In a bid to challenge gender stereotypes, Indian poker company, 9stacks, has signed a sponsorship deal with nine women players from across the country.
The upcoming website wants to reach out to a larger and gender neutral customer base. These nine women represented the brand in the recently concluded Deltin Poker Tournament.
“Poker is a mind sport that requires strategic acumen regardless of their gender. We think there’s a huge market to tap, and we just need a small push to encourage more women to take up poker either professionally or just for fun,” 9stacks founder Sudhir Kamat said.
The company has named the team - The Nine Missketeers owing to their number.
Pro Muskan Sethi is going to lead the team at the tournament. The women come from diverse backgrounds.
One is the founder of a news website about poker, Rupal Bansal, the other is a journalist, Radhika Mahalingaiah.
There is also an IIM Kozhikode graduate, Lavanya Thota, and CA Ritu Chadha, communications professional, Sakshi Misra, advocacy professional, Chandni Malik, fashion designer Simrit Tiwana and online player, Prashaste Sinha.
For Sethi, this is the second major poker event that she took part in after she won PokerStars SharkCage qualifier three years ago through a free ticket. In November, 2017, President Ram Nath Kovind also awarded her as she is the first woman in the country making a name in a man’s game.
Sethi stepped into poker in 2010 after watching WPT tournaments and watching Poker After Dark on YouTube consistently.
She has raised $150,000 playing online and in live tournaments.
Sports and gaming in general have few women as professionals.
While cultural stereotyping plays a big role, it also discourages women from trying out new things in life.
Poker is one such game where we seldom hear about women. This initiative will hopefully spread awareness about the women’s game in the poker circuit and beyond.