Vote for the female poker players to play in the WSOP TOC

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The World Series of Poker is allowing the poker community a chance to vote for 20 of the 27 players who belong in the exclusive 2010 Tournament of Champions at the WSOP in Las Vegas.

I was so excited we could have a small say in who could play in this event. Here’s a little background:

• The first Tournament of Champions took place in September 2004 with invitations extended to 10 of the most well-known names in the poker community.

• In 2005, the rules changed and players had to qualify by winning a circuit event or by making the final table of the $10K main event.

• In 2006 it was changed again, still allowing the circuit winners and $10K main event final table members, but also allowing Harrah’s to give player exemptions to those they felt should play.

• Sparking continued controversy, in 2007 the TOC was put on hold indefinitely.
So where am I going with all of this? This year I’d like to call attention to the women in poker who are vying for a spot in this elite tournament. I ask all ladies (and gentleman) to vote at www.wsop.com/toc/ for the women you feel are worthy of this honor.

Here are some suggestions: Barbara Enright (three bracelets), Susie Isaacs (two bracelets), Jennifer Harman (two bracelets), Kathy Liebert (one bracelet), Cyndy Violette (one bracelet), Linda Johnson (one bracelet), Carolyn Gardner (one bracelet), Sally Boyer (one bracelet), Vanessa Selbst (one bracelet) and Maria Stern (one bracelet) to name a few. Go through the list and cast your vote for up to 20 ladies.

This is the year for women in poker to show how and why we belong in these elite groups. Don’t forget about some of the lesser-known female players on the list; they, too, deserve an opportunity to earn some much needed respect. We have been given this opportunity for the first time; let’s make sure we make our presence known. Voting will remain open until June 15. Ah, I can just see it now, 20 women and seven men … well, I can dream can’t I?

— Lauren Failla writes a monthly column for Ante Up, tracking the progress of women in poker. Email her at lauren@highheelspokertour.com.