Safety and Poker
My article is not meant to alarm you, rather to help ensure your safety. A lot can happen when we are out and about. For some women a casual drink and dinner can turn into a nightmare. Really; I wish I never would have to touch on such a topic, but let’s face it, someone needs to! The world isn’t as pleasant as we all wish it was. Every day, people are beaten, robbed and sometimes raped or even killed.
As women in poker we need to be very careful. To some criminals, poker = money and women = targets.
Recently, three women were robbed at gun point leaving a card room at their local casino. Thankfully none of them were hurt. Our safety is not one we think of often, but it is something we need to be aware of. Even though a casino has security guards in every nook and cranny it seems, EPT Monte Carlo showed the world that a whole poker room could be held under attack, let alone a group or singular women.
As women, it is important to look at ways we can protect ourselves. Being paranoid about the thought of being attacked is not what I am referring to. I am talking about simple ways to stay safe as a regular routine in our poker travels.
From the minute we leave home we are susceptible to perpetrators. Shapelle Corby travelled to Bali and to this day pleads her innocence. She is spending her life in a Bali prison after being found guilty of drug trafficking, despite the fact she swears on the bible she was framed. So number one safety tip is to always pack your own luggage when travelling and lock it. This is why they ask you at some airports whether your luggage was left alone at anytime and if you personally packed it. You can even take photos right before you place your bag through check-in. Do not trust anyone with your luggage when travelling overseas. Although the likeliness of anyone planting anything seems low, remember that even poker pro and actor Erik Aude’ was subject to such tragedy and was on Death Row. He was found innocent after spending three long years in a Pakistan prison and only released when the person who framed him was caught.
Another safety tip is to never be alone. Do not walk alone, do not drink alone, do not head back to your hotel alone. It is important to not walk alone when you are carrying a lot of cash from poker wins. In this sometimes crazy world, there are people who scan rooms to look for those who are easy targets and have cash. I suggest this safety awareness for not only the women in poker but women in general.
When transiting from the casino to your car there are a few simple things you can do and carry to ensure a high level of personal security. First, have your car keys in your hand prior to exiting the building, this avoids you having to fumble through handbags for keys leaving yourself and your friends in the open and vulnerable. A lot of women carry inexpensive personal alarms that start at as little as $10 on their key rings. This makes the key ring a form of alarm and also a defence mechanism, it hurts more when you hit with solid metal keys between your fingers. It is not advisable to attempt to fight anyone armed with a weapon or to fight at all unless you are physically being attacked and need to defend yourself.
When it comes to date rape, again we are all at risk as women. Cover your drinks at all times and do not leave them with strangers. Do not even leave your drink with someone that you have known for a few weeks that you have been travelling with. Alike your luggage your drinks are susceptible to drugs. It is best to be safe than sorry.
It is advised, if you can – to carry your funds in the form of check (cheque) for you winnings rather than cash and casino chips. Carrying a check also keeps your money safe.