• Ebony Kenney

There's Room at My Table

"So what do you think?"

"YESSSS." My actual response.

Kasey had just suggested something that seemed so radical, but in my heart of hearts I knew it was right.

Doesn't seem so radical when you think about us being the only two females of the Thirst Lounge team of 10. BUT we hadn't met before this. We'd had a few video chats in support of one another, have some real life friends in common, but that is it.

Kasey, AKA PokerMommaa, and I were on FaceTime and we had just solidified plans of her coming to visit me in Austin. In TWO days.

Leading up to her arrival, we messaged, we planned, we celebrated. And now she's here and I realize this is how it should feel. Women truly supporting one another.

There can only be one. That's it.

This is pretty much what a lot of women have been conditioned to think. Especially in poker.

This dog-eat-dog, super competitive, bitter rivalry that happens simply because we are in a male-dominated field can be poisonous and very dangerous. You know those women who celebrated when they were the last woman standing in a tournament? I used to be one of them.

It didn't last long though.

In 2012, during the WSOP Main Event, it all changed for me. There were two women left out of the last 11 players. FINALLY, I thought to myself, a woman is going to make the final table for the first time in 17 years. Ecstatic and ready for a woman to take the title, the stirrings amongst my fellow women in poker surprised me.

"I want to be the first one."

"I hope they bust."

My heart couldn't believe what was happening.

Other women were anti-sweating these two women out of spite and jealousy and a scarcity mindset.

Gaëlle Baumann and Elisabeth Hille bubbled the final table in 10th and 11th, respectively. With their bust outs, I made a vow to truly support all women in poker. ALL WOMEN. Regardless of how they showed up, what they wore, how they chose to live.

Women empowering women. Photo by: StudioK10

Quickly realizing how full I felt when I gave out positive energy to other women without conditions or seeking reciprocity, I began to just show up. Showing up genuinely wanting other women to succeed. And the more work I do with women outside of poker, the more I realize how much this support within poker is desperately needed.

So while Kasey and I spend the next several days filming content and having fun for Thirst Lounge, another more powerful and fierce thing is happening behind the scenes.

We are showing women that you can truly show up and give support without worrying about anyone taking your spot.

Working really hard to build a table that is long enough for all women to sit at, eat until our hearts' content, and share because that is where all of the magic thrives, I won't stop.

We won't stop.

© 2019 by the Thirst Lounge.

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