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Gender Stereotype used by Annie Duke to Win Poker Championship

Written By: Maya Michaels | October 1, 2015 | Posted In Poker News

Most of the time feeling like an outcast may come at a high price, but then there are instances that feeling this way can be used as an advantage. Annie Duke knows this all too well, as she has been the only woman placed at a poker table all too often.  This is what influenced the way others at that table saw her, as well as the way she indeed saw herself.

Annie Duke spoke with Shanker Vedantam an NPR social science correspondent.  Annie Duke went up against the very famous hall-of-fame players such as Johnny Chan, Doyle Brunson, and Phil Hellmuth who has the most championships of anyone else in the history of the World Series of poker playing.  As she played up against these very famous players she surely felt like the odd man out.

At this particular poker championship game Annie was the only female player, she played against nine male players and knocked out eight of them to be one of the last two players left at the table.  But yet still at this point she felt like she did not deserve to be at the table, she was pretty sure she was invited based on the fact that she was a woman and good optics for ESPN.  She felt this way even though she had spent the last 10 years of her life making a living on playing poker, she believed she was bad at the game and was just getting lucky.

According to Vedantam Annie’s story is a perfect example of a very dominant idea which in psychology it is called a stereotyping threat.  It is considered to be an insidious thing, and here is how it works.  Consider that other people have a certain stereotype about you due to your race, gender, age, or even sexuality, it could be about anything.  You may not realize it but there is a piece of you that is afraid that your own actions will enviably prove the stereotype true. Due to the fact that you are worried about what other people think about you, you get distracted, and now this stereotype has an awful good chance of coming true.

Although these thoughts about what other people thought about Annie were on her mind, she turned these around to her advantage.   Instead of letting it become a weakness she divided the men that stereotyped her into three categories, the flirting chauvinist, the angry chauvinist, and the disrespecting chauvinist.  In this manner she was able to separate her emotions from the poker table and became the last man (woman) standing.

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