Shirley Rosario Honors Her Female Heroes at WSOP, Talks Misogyny and Mixed Games

Shirley Rosario is repping her female heroes at the 2019 WSOP.

Professional poker player and mixed game specialist Shirley Rosario has been a fixture at the poker tables for years. With over $550,000 in live career earnings, 15 wins and a resume with just mixed game results, Rosario has certainly made a name for herself in the community.

At this year's World Series of Poker, Rosario has decided to get creative and put the face of her female heroes on an article of clothing and wear it at the tables when she plays.

"I kinda got the idea last year after watching Scott Seiver play," Rosario told PokerNews.

"I wanted to spotlight that women can succeed in men's games."

Seiver was sporting a shirt with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's face on it, an American politician and activist. It was in his winners' photo after he shipped Event 52: $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship for $296,222 at the 2018 WSOP.

"I was watching him, and I was trying to figure out what woman I will wear, because I'm trying to represent women. I just thought, there are so many that I wanted and I couldn't choose," said Rosario. Eventually, she decided that she would make a series of shirts since she considers herself to be crafty.

"I wanted to spotlight that women can succeed in men's games."

Some of the women Rosario has decided to pay tribute to include the likes of professional poker player Barbara Enright, tennis player Billie Jean King, actress Hedy Lamarr, photographer Suze Randall, and World War 2 war hero Sophie Scholl.

Dealing With Misogyny in Poker

An important topic that often comes up in poker is misogyny. Many women have been vocal about experiencing sexism and unequal treatment at the tables on a frequent basis, and Rosario is no exception.

"It's not very often that I don't encounter it," said Rosario. "It's usually every day that I play. Most of the time it doesn't bother me, because I feel like I can stand up for myself and put them in their place."

Rosario competes predominantly in open fields playing mixed games, so the uneven gender distribution is something she is used to. "The only time it really bothers me is when they disregard me like I'm not there. And they talk about me to the player next to them like I'm non-existent."

Shirley Rosario

There are plenty of women that are faced with various forms of abuse at the tables, but many might not feel like they can defend themselves. Rosario advises all women to stand up for themselves and for others when the opportunity arises.

"It actually might rattle them a little bit, but it probably will make them feel better in the long run. Every time I have put somebody in check, I have felt better about it," explained Rosario.

"It's not very often that I don't encounter [misogyny at the table]. It's usually every day that I play."

"A lot of guys will support at the table. Every once in a while, you'll have a bunch of people that are silent but that doesn't mean they're not on your side. I had an incident where somebody made some sort of comment to me, and one of the guys was saying he was keeping an eye out. He said he was ready to stand up basically if I didn't handle it myself."

Rosario talked about playing in the WSOP two years ago where a well-known player was talking about her like she wasn't at the table. "It pretty much shook me," she said. "Fortunately I had a break at that time and I had 15 minutes to recoup, but I didn't completely. That was the only time I remember where it really got to me. It basically affected me for the whole day at least."

Mixed Games

While Rosario believes ladies events are important for bringing women to the game, she prefers to compete in open fields, mostly of the mixed games variety. Her best and favorite game, by far, is Limit Omaha. "I prefer mixed games over no-limit hold'em. Big time."

"You have to put your time in at the tables. You can do that online or in any small game - tournaments or cash games."

A friend taught Rosario how to play Omaha, and she feels as though she has put in more hours playing the game than almost anybody at the WSOP. "My best friend encouraged me to try and open up and play pot-limit omaha, but I don't know about the big bet games," said Rosario.

When it comes to getting better at mixed games, Rosario has some tips. Besides watching a lot of final tables, studying hand histories, reading threads on poker forums and running hand simulations, nothing beats getting experience in the games.

"You have to put your time in at the tables. You can do that online or in any small game - tournaments or cash games."

Shirley Rosario is playing mixed games all summer at the WSOP, so stay locked in on to follow her progress, and to see which of her heroes she is rocking day in and day out.

  • Shirley Rosario pays tribute to her biggest female inspirations with homemade t-shirts at WSOP. Article sponsored by @888poker.

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