Women in Poker “Cracking Aces” Documentary Arrives on Video

The poker documentary Cracking Aces: A Woman’s Place at the Table, featuring the struggles faced by female poker players participating in a male-dominated competitive profession, has made its video debut and is now available for public viewing. The film, officially a 2018 release, received favorable reviews at numerous film festivals before receiving its final packaging for wider public consumption.

cracking-aces-posterThe 53-minute documentary, produced by Tracy Halcomb and directed by H. James Gilmore, is available on a wide variety of online and cable services, including iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast. It’s available for rent for a 24-hour streaming period for $1.99, or it can be purchased and downloaded at any time for a $5.99 fee. It’s been tightened just a bit from the 67-minute version of the documentary that debuted last year.

Cracking Aces, according to the film’s official trailer, “tells the fascinating story of the pioneering women who broke through the glass ceiling of professional poker.” The film’s synopsis is this:

Long before the #MeToo movement, a handful of young poker players challenged stereotypes and battled a hostile environment where women were often abused, insulted, and sexually harassed. Despite the fact that some of the top-ranked players in the world are now female, terms like “girls on the rail” and “hot girls of poker” remain common in the industry, objectifying women and diminishing their potential. But in the last decade, the Internet—and the anonymity that it provides—has been a factor in opening up the game of poker to an increasing number of women, and today more women are challenging the barriers of professional poker and learning to use gender to their advantage.

The film stars a large number of poker’s most famous female figures, sharing their stories of how they came to be a part of the poker world while enduring the rampant sexism that the poker world often dishes out. Among the many players and industry pros viewers will recognize are Jan Fisher, Susie Isaacs, Vanessa Kade, Mario Ho, Lupe Soto, Linda Johnson, Kara Scott, Jennifer Harman, Jeanne David, and many, many more. Some of the tales they’ve shared here are harrowing and disgusting, and yet, these people have not only persevered, they’ve excelled.

Halcomb, talking about the film at a Florida film festival last year, said, “There are still some short-sighted men who would prefer that women simply polish the glass ceiling instead of break it. But I’d like to believe that the number of men who think that way is dwindling, and it’s movies like Cracking Aces that will shine a light on the issue even more.”We did this for everyone playing poker, not just women playing poker. Creating change in the poker industry makes the game better for everyone.”

Halcomb also noted that the numbers are slow to change, though they are, in fact, changing. The highest-priced live poker events remain more than 95% male, though women participate in higher percentages at lower price points. Online, as the film notes, where screen names provide some shelter from the abuse, participation by women is even higher. Cracking Aces represents another hammer blow against some of the worst offenses of the past, hoping to create a better poker world for everyone. It’s an affordable view and an entertaining and educational one as well, certainly worth an hour of any poker fan’s time.


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