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Flagler's Tracy Halcomb produces "Cracking Aces: A Woman's Place at the Table"

Apr 20, 2018

This isn’t just another story of a handful of women beating the odds and defying gender stereotypes; this is the story of the pioneering women who broke through the ultimate glass ceiling. “Cracking Aces: A Woman’s Place at the Table” is a feature-length documentary about the women making strides in the male-dominated realm of high-stakes poker. The film was produced by Flagler College communication professor, Dr. Tracy Halcomb.

“The mistreatment of women in poker is a decades-long problem, but now the world is listening. Early on women in poker found their voice and called out bad behaviors from men,” said Halcomb. “These women created a place for themselves within the poker industry, an industry that hasn’t always welcomed them.”

These pioneering female poker players threw open the doors to the world of professional poker to reveal the hurdles of exploitation and harassment which women must overcome to earn a place at the table.

The commercialization of televised poker dissolved the cloak of anonymity that internet gaming had once provided as a refuge to female players. Halcomb and the film’s director, H. James Gilmore, weave together participatory interviews and observations.

“You have a male-gendered activity, which shouldn’t be – it’s based on intellect.  It has nothing to do with size and brawn, yet 95 percent of poker players are men. Why is that?” Halcomb said.

“Cracking Aces” has been accepted to the following film festivals: Through Women’s Eyes, the Sarasota Film Festival, Sunscreen Film Festival in St. Petersburg, Silicon Beach Film Festival in Los Angeles, University Film & Video Association national conference in Las Cruces, and the Hobnobben Film Festival in Fort Wayne. Halcomb has also been asked to be on a panel of women working in the film industry for the Women in Film Brunch.

Audiences of high-rollers to penny-ante novices will connect with this story of struggle, empowerment and achievement, regardless of gender.

“We did this for everyone playing poker, not just women playing poker,” Halcomb said.  “Creating change in the poker industry makes the game better for everyone.”

For more information, contact Tracy Halcomb at halcombt@flagler.edu.

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