A new all-female poker tournament in Sheffield is set to become the first in the UK to exclusively invite women to play in a league of their own.
Launching in the newly refurbished poker room at Grosvenor Casino Sheffield, the six-week Women’s Poker League highlights the shift in gender diversity at the felt and the growing popularity of playing poker amongst women.
The new live poker league is the first to launch in a casino and over the course of seven weeks women from across South Yorkshire will be able hone their bluffing skills and strategy as they battle it out in a head-to-head poker league.
They will gain points to be in with a chance to win a seat to play at the UK’s biggest Women’s Poker Championships at Grosvenor Casinos’ Goliath Poker Tournament 2019, amongst other prizes. The winner of the league will gain exclusive entry to Goliath, the biggest LIVE festival of poker outside of Las Vegas which is taking place at Grosvenor Casinos club within the Ricoh Arena in Coventry this summer with a shot at the guaranteed £100,000 first prize.
Image: Grosvenor Casino Sheffield will host the UK’s first live women’s only poker league taking place every Saturday from June 1st
Rachael Procter, is a 47-year-old mum of three from Woodhouse in Sheffield. She works at a local car hire company and has been playing poker for 15 years. She said: "It's fantastic news that Grosvenor Casino Sheffield is running a dedicated all-female poker league. Poker is a real passion point for me and I play at the casino regularly.
"What this league will offer women across South Yorkshire is the chance to learn how to play as well as socialise with like-minded women in a safe and welcoming enviornment. I'm looking forward to the league starting and meeting lots of new friends in the process."
Charlie Churchill, General Manager at Grosvenor Casino Sheffield, said: “We’re really excited to be hosting the UK’s first ever all-female club live poker league. The popularity for playing poker amongst women has grown massively over recent years and we’re proud as a club to be creating more inclusive opportunities that welcome women to play.
“The league is a great chance for women from across South Yorkshire to meet like-minded people where we will also be offering free learn to play sessions to help guests to hone their skills. Grosvenor Casinos has a proud history for supporting women’s poker and we hope setting up this league will create more diversity in club as well as opportunities for women to play in the future.”
The Women’s Poker League is being unveiled as part of the re-launch of Grosvenor Casino Sheffield after more than £1.5million was invested in the club to create the most innovative gaming and entertainment destination in South Yorkshire.
Construction is underway to transform the Duchess Road club which once complete will see the creation of state-of-the-art electronic gaming with an Interblock Arena, an exciting new sports bar and lounge sponsored by Rich Energy with a five metre HD TV wall screen, a sophisticated poker room as well as a stylish new restaurant and range of delicious menus.
Katie Swift, a Grosvenor Casinos Sponsored Poker Pro, has been integral in helping to establish the first all-women live casino poker league in Sheffield. Currently sitting in the top 10 "All time UK women's money list" and with 14 years’ worth of experience in the game, she has a recorded live tournament winnings of over £256,105, with further winnings from online and cash games sitting on top of this figure.
She said: “I played my first game of poker with my family on Christmas Day in 2005, and I instantly loved it. For years I played socially alongside managing my career and family life however I began playing satellite and online tournaments more regularly, which allowed me to use my 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. By 2015 I finished 2nd from 4210 entrants in what was at the time the biggest live poker tournament in the world, winning over £46,000, which is still my proudest moment to date. Since then I’ve travelled the world as a Grosvenor Casino poker professional, a dream I never thought would be a reality. “
"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 and why I choose to play.
“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.”
"Encouraging more ladies to play poker has always been a goal of mine. It is for this reason that I am proud to be involved in bringing more opportunities to women in poker, of all ages and abilities, starting with the new league at Sheffield, a first in the UK, which offers some great prizes and opportunities to the top ten places.”
To register your place at the Grosvenor Casino Sheffield Women’s Poker League please visit Grosvenor Casinos Sheffield (Open 24hours): 87 Duchess Rd, Sheffield S2 4BG. Contact: 0114 275 7433. Registration is £18 plus £7 buy-in to take part. You must be 18 or over to play.
For your chance to qualify for Goliath, visit grosvenorpoker.com.
Please gamble responsibly: www.begambleaware.org
Image 2: Rachael Procter from Woodhouse is taking part in the UK's first live women's only poker league at Grosvenor Casino Sheffield