Kristen Bicknell on Misogyny in Poker: Experience Vastly More Positive than Negative

Kristen Bicknell acknowledges that gender bias occurs in poker, but she says that, overall, her experiences in the game have been more positive than negative. The Canadian poker star ran off a series of tweets addressing the issue of misogyny at the poker table, which sparked an important discussion.

kristen bicknell poker

Kristen Bicknell is one of the best poker players in the world today, regardless of gender. (Image: Twitter)

Back in December, Vanessa Kade called out GGPoker over its signing of Dan Bilzerian as an ambassador. She claims Bilzerian, a social media playboy, is a misogynist and unfit to represent a poker site. Bilzerian, predictably, responded with insulting, sexist comments.

Earlier this week, Kade shipped the PokerStars Sunday Million for $1.5 million, beating out 69,000 players. The new Americas Cardroom ambassador did more than just win life-changing money. She showed the world once again that women can win at a high level in what is still generally a male-dominated game.

Bicknell too has been crushing the game for years, even long before she became a household name in the poker community. She’s among the top female poker players of all time, along with Jennifer Harman and Vanessa Selbst, and is on pace for reaching the Poker Hall of Fame when she becomes eligible in six years (age 40).

Bicknell addresses hot topic

The Partypoker ambassador, who has amassed approximately $5.1 million in live tournament cashes, posted a series of tweets on the issue of misogyny in poker, which was sparked by the Bilzerian-Kade saga. She began the tweetstorm by saying the topic has been on her mind lately.

Bicknell acknowledged that gender bias does occur in poker, perhaps even at the high stakes levels she plays. But, she doesn’t think the entire poker community should be singled out for this type of behavior.

“I could walk into the poker room and focus on the negative. It exists. I have encountered negativity and gender bias MANY times. But, the truth is, there has been vastly more positive than negative! Not to mention the counterproductivity of focusing on the negative,” she wrote.

Bicknell’s comments were taken to heart by a number of prominent poker players. Justin Bonomo, a self-proclaimed feminist, said he appreciated Bicknell sharing her thoughts on the issue. He then said, “I just hope people understand there isn’t a “one size fits all” kind of approach to these situations.”

“These are exactly my thoughts as well. I’m just too tired these days to form eloquent sentences. Thank you for doing so,” Farah Galfond, the wife of Phil Galfond and a former soap opera star responded to Bicknell’s post.

“You bring up a great point — that being underestimated and treated rudely isn’t a uniquely female experience. And I agree that if we let those negative thoughts pervade, we give them too much power. That can ONLY be a hindrance at the poker table,” Twitter user @grace_zhanger wrote.

Contrary to most social media threads these days, especially ones featuring opinionated posts about hot-button issues, Bicknell’s comments somehow didn’t attract the trolls, nor did they start a nasty flame war.

Written by
Jon Sofen
Semi-pro poker player with 17 years experience on the felt and more than five years working as professional poker media.

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