WSOP 2021: Man enters Ladies Championship, promises to donate any winnings to women’s charities

Haley Hintze
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Posted on: October 12, 2021 12:16 am EDT

For the first time in several years, a man has chosen to enter the $10,000/$1,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold’em Championship at the World Series of Poker. Tom Hammers late-registered Event 22, the Ladies Championship, and took his seat in the Brasilia Room, where Day 1 action is ongoing.

Hammers, a Minnesota resident who has played several events already during the 2021 WSOP, immediately explained to his tablemates that it wasn’t a prop bet or a dare, but was instead an attempt to raise funds for women’s causes. He also told, “My best friend and I just thought we could do some good for a couple of women’s charities by trying to get into the tournament.

“We both put up half the money. [My friend’s] name is Tony Hartmann. We just want to see if we can do some good for a couple of charities for women.” Hammers also announced his plans to enter the Ladies Championship on Twitter:

Winnings to go to women’s charities

Hammers also promised that should he make the money, any winnings would go to women’s causes. “I put $10,000 up, and even if [any winnings are] below that, it’s still going. Or if somebody wants to donate with us, to put it in with whatever it is, we’re going to split it between two charities.”

Hammers hasn’t decide which charities would receive any winnings, in the event he cashes. “Not sure exactly which ones yet,” he told, “but it’ll be something along the lines of a battered women’s shelter and, and like a homeless shelter for women.”

The catch, of course, is that Hammers would have to cash in the Ladies Championship for those promised women’s causes to receive any direct benefit. His $10,000 entry fee is already dedicated to the event’s prize fund, less the administrative fee collected by Caesars. Hammers could conceivably log a solid six-figure payday, though the odds are highly against that happening. The odds are also against his cashing in the event at all. Given that, it’s fair to ask how much of Hammers’ entry into the Ladies event can be written off as a questionably-conceived publicity stunt.

Nevada law protects Hammers’ right to enter the event

Men have entered the Ladies Championship sporadically over the years, though it’s frowned upon in general terms by both the WSOP and by many female players. However, Nevada law forbids discrimination based on gender, so Hammers has the right to play.

Because of that, the WSOP and parent company Caesars Entertainment have instead attempted to financially dissuade men from entering. The Ladies Championship was always a $1,000-entry tournament, but several years ago, to stanch a growing number of men from entering, the WSOP changed it to a $10,000 championship. Women, however, receive a 90% discount, so their entry fees are the traditional $1,000 amount.

Featured image source: Haley Hintze