102 – Sandra Mohr – Highlighting Women In Poker

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In this episode, Sandra Mohr, a Hollywood director and producer who retired to travel in an RV and play poker, discusses why she recently reentered cinema. She shares her inspiration for the film Poker Queens and reveals some of the famous (and not-so-famous) faces we’ll see in it. Elliot and Sandra explore what holds women back in poker, what gives them an advantage, and how we all can practice evolved awareness on and off the table. Listen in to hear this poker queen talk about killer instincts, painful tilts, and the strides she’s making to highlight the badass women of poker.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

[01:00] – Introducing Sandra, a retired Hollywood director and producer who then travelled and played poker

  • 01:10 – She recently reentered cinema when she was asked to direct a documentary following the journey of female poker players competing in the WSOP main event
  • 02:05 – She was fascinated by women in poker and wanted to document their success during this pivotal time for women in history

[03:00] – Who’s involved

  • 03:05 – Jennifer Harman and Marie Ho and more; they have interesting backstories and are the most recognized
  • 03:40 – She also followed “The Golden Girls,” a group of elderly women that follow the WSOP; there’s a mix of famous and not-so-famous characters
  • 04:15 – 90% of the women she approached agreed to be a part of the documentary

[04:40] – What Sandra believes holds women back in poker

  • 04:45 – Poker had always been seen as a men’s game; it can be intimidating at first to be only with men
  • 05:33 – Not all women have a “killer instinct” and are taught to safely gather things and “nest” instead; this goes against the aggressive strategies in poker

[06:30] – On what she hopes the movie will achieve

  • 06:30 – She wants it to come across like “Rocky”; they’ve cast a wide net but will narrow down on the players that go the deepest in the WSOP

[07:08] – On how women are treated at the table

  • 07:15 – The more aggressive and confident a woman is, the less gender becomes an issue
  • 07:20 – When women go into higher stakes, men don’t tend to consider gender any more
  • 07:50 – Women get comments at the table that men wouldn’t about looks; the better a poker player, the less that happens
  • 09:09 – Men playing irrationally can be used to a woman’s advantage

[09:20] – On how women can play differently

  • 09:21 – When a woman really starts to bet, men tend to believe her; she says men can be easy to bluff
  • 10:00 – If she doesn’t want a guy to call she says, “C’mon, you can afford it!” so he folds; it’s a power move

[10:42] – What’s interesting about the female players she followed

  • 10:45 – Many played “boy sports” or played on boy teams; they are competitive, like to play with men, and many are tomboys
  • 11:44 – When they come across inappropriate or aggressive men, they know how to diffuse the situation and use it to their advantage
  • 12:10 – Men tend to get upset when a woman bluffs, so she usually won’t show it; the whole table could go after you

[12:30] – Examples of aggression at the table

  • 12:40 – It’s not a huge issue, especially in higher tables, but most women have a story of aggression in poker
  • 13:15 – The only time a woman has sat at the main event final table was in 1995
  • 13:20 – The movie’s not about sexism

13:30 – Online vs. live poker

  • 13:40 – About 5% of entrants to the WSOP are women, while over 30% of online poker players are women

[14:50] – The way men are changing their attitude towards women in poker

  • 15:10 – The Harvey Weinstein thing changed things; men are more aware of what they say
  • 16:20 – In Sandra’s experience, in mid-stakes tournaments men really don’t want to play with a woman; she seems to have a target on her back

[18:50] – On filming during the WSOP

  • 19:00 – She’ll be shooting every day; they have reserved “The Poker Palace” which is stocked with healthy foods, drink, massage, and relaxation for the women filmed

[20:30] – On what she thinks about the Ladies Event

  • 21:00 – She finds it discriminatory but will follow it a bit in in the film

[22:22] – The craziest example of tilt that she’s seen over the years

  • 22:50 – She has been so tilted before that she’s gone to her RV and banged her head against the wall; it’s the only thing that gave her relief from emotional pain
  • 23:40 – Physical pain isn’t uncommon for players who tilt badly
  • 24:30 – The worst emotional pain is from mistakes; the pain of financial loss is severe but is also part of the game’s glamour

3 Key Points

  1. We are in a pivotal time in history for women on all fronts.
  2. Confident and aggressive women are less likely to be pushed around at the table.
  3. Take measures to decrease or eliminate tilt.



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About the Author Elliot Roe

Hi, I'm Elliot Roe... And I Help Poker Players Squeeze Every Ounce Of EV From Their Poker Skills and Abilities. Over 7500 poker players have downloaded my Mindset MP3s to boost their focus on the table and to relax and recover post-session. I have personally worked with hundreds more on mastering their emotions and the tabling and developing the “Pro-Athlete Mindset” needed to be successful into today’s games. Creating a strong poker mindset has been the “secret weapon” of the high stakes elite for years now, and I started this site to bring that edge to any player willing to work on that area of their game.

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