It’s “WPA,” people. Not “WAP.” However, the newly famous Women’s Poker Association (WPA) trophy is prompting discussions about whether the “Winner’s Circle” is really a euphemism for the vulva rather than the description of a poker player’s award. That’s because the WPA trophy looks … well … like a woman’s genitals.
Singer Cardi B unequivocally belts out an homage to her sex organ in the NSFW “WAP.”
Meanwhile, the WPA trophy arguably shows gender pride differently. Or it could depict a warped purple, silver, and clear spade sporting an unfortunately placed hole.
Either way, WPA representatives didn’t respond to Bonus.com‘s request for clarification.
WPA Trophy Goes Viral (on Social Media)
It all started with a tweet.
Amanda Botfeld, author of A Girl’s Guide to Poker, posts at 3:43 p.m. EST on Aug. 24:
LADIES EVENT ALERT!💜✨♣️ If you’re near Reno on Tues, @PokerAtlantis in conjunction with @iNinjaPoker & @LIPS_Tour is hosting.
Super unique trophy🏆 courtesy @WPAGlobal !!
A lot of great people are putting this event together — nice win for the women in poker community.🎀♠️
While that tweet has 25 comments, 19 retweets, and 47 reactions as of today, one of those retweets eclipsed those stats.
About 40 minutes after Botfeld’s post, American pro poker player Danielle Andersen says in a quote retweet:
I’m sorry, is that a…..vagina? 🧐
That question now has 71 comments below it, 11 retweets, and 290 reactions.
It seems poker Twitter is a fan of the “bedazzled vulva.” (The WPA trophy only depicts a vagina if the viewer thinks in terms of negative space.)
Even men seem to like the WPA honor.
Canadian poker pro Daniel Negreanu asks Botfeld on Aug. 24:
Can we get some background on the trophy design and what it represents?
Specifically the shape and well … the hole?
I like it.
Why Botfeld Posted the WPA Trophy Tweet
Botfeld tells Bonus.com on Friday:
I am an instructor for the women’s poker organization Poker Power, which has a close partnership with the WPA. We teach advanced women’s poker classes together. So when Chris Wallace of iNinja poker told me about the hosting of a WPA-affiliated Ladies Event, I was happy to send out a tweet.
Her tweet about the Aug. 25 event’s “WPA ‘Winner’s Circle’ Award, Celebrating Women in Poker” then took on a life of its own.
It was no longer simply about the WPA trophy that was among the prizes at the Ladies International Poker Series (LIPS) event that was part of the iNinja Poker Tour held at Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno.
Suddenly, the WPA trophy was a solo star on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Botfeld’s tweet brought the translucent object more notoriety than it received on July 2, during the Ladies Event Championship Final Table at the World Series of Poker 2022.
Maybe the WSOP was too early.
Maybe last week was just the WPA trophy’s time.
The Latest WPA Trophies Earned
American poker pro Chris Wallace tells Bonus.com on Friday that he was initially worried about how the women in the event would feel about the WPA trophy after the social media comments.
He needn’t have fretted.
Wallace tells Bonus.com:
When the tweets went viral, especially Daniel’s response, I was worried that it would make the trophy less desirable to the women playing the event. We already had our throwing star trophy, but the WPA trophy was really very nice and I was worried that it would be mocked. But instead, the women loved it, though[t] some of the jokes were funny, and they all wanted to win it. The throwing star [iNinja] trophies are made of wood and not dangerous, so there has never been a controversy about them. Our main event trophy is a real hand-forged katana, and we have to keep it in a locked case in the poker room as per the security staff, but the players absolutely love it.
Wallace says the event hosted by the brand he and his wife co-own, iNinja, benefited from having the WPA trophy to award.
He tells Bonus.com:
[The WPA trophy] was a source of contention because everyone wanted it. Now it’s not only a nice trophy, and beautiful in person, but it’s also a little bit famous.
American poker pro Molly Mossey happily accepted the award on Aug. 25, Wallace says:
She wanted the WPA trophy and the other two let her have it since she had the chip lead when they chopped.
Mossey, Jordan Handrich, and Heidi Sjoigren split the winnings.
The WPA Trophy May Be Good for Poker
Botfeld, herself an American poker pro, says not enough tournaments award trophies.
Maybe the WPA trophy can join the ranks of poker’s most desired awards.
Botfeld tells Bonus.com:
The coveted Wynn trophy has almost a cult following.
Botfeld says of the WPA trophy:
I have won a few local casino tourneys (not listed on Hendon Mob), and they don’t usually give trophies. Although I saw recently that the Commerce Casino will start giving them out for daily tournaments — a great move for the poker community.
Poker still suffers from old-school stigma — people envisioning mafiosos playing while smoking cigars in basements.
And a sparkly, shiny trophy displayed on a mantle is a great way to add pride to our game. It makes poker more out in the open and mainstream.
I grew up in a household where poker books were a key fixture in our family library, and I think it greatly contributed to my viewing poker as an intellectual sport and borderline wholesome.
Why not try a similar appeal with trophies?
She adds that while she didn’t respond to any comments or questions her tweet received, she’s glad to see a dialogue happening.
Even controversies connect us.
Comparisons May Persist for a Bit
Toya Browder, an amateur poker player from Columbus, Ohio, said to Bonus.com:
Looks like that sculpture Marie made on ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’
So for the short term, the WPA trophy will probably be compared to the sculpture scene in the movie Harold and Maude.
However, in the long-term, the poker prize’s virality may help the WPA become more of a household name.
Maybe the WPA will even eventually outrank the 80-year-defunct Works Progress Administration. That’s the No. 1 result in Google for a “WPA” search, followed by the Women’s Prison Association.
Botfeld has more suggestions:
Little things matter. Comfortable chairs, soft lighting in cardrooms, pretty, sparkly trophies — all of these things contribute to making poker more welcoming to newcomers. Especially women.
“The game could really use a touch of glam,” she concludes.