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A few good news from the festival circuit I Bienvenue sur le blog de Bruno avec quelques news en français du circuit des festivals francophones. Laissez moi un commentaire quand vous le pouvez.


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You’ve seen Molly’s Game, now meet the real-life Poker Queens

 

2017’s sleek and stylish Molly’s Game may have introduced the world to the Poker Princess, Molly Bloom, but the latest documentary with women in poker at the center is introducing us to the real-life Poker Queens. Sandra Mohr’s feature is a real passion project and provides a deep dive into the world of poker from a female player’s perspective. 

The Players

Featuring notable celebrity poker players like Jennifer Tilly, Jennifer Harman, Liv Boeree and unique perspectives from the likes of Phil Hellmuth and Wild Bill Hickok, Poker Queens covers the history of pro poker from the days of the Old West right to the modern-day, all the while weaving in the stories of the women in the game.

While the world may know the stories of Hellmuth and Wild Bill, the stories of Boeree, Harman, and the many other top female players profiled in the doc have been largely unknown outside pro poker circles. 

 

Gender Roles in Poker 

Mohr’s idea for the film came about after falling in love with the game herself, despite her unconventional approach to playing. During the documentary, Mohr discloses that she is the author of the controversial book Black Widow Poker, a project that she went undercover as a male player to complete.

We’re treated to footage of Mohr playing as a man at various tournaments like the Main Event of the World Series of Poker, which provides a unique insight into this fascinating world for us laypeople. 

We learn throughout the course of the film that women currently only make up around 6% of the average pro tournament field, despite 25% of World Poker Tour viewership coming from female audiences. The representation is a little better in the online world, with female players in tournaments also numbering around 25%. 

Mohr’s goals for the film, then, are to “inspire women to play poker” and for “men to understand the female player better”. To encourage more women to explore the mind sport, Poker Queens also sheds light on some key poker topics, acting as a sort of primer for the game. While the film doesn’t go into great detail about different poker strategies and rules like how to play 5 card draw, it does offer up a neat overview of concepts like bluffing, as well as gripping footage of high stakes poker tournaments at major events like the World Series of Poker. 

 

Well-received in the Poker Industry 

Unsurprisingly, Poker Queens has been very well-received within the poker industry. Angelica Hael, Vice President of the WPT has been supportive of the film, describing her involvement as an honor and a privilege. She shares Mohr hopes that the project will encourage more women to take up the game, as “increasing the number of women in (the WPT’s) ecosystem is of paramount importance”. 

Since the film’s debut on Amazon in mid-March, it has received consistently favorable reviews. It’s also resonating with Mohr’s primary intended audience: women. In an interview following its release, Mohr explained that she’s had an “awesome response” with “so many women” reaching out and “saying they will now try their hand at poker”. 

 

Verdict

While Poker Queens has certainly accomplished Mohr’s ambition to reach and inspire women to take up the game, by no means is this documentary alienating to male viewers. It provides a great introduction to the game for any novice with an interest in playing cards, while more experienced poker buffs will no doubt feel a sense of nostalgia as they watch the tournament footage. The interviews featured throughout the film are also well-paced and will keep the general audience members well-engaged.

 

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About Bruno

chatelin bruno

This Blog in french, is managed by Bruno Chatelin

It covers the french film festivals circuit with ambience and news.
Videos and audio podcasts.

C'est qui Bruno?
HEC, publicitaire chez Intermarco Publicis, DMM et JWT puis distributeur chez Sony Pictures (Directeur Marketing) de 1987 à 1995 puis UGC FOX (Directeur Général de 95 à 97, à la création du GIE)

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