Battle of Malta scandal because of shirtless dealers
The participants of women’s tournament with €110 buy-in at Battle of Malta series noticed a strange “peculiarity”. All dealers at the game tables were shirtless.
This fact confused some participants of the tournament, and even outraged them. Daiva “Baltic Blonde” Byrne, who is a poker player, women's human rights defender and Unibet representative, visited this “event” and shared her impressions on Twitter.
She was supported by the Irish poker player Dara O' Kearney who told that one of the dealers in high roller tournament point blank refused to take his shirt off and he was excluded from Ladies tournament. He was one of the best professional English dealers.
According to the words of one of the dealers, they were promised to be paid €50 for sitting at the poker tables without shirts.
This story received a wide response in the poker community and was "picked up" by the other poker bloggers, journalists and famous players.
The reaction of organizers of women's tournament wasn’t long in coming. They wrote a post on Battle of Malta website and apologized:
«After careful reflection, we would like to apologise wholeheartedly for any offence caused during this year’s Ladies Event. Our intention at the Battle of Malta is to create a fun and welcoming atmosphere for everyone at all times during the festival. We respect all our players and staff and certainly had no intention of upsetting anyone, or making anyone feel uncomfortable. We sincerely apologise if this was the case at any time».
The organizers also said that as a sign of “gratitude” to everyone who participated in this event, they will transfer all registration fees from the Ladies Event to their charity, Pink October Malta. Next year, they will increase the guaranteed prize pool of Ladies tournament from €10 000 to €25 000.
This situation resumed the discussion in poker community concerning the security issues and attitudes towards the dealers during tournaments. The organizers of large poker events can revise their attitude towards them in order to attract more players.