June 22, 2010

Shaun Deeb Should Play Gay ... Bingo!

While catching up on my Google Reader poker blog feeds today, I learned some appalling news via Pokerati.com—the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City is hosting a gay bingo night!  You read that correctly, those bastahds are brazenly targeting a bingo night towards gays.  Seriously?!?  As a gay man, I find this utterly offensive.  We aren't back in the 1950s, or even the 1970s anymore.  Bingo is no longer a game where only Catholics or women over 50 excel.  Elite bingo players come from all walks of life—old men, cougars, Episcopalians, and yes, even a few gays.  Now these groups are certainly minorities in the upper echelons of the game, and historically have not fared as well as the hardcore older Catholic women players, but I find it insulting that any casino markets a sexually restricted event to gay bingo players.  The Taj Mahal might as well be saying, "Gays just can't compete at bingo."  Now, it's true that many gay bingo players find traditional bingo halls an intimidating place, filled with legions of hardcore bingo players with their polyester pant suits, bad dye jobs, and chunky jewelry, grooving to Rat Pack classics on their iPods.  But gays will never improve at bingo if they are sheltered from the rough and tumble world of an open bingo scrum.

I intend to protest the travesty of this Taj Mahal gay bingo event by not playing in it.  In fact, the Taj Mahal will not see another dime of my money so long as they offer gay bingo and I live in Iowa.  However, I fear my personal boycott of the event will not bring sufficient publicity to this grave injustice.  So, I propose that famed gender equality warrior Shaun Deeb be recruited to crash the event.  As a straight bingo player, Deeb could stand up for the rights of all people, regardless of sexual orientation or fashion sense, to play bingo free from discrimination.  To make his point even more forcefully, Deeb could dress gay*—some highlights and product for his hair, a shiny synthetic fiber shirt, and a fabulous jewel-tone colored belt and shoe combo would really drive home the message that it is unfair to straights and gays alike for casinos to sanction gay-themed bingo competitions.

Please help me recruit Shaun Deeb to be a champion once more for sexual equality.  Let this post serve as a petition to draft Shaun Deeb to be the poster boy for the Democratic Bingo Alliance of Gays & Straights (DBAGS); leave a comment below to show your support for this noble cause.  Gay and straight bingo players everywhere deserve a worthy hero to lead this important fight for sexual equality.

*  Below are some possible gay outfit choices for Deeb:

Relax!  Don't do it, when you want to .... BINGO!


  1. You have no right to comment on this as long as you live your degenerate lifestyle - that is, living in Iowa.


    Your straight buddy,
    -Gary aka Jew Boy aka the Crafty Southpaw

  2. I want to see him in the motorcycle outfit.

  3. Gay bingo? They're not there to play bingo, but to mingle - why not?

  4. YGOS? Oh sorry, right. Reading comprehension, FTW, Conan!

  5. I attribute it to being in Iowa. All those field of cattle doing what steers do on their way to the final privacy of the feed lot.

    My religious right group is lobbying for higher and solid fences to protect our youth from bovine tendencies. Obama seems ready to sign on as a part of his jobs program.

  6. I'm voting for the He-Man outifit

  7. @ MemphisMojo: You realize that the guy in the motorcycle outfit is the very gay Rob Halford, former lead singer for Judas Priest?

    @ Conan776: Who knew granny was a felon?

    @ Gary/Jew Boy: You don't know how degenerate Iowa life is until you've had a BBQ pork loin, Maytag bleu cheese mashed potatos, and fresh corn on the cob ... Almost makes me miss Nebraska!

  8. bleu cheese mashed potatos - I have to say, that sounds pretty damned yummy right about now.

  9. I know your post is to be taken in jest, but I think this needs to be said.

    Straight men can play in the Gay Bingo night, it is an inclusive opportunity that is marketed towards primarily gay men but all people of all walks of life are invited. Shaun never said that ladies should not be marketed to, on the contrary - he is encouraging the marketing of poker to ladies, he wants to encourage ladies to cross the imaginary barriers and to take a bigger role in poker tournaments. He is pro ladies poker organisations, in fact two of the ladies tour leaders approached him to give him support because they agree that segregation is the wrong approach - empowerment is the goal.

    A few years from now Shaun will be a hated person by some, and a beloved person by others because he helped shake the tree, and in turn brought about greater equality in poker. His methods may have been wrong (dressing in drag and not putting out a press release in advance explaining his thoughts was a huge mistake) but his intentions were good - including offering to give a large portion of any prize pool winnings to women's charities so cut him some slack! In the end all he (and the other men who played) did was make the prize pool bigger for the actual winners, anyone who looks an extra $13,000 of equity in the face and says they don't want it because it comes from a man is being silly.

    Next year I predict 50-75 men will enter. Within 3 years I predict that the event's marketing will be morphed greatly to promote female empowerment - but not segregation; and in turn more and more women will make the jump into the mainstream fields - a win-win for everyone.

  10. @ Anon (6/24/10): As I mentioned in my prior post, Deeb admitted to Poker News that he entered the Ladies Event because he lost a prop bet. Deeb was not entering to make any grand statement of protest. In fact, he thought that playing in drag in the Ladies Event was an appropriate butt to a joke among friends. It was only after he began to play and realized some of the women players did not find his presence amusing that he changed his tune and began to trumpet his gender equality tune.

    Now, I’m not saying that Deeb is a bad person, or that he is anti-women in poker. Good folks do stupid and insensitive stuff all the time. I’m willing to believe that Deeb is a decent fellow who just got caught up in what was meant to be a harmless prank gone awry. I’m also willing to believe Deeb truly wants to promote gender equality in poker. But, let’s not lose sight that his true motivation for entering the Ladies Event was not so pure, which is why IMHO he has earned a certain amount of mocking.

    As for the underlying issues of whether men entering the Ladies Event is an appropriate form of protest for perceived inequality, and whether holding the Ladies Event is an appropriate part of the WSOP, those are zombie equines I have beaten to undeath in my three posts on women in poker in general and the Ladies Event controversy in particular. But, I do believe that a lot of people on all sides (pro-event, anti-event, Harrah's ...) have overreacted to what is really not a major issue. Thankfully, I think in 5-10 years, this event will wither and disappear on its own as women become a bigger part of the poker world.

  11. Don't always belive what you read in the poker press. Shaun did not enter the event because of a prop bet, the prop bet was only to wear drag in the event, but not to play in the event. The prop bet was made after he was already committed to playing. He bought his way out of the prop bet at significant cost once he realized that people were offended, this is all discussed in the video he released.

  12. Here's the link to the Poker News story. I think Poker News is a credible source, particularly for live reporting from the WSOP. Your mileage may vary. Note that Deeb did not make any statement about gender equality at that point, nor did he say that the prop bet was limited to playing in drag.

    As for Deeb's video, that was self-serving post hoc rationalization at its finest, which I did not find particularly credible (again, YMMV). Deeb's claim that his motivation for playing was the promotion of gender equality would have a little more weight if there was any corroborating evidence, such as a statement to the press (Poker News certainly talked to him), a posting on a blog or a poker forum like 2+2, or a letter or email to the WSOP player's committee or WSOP organizers. Deeb's claim is also directly undermined by the admission that, at a minimum, he lost a prop bet about wearing drag. That bet demonstrates his true attitude about the event (it was a joke to him and his friends), and belies his claim that he was only entering the event to make some grand statement about gender equality.

    Again, this episode is a minor kerfuffle, a joke gone awry, and doesn't mean Deeb is a bad guy. Heck, in a way, he seems to have learned a lot from the event and the resulting reaction (and overreaction). But there's no evidence that Deeb did this stunt to make some grand gender equality statement.

    And with that, I appear to have beaten another zombie equine into undeath.