It’s been said a million times: Poker is a male-dominated game. The women have always been there, just in small numbers, but those numbers have been growing significantly in the past decade.
With more representation of the female persuasion at the tables, it’s even more important to see more women in the overall industry. That includes podcasts. There have been women in the poker podcast world – more of late – but the newest addition to the lineup puts three women in the studio.
The Real Poker Girls of Las Vegas is comprised of three friends – Lupe Soto, Rebbecca Scales, and Tatiana Fox. All three women have extensive backgrounds in poker, and they are all friends off the felt as well. During the 2023 World Series of Poker, the trio put their latest initiative into motion by launching the podcast.
It’s women of poker, talking about poker to women in poker (and sometimes veering into the larger gambling industry), and focusing on issues that affect women. What a novel concept!
Who Are the Real Poker Girls?
Few women in poker are unfamiliar with Lupe Soto. She has been playing poker the longest of the trio, starting in the mid-1990s. Her focus for much of that time, aside from winning at poker, has been to welcome more women into the game, create places wherein women feel comfortable taking a seat and joining the community.
The few who don’t know Soto are likely acquainted with her many initiatives. She either launched or was an integral part of the launch of Poker Chix, LIPS (Ladies International Poker Series), Senior Poker Tour, and the Women in Poker Hall of Fame, not to mention the Women’s Poker Association.
Tatiana Fox is a woman of many talents, most prominently as a director and producer of award-winning television shows in Australia. She even launched the Horse and Country (H&C) channel in her home country and worked as a journalist for ABC Online in Sydney. In poker, she has been a player for years, as well as an advocate for women in the game, and now splits her time between Las Vegas and Melbourne to pursue her range of passions.
Rebbecca Scales has a background in marketing and worked in the casino industry for years before moving into poker. Her grandmother taught her how to play Stud poker, but it wasn’t until she worked as a lead account executive for Caesars Entertainment that she considered being more than a casual, recreational player.
Her role at Caesars included marketing for conventions, and the World Series of Poker was one of them. As Scales went about her work, she because curious as about the lack of marketing toward women.
“That sent me down this rabbit hole that led me to Lupe, who rans LIPS, to find out more,” she said.” I started the Pocket Queen clothing line but discovered how thin the market was. So, when Lupe asked me to be a part of the Women’s Poker Association (WPA), which was just starting and focused on women in poker, I gladly took a position on the WPA Board.”
That involvement in poker led her to other opportunities, such as becoming an instructor for Poker Power. And just this year, Scales started a position with the World Poker Tour as Global Tour Manager for international events.
Amidst traveling internationally for the WPT and domestically for Poker Power, Scales is a woman with a broad range of experiences in the poker world.
Partnering for a Podcast
Scales and Soto both lived in Vegas, and their poker friendship blossomed through their mutual love for poker and their efforts within the community.
While both women were friends with Fox, it wasn’t until the global pandemic lockdown that Scales and Fox became better acquainted. Fox happened to be in Las Vegas when travel halted, and she was unable to return to Australia indefinitely. She moved in with Scales on what was to be a very temporary basis until she could schedule a flight home, and that turned into an extended stay and a closer friendship with Scales and Soto.
During the lockdown, Scales began talking to Fox about an idea that she and Soto had already discussed: a way to involve women in poker conversations on a larger level. The original goal was to do it via the WPA as a sort of roundtable discussion forum, but discussions brought it around to a podcast, mostly due to Fox’s production experience. With Scales’ connections at Caesars, the three women secured studio space and began to put their ideas together.
The Real Poker Girls of Las Vegas happened.
“We’re all really close, so our chemistry is really good,” Scales said. “We wanted something that brought a woman’s perspective to poker discussions. … For most women to go play a poker game or tournament, it’s a much difference experience from most that of most men. We bring motherhood into the picture, and it’s an integral part of who we are and our relationship to poker.”
The introductory episode of the Real Poker Girls of Las Vegas appeared in July 2023. It was a chance for listeners to get to know the trio of women, as well as to hear their thoughts on the WSOP and a variety of topics regarding poker tournaments in Melbourne and Vegas, women in poker, and their love of mixed games.
Several cyber attacks occurred in Las Vegas, one of which targeted Ladies International Poker Series – LIPS. You can listen to the full episode on your preferred podcast service. @tatianafoxlv @PokerQueenLV @PokerLupe pic.twitter.com/D1n7f6MDPD
— therealpokergirlsoflasvegas (@RPGOLV) October 23, 2023
They released the second episode in mid-October with special guest Jeanne David, who discussed her many years working for PokerStars as well as her time as a staple in the poker community and the growth of mixed games.
Here’s @RPGOLV Series 1 Episode 2!@PokerQueenLV, @tatianafoxlv & @PokerLupe discuss the Vegas cyber hacks and then talk with @jeanriders about her time at @PokerStars, the HORSE league, spreading mixed game love & much more.
— Chad McVean (@Veaner85) October 17, 2023
Episode 3 is due out later this month and will feature Poker Gives Executive Director Barbara Jones Zangaro. She will discuss her dedication to helping unhoused people in Las Vegas and her dedication to a variety of charitable endeavors.
Future episode release dates and guests have yet to be announced but will be listed on the Real Poker Girls of Las Vegas website as information becomes available. Anyone interested can sign up on the website for the mailing list to receive updates. And there is also a YouTube channel to grow with the podcast.