As part of its #RaiseItUp campaign, the Women’s Poker Association (WPA) has launched a new certification program that will verify poker rooms that aim to be inclusive of women players.
It’s no secret that many women don’t feel particularly comfortable playing live poker. So, this type of certification program lets women know which venues they can play at while feeling safe – and, encourage venues to create a safe space.
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How A Poker Room Becomes WPA Certified
There are numerous criteria necessary for a poker room to get certified by the Women’s Poker Association. Firstly, they have to agree to the following:
- Have a clear display of rules at the entrance of the venue, which should include a zero tolerance policy for abuse and harassment
- Ensure all staff receive yearly sensitivity training
- Include the WPA Certification on social media, advertising, branding and in the venue
- Support the #RaiseItUp campaign on social media and at in-person events
The WPA outlines a number of other ways that poker rooms can support the movement.
Why Is A Program Like This Necessary?
As a woman, an issue I face before going many places is having to determine if it’s going to be a safe space for me. I’ve had to research before going to different pubs, holiday destinations or music venues – and, it’s especially crucial when I’m venturing out to any of these places on my own.
In the poker world, since the game is primarily played by men, I find myself Googling even more before heading out to a poker room I’ve never been to before. However, it’s not often that I find useful feedback.
It’s not the kind of thing that male poker player friends would pay attention to, unless something particularly egregious has happened at their local. So, I usually end up trawling forums and Google Reviews which can be very time consuming.
I like the idea of being able to visit any poker room’s website and see a seal of approval that lets me know right away that I’m not going to have a bad time based on my gender.
“Our goal is to shake the tree a little bit and let operators understand that until we eliminate some of these barriers, it’s going to be difficult to bring women into the game.”
How Men Can Support #RaiseItUp
To show that you’re an ally and that you support making poker rooms into a safe space for women, you can take part in the Purple Tie Guy Program. It’s an easy process, and you can register here.
On social media, you can show your support by using any of the following hashtags:
There are also social media templates available for download.
Felipe Ramos is just one of many male poker players that has shown his support of the WPA:
Purple Tie Guy Ambassador, Professional Poker Player & GGPoker Ambassador, Felipe Ramos supports Women in Poker! Our “Purple Tie Guy” logo is a symbolic way for men to show their support of women poker players!
— Women's Poker Association (@WPAGlobal) November 19, 2021
You can also purchase a Purple Tie Guy Patch to wear at the poker table. The patch itself is free, and all you pay for is the shipping ($1 in the USA and $3.50 elsewhere).
The WPA has chosen this specific motif, as purple is the organization’s official colour, and the tie is a symbol commonly used to represent men. So, the “purple tie guy” allows players to make a symbolic gesture that shows they support the WPA mission of turning poker into a more inclusive game.
About the #RaiseItUpCampaign
The WPA launched #RaiseItUp as a call to action. They want poker players and poker room operators to work together to improve the experience for all players.
The mission is to “elevate the game of poker”. #RaiseItUp wants all members of the poker community to endorse and adopt a zero tolerance policy for abuse and harassment, so that inclusion, diversity and respect can thrive.