For quite some time, many women have felt unjustly neglected by the gambling community, with exciting opportunities in this sector never truly catering to the female player. Thankfully, this is starting to change, with the UK’s first women’s poker league set to start this summer. Hosted by Grosvenor Casino in Sheffield, this all-female poker tournament is an exciting step forward for women with a love of this classic casino game.
Over the course of the next several weeks, Grosvenor Casino will open its doors to women from all over the South of Yorkshire. This tournament will not only give women the opportunity to perfect their skills whilst competing with others that share a love and passion for the game, but also, for the first time, allow female players to compete in an all-women’s poker league. This is an exciting and promising new step in the country’s gambling community, promoting both equality and raising awareness to the female gambling community.
This poker league is part of the casino’s re-launch project, which has had over £1.5 million worth of investment in order to develop a state of the art gaming / entertainment centre. What was once formerly known as the Duchess Road club will now be revealed as an innovative new space for electronic gaming. To say the least, South Yorkshire’s gambling industry is seeing an impressive revamp.
One of Grosvenor Casinos’s sponsored poker professionals Katie Swift is one of the key figures in helping to make this all-female poker tournament a reality. With 14 years poker playing experience, Swift has a recorded winnings (excluding online) from live poker tournaments of more than £256,105. Swift is an inspirational figure for poker enthusiasts everywhere, not only being a seriously talented player, but also by raising awareness for women and promoting equality for the gender in an area often considered to be male dominated.
The poker professional has stated that she first played the game on Christmas Day with her family and instantly fell in love. After first being introduced to the game, Swift then played socially before discovering online poker. It was here Swift started to seriously pick up with her poker playing, as the online games allowed her to use her “natural skillset of competitiveness, patience and skill; by building experience and adding in more strategy, I began to get further and further in each tournament.”
Within a decade of that first Christmas Day poker game, swift had come in 2nd place in one of the world’s biggest poker tournaments at the time, and had won over £46,000. Since this very proud moment in Swift’s poker story, she began to travel across the globe as one of Grosvenor Casino’s professional poker players.
Swift, whilst also being an integral part to the launch for this all-women’s live poker tournament, has also made comments which inspire equality and a breaking of gendered stereotypes for gamblers everywhere, stating that “poker has no boundaries or limits and is a place where gender, age and race are all irrelevant. Not only can anyone play, but everyone can play together, in the same competition – it’s a sport, game or hobby like no other and that’s the real beauty of poker”
The inspiring professional poker player has stated that she has always strived to encourage more women into playing poker, and has expressed how proud she is to have such involvement in the UK’s first, live, women’s poker league. Swift claims that the tournament will offer opportunities to women of all different ages and levels of skill, “Poker is often perceived as a heavily male dominated environment; however, I hope my story is proof that a female competing in open field events can be just as successful as males, and that achieving equal success is possible.”
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