circumstances. She also mentioned that the main focus should be the game of poker that is magnificent on its own and does not require any other decoration.
Battle of Malta Apologizes
The organizers of the Battle of Malta made a statement in which they apologized for any inconvenience their poor judgment might have caused. That’s why the management promised to donate all the money from the registration fees to the “Pink October Malta” charity.