Numbers Show More Women Are Taking Up Poker

Although usually perceived as a masculine sport, the unprecedented popularity of poker is luring more and more women to take the game up. To date, nearly 30 percent of online players are female and the number of women participating in the Ladies World Series of Poker is up 400 percent.

A seasoned poker player, Barbara Enright, said that playing with the boys used to tie her stomach in knots.

"I was so intimidated when I sat down in the game," she said. But that was three decades ago. Now the former hairdresser turned poker pro advises aspiring women players: Take chances and push yourself past your comfort zone.

"She has a reputation as a real chip mover," said Luke Grotano of Crystal Casino. "She's very aggressive. She has no fear."

Whether online or offline, Enright is a force to contend with as she keeps changing her style of play to keep the competition guessing. "I know what's coming," she said. "I plan how I'm going to play the hand before I even get the cards."

Enright advises to play poker as you do life: Stay focused, talk less, listen more and never get emotional. Enright says that contrary to popular belief, it is the men who get too emotional at the table. "They whine at the table," she said. "Whenever they have a bad hand they throw their cards at the dealer. They have more fits and more tantrums."

More importantly, Enright says trust your intuition. She says your first instinct is more often than not your best bet.

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