2020 Documentary POKER QUEENS Explores A New World And Proves That Women Can Compete With The Best Of Them
Photo, Caption: Poker Queens proves that women can compete with the best of them.
Films are undoubtedly great, but sometimes only a documentary will do. Some of us enjoy documentaries that cover familiar ground. However, for many of us, a good documentary provides the chance to explore a world which we're unfamiliar with. In the case of this review, Poker Queens provided an insight into a world that was totally new to me, and I loved it.
If you've always been a little intimidated by the outwardly male appearance of the elite poker world, then this documentary will have you throwing your doubts aside and immediately learning the Omaha poker rules. The overwhelming message is that women can make poker players just as brilliant as men can, and despite the extra troubles they face, the challenge is worth it. Those looking for a 'girl power' documentary should add it to the Netflix queue immediately. We're occasionally allowed to enjoy a poker film that champions women, taking Molly's Game as a classic example, but this is the first time that a documentary on the women of the poker world has taken center stage.
For many people, Jennifer Tilly will be the only recognizable face. As well as being an incredible actress, best known for her (almost Academy Award-winning) performance as Olive Neale in Bullets Over Broadway, it turns out that Jennifer Tilly is a high-flyer in the world of poker. Tilly certainly helps to carry the documentary along, with her ease in front of a camera being immediately present. One might be mistaken for thinking that Tilly was the mastermind behind the project, but that accolade actually goes to Sandra Mohr.
Mohr is the author behind Black Widow Poker, a book that was originally published under a pseudonym to avoid detection. The book explains her escapades at some of the top poker tables in the world. Why the pseudonym? She was dressed as a man the whole time. Mohr found during this experiment that men tended to fold far more frequently when she raised dressed as a man, than when she raised as a woman. Noting these differences was part of what spurred Mohr on to show not that men were bad at poker, but that women were just as good.
Poker Queens certainly proves that hypothesis beyond a shadow of a doubt. Despite just 7% of professional poker players being women, the five stories that are followed in the documentary show that women are more than making up for their smaller numbers. During the course of the documentary, tense scenes show these women remaining calm under immense pressure. They use their feminine wiles not to attract the men at the table, but to confuse them, and achieve the ultimate goal, of winning.
Even if you've never had an interest in poker before, this documentary has a meaning that runs deeper than the game itself. If you want to work in a male-dominated industry, but have felt discouraged, make the time to watch this. By the end of it, you might not feel so intimidated by that industry any more, or at the very least you'll fancy giving poker a try! For any woman inspired to play after this, Sandra Mohr has achieved her objective, and her best wishes, as well as those of the female poker world, are behind you.