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PokerStars Celebrates International Women's Day With Short Film

PokerStars hosted a forum and panel to showcase their film 'Raising the Stakes - The Women of Poker.'
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  • Maria Ho, Liv Boeree, Celina Lin & Fatima Moreira de Melo are among the ladies featured in the 15-minute film.

It's International Women's Day and to celebrate, the biggest online poker room in the world put together a short documentary-type film to commemorate the achievements and experiences of women in poker.

On Tuesday, PokerStars revealed "Raising the Stakes – The Women of Poker" at a gathering in London. Members of media and charity organizations across Europe were invited to sit in on a panel of industry ladies that included poker and chess pro Jen Shahade, poker media's Aleeyah Jadavji, as well as PokerStars' Rebecca McAdam, associate director of group public relations, and Francine Watson, associate director of branded content.

"The event was fun, inspirational and lit a fire in me where the industry is concerned," Jadavji told PokerNews. "There’s been a huge push to get more women to play poker, and PokerStars asked us how we can achieve this."

Aleeyah Jadavji: "There’s been a huge push to get more women to play poker, and PokerStars asked us how we can achieve this."

The female leaders in the poker industry shared their experiences and answered questions from those curious to learn about women and poker.

"These are people who know very little about poker and were fascinated about how we’ve thrived in a male-dominated environment," Jadavji said. "In talking about my experiences in the industry, I realized myself that being a part of it has made me stronger and more confident."

This seems to be a common sentiment among women who thrive in the poker industry, as well as those who excel in most any male-dominated field. Success in the poker world requires a good deal of strength and confidence, but those experiences also seem to feed back into those attributes. Hence, the impetus for a conversation about bringing more women into the game.

'Raising the Stakes'

As the film suggests, women have come a long way in the traditionally male-dominated arena of live poker, though they remain an overwhelming minority of fields. That is, there’s still a long way to go.

In the 15-minute, 22-second video, female poker players and industry members talk about their experiences and observations in poker. Poker pros Maria Ho, Liv Boeree, Celina Lin and Fatima Moreira de Melo share what drew them to the game and provide tips for other women interested in getting into poker.

Maria Ho: "It's nice when there's a balance of testosterone and estrogen, when there's that female and masculine energy kind of working together."

The video also dives a bit into some cultural roots of gender imbalance in society, while celebrating the vast gains over the years.

While much work is yet to be done, these female poker leaders are blazing a trail for other aspiring women. And as Ho explained, a more balanced mix of participants in poker improves the experience for all.

"It's nice when there's a balance of testosterone and estrogen, when there's that female and masculine energy kind of working together," she said."Iit just provides for a much better experience — not just for women, but for everybody at the table overall."

You can watch the film in its entirety below:

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