Why do you think men have an advantage over women?

Lots of different reasons. But I know that will trigger the angry Karens and Snowflakes out there.

Anyone arguing that men have no advantage in Poker is simply delusional.

Why are there barely any women in the top 100 All Time Money List?

There are great femaile poker players out there, so yeah, men have some advantages.

One main reason that men are simply more competitive.

(I can't wait for the angry feminist "We women can also be competitive" – Yeah but its not the same level as men)

Men and women are different. And women are great at things men suck [at].

That this is even a debate in 2024 shows the level of idiocracy.

The response was published in stories, which disappeared quite quickly. Still, there was a reaction and it definitely wasn't missed by the poker world.

Matt Berkey immediately said that Bencb was using "Bro Science" on the Only Friends Podcast, but the fires also burned on Twitter.

A tweet was soon reposted with the following comment:

Blaise Bourgeois (@BlaiseBourgeois)

Oh ffs bencb

Maybe because dudes have been playing for a lot longer, it's not normalized in female circles, and there are a lot more barriers to entry.

Not to mention the constant harassment women often face in live poker, which drives them away.

But "man brain better" sure 🤦‍♂️

Another revealing comment from the “seen one, seen all” category:

Kat Arnsby (@ThePokerBaffer)

Who hurt you, BenCB? 😢

What was her name?
Was it 'mother'?

A traditional counterargument quickly appeared on the topic:

Miguelito Barrera (@fredydruger1)

Online poker exists for decades and, to my knowledge, female crushers aren’t that frequent. Is that because of social barriers and the harassment they are facing at the tables?

Ben Rolle wrote a detailed response :

"I really don't care. I can take the heat. I will share my opinion even if it upsets people because they cannot handle reality.

I know very well what is going on here. Someone sees a controversial topic and takes the opportunity to farm engagement with zero logic, twisting things around, and lying to make me look bad so they can get support from "the other side."

However, I love to see how many from our community agree on this topic and try to argue with reasoning instead of just throwing around buzz terms (there are exceptions, of course).

If we can't even have a debate on why we have more men being successful at poker (or chess, or esports, or any similar "thinking sport"), we are doomed.

If, the moment someone shares an opinion you don't agree with (even if you heavily disagree), you call it racist, right-wing extremist, or misogynistic, we are heading in the wrong direction.

I mean, I kind of predicted what was going to happen.

So, BlaiseBourgeois, where exactly have I said "Men Brain better"? Do you feel better purposefully lying to make me look worse? Classic drama engagement farming.

If you would really care, you would have reached out.
"Ben lets talk about, lets jump on a Podcast, I think you are wrong, I want to make a change, I want to contribute to a better place for women".
(or anything like that).

You could prove how much you care, to take action.
Your retweet will CHANGE ZERO of the things you address.

So do you really care?
No you don't, because all you want is a bit of attention at the cost of someone else, you know very well that you lack logic and knowledge.

What are these entry barriers for live poker for women? I am fully aware that some men mistreat women, and this needs to change, but what does my opinion have to do with that?
Men also experience mistreatment, are insulted, and victims of racism. But we care less.
Am I excusing this? No!
But men are LESS emotional than women. And this is an advantage in poker. Also, we can defend ourselves better, verbally and physically (hello, biology).
That's why I also want to see harsher punishment for men who show any kind of harassment towards women.

Again, this is a fact. This is why men have an advantage. And that was the question: "Why do men have an advantage?" Some of these advantages are simply nature, and some of them are indeed barriers that need to change, but still, men have a lot of advantages in their competitive nature.

Also, what does "normalized" mean? In the West, we live in very liberal times where you can do whatever you want.
Even if that's the case, let's assume you are right and there are really so many entry barriers that women cannot participate in poker tournaments on a large scale.
Then we should see numerous top female online players, right? Oh, wait...
But I guess we will find other areas where it is obvious that my take is off, and women compete at the same level as men.

What about chess? What about esports? Do we find teams and players playing at the same level even though we have 40-50% female gamers these days in certain titles?
But I guess it is not normalized there either?
Is harassment happening in chess too? Is this the main reason for you?
By the way, men are victims of insults and racism in gaming too. Again, we can suck it up better.

But let me make this clear: this is not against women. This is simply stating facts, reading statistics, and then trying to explain them. And no, harassment alone is not the main reason. If that hurts you, well, deal with it.

I am addressing biological differences. Men are more competitive (on average). Yes, if a woman develops the competitive drive of a man, she can compete very well. We have seen many great female poker players competing at the same level as men do, but this is simply not the norm.

Nowhere have I said "Women can not compete".
I said, Men have a competitive advantage.
But of course if sounds better the other way around for some people to, again, make someone else look purposefully bad.

That is called biology. I am not buying into this 2024 woke agenda that we are the same. We are different, and that's good. That is wonderful.
Men have strengths, Men have weaknesses.
Women have strengths, Women have weaknesses.

Don't you think a man has it easier to "grind in loneliness," work his ass off, and sacrifice some of the fun stuff for a couple of months to become really good at something?
This is what men often do when they start competing at something. They get more "obsessed"
And I do believe (and science has proven this over and over again) that more women will struggle with these extreme levels of competing and sacrificing a lot of things to reach that one goal.

Also, I find it very concerning how especially women are throwing around terms like sexist, racist, and misogynist.
You are trivializing these terms for people who are real victims. You are inflating their use, making it harder for people to speak up and address actual issues. This is what is happening in 2024: the moment you don't like an opinion, you call it racist, sexist, or misogynistic without even knowing what these terms mean.

This is called having a debate with different opinions. But this is the fault of the countless white knights, simps, and feminists who use these terms left and right to gain attention, jump on trends, feed their narcissistic personalities, and seek approval to make themselves feel better.

All at the cost of real victims who have it harder to speak up and bring attention to real problems.

And by the way, to all these people insulting me. I have probably done more for women in Esports/Gaming than all of you together. And I enjoyed it. I know that women can compete at high levels, but simply not to a scale as men. Period.
Instead of you, I just don't talk, I take action.
All your little hate comments don't do shit apart from making you feel better.
It divides us further.

Responses have been mixed and passionate so far. The fire is unlikely to die down anytime soon, but Bencb has already tweeted that he is "Back to poker content!" ahead of co-hosting a 10K GGPoker Millions Final Table.

Joseph Cheong used a famous South Park character to get his point across.

Liv Boeree gave her approval a few hours afterward:

"I’ve been watching this convo play out from afar and this is the first realistic tweet I’ve seen on it. Men are far more likely to have the anti-social obsessive piss-bottle personality necessary to become a top wizard these days. Hardly something to aspire to for either sex lol"

"Much easier to piss in a bottle as a guy, to be fair," Joseph pointed out.

Ryan O'Donnell (@3HandedPoker)

Bought this up with my fiance and she agrees women don’t have the physical clock to dedicate at a young age to becoming the best at something like poker. She believes that because men can have kids at whatever age that their natural body clock allows them to take on tasks like studying solvers and even playing games etc for as long as they want, women due to birth defects at older ages, aim to have kids by 35, and if they do have kids younger they are more connected due to the actual being coming out of their body and naturally take a mothering role, so with or without kids it’s hard for a woman to dedicate to an endless aim to become the best at a game. I would say woman above 40 probably could commit the time but then we are talking of the problem of cognitive decline vs young competitive men. It is of course possible for women to become the best and I think bencb is just highlighting that their isn’t and possible reasons to why their isn’t. I don’t think anyone is not saying woman aren’t intelligent as that’s just not true, it’s about time and what one does with that time and their are a lot more men willing to dedicate the time it takes to be great at a game for reasons unknown but possible the one I touched on comes into it.

Shuan Liu (@xxl23)

What exactly have you done for women in esports/poker? Serious question


Spent around 300k on salaries for a female Esports team in Valorant + coaches/mindset coaches + travelling/Bootcamp expenses.

Trying to push the female Gaming scene but unfortunately without success.

Famous American poker player Victoria Livshits offered Ben a debate:

Ben, if you want an intelligent debate, let's have an intelligent debate.
Cliff notes: Personally, I believe women have somewhat of an advantage on men in poker specifically, so long as both are on the same level of maturity and experience in the game. It has to do primarily with women's ability to control emotions (not tilt) and higher level of intuitive reads.
However, in the end it's a number game. Way too few women enter the game professionally and have supportive eco-system, there are plenty of objective reasons for it, even thought we don't understand them all due to complete lack of data. Women who could compete with men in the past, haven't stuck around for very long either (Anette, Vanessa).
I'd like to say more about this topic, and I will put some thoughts together when I have time (not at the moment, in the heat of WSOP). I also think the trends show women making enroutes in top-level poker, much like in other male-dominated industries, albeit slowly.
I also invite you to invite me to your podcast so that we can debate each of the points you made with due process, without drowning in social media noise.

Ben accepted the invitation, but negotiations quickly reached a dead end.

Victoria Livshits (@VictoriaL_64)

Update: the debate is not going to happen, at least not with me. I asked bencb to frame the debate question as "Why men dominate poker elite" and explore the reasons, and potencial remedies, but he insists on the debate topic being "why men have a biological advantage over women".

This is not something i am interested debating in the slightest, so i am out


Wow Victoria, I dont think you even tried. You had countless demands, trying to frame it your way and silence me for my take and I would not be allowed to discuss my take on my own podcast. Crazy.

Victoria Livshits (@VictoriaL_64)

Thats not true. I can share our chat publically if you agree. I only asked for a framing to be more neutral. So that you can present your explanation, along with alternatives.

I did suggest it would be even better if someone neutral moderated, so tbat you can be purely on the debate side. You were categorically not willing to do that either, so I did not insist.

You basically said "i will do it however i want, take it of leave it, i will find someone else". Again, the chats are available for sharing. But i will not do so without your consent.

The parties posted the correspondence. Ben listed seven of Victoria's conditions that he did not agree with (he wanted, among other things, to move the conversation beyond live poker, to discuss online, chess and e-sports, and also touch on biological differences). In conclusion invited new people to hold talks with, as well as Charlie Carrel.

Why Charlie Carrel? It was the British professional who became one of the most active participants in the discussion. At first he wrote separate posts, but then he posted an 11-minute video in which he outlined his position in detail .

It's a long and detailed explanation, but he specifically addressed the labels people are using for Bencb.

If people are gonna accuse him of being sexist, I'm going to accuse them of being racist. I don't actually think that, I don't think that at all, but the definitions of masculinity and femininity and men and women that are being thrown around by his detractors are very Westocentric.

In the UK or Western countries, we have very certain ideas about what masculinity and femininity are, and for thousands of years, these ideas have been different across so many different cultures. Shamanic cultures, India, China, Tibet. If you look at the difference between Ying and Yang, which is the divine feminine and divine masculine. Or if you look at Shakti and Shiva, there are intrinsic differences and there are ratios that men and women would have differently on average of these energies that proliferate their very being. Now, is that something that causes contention and hatefulness within these cultures? No.

At least the vast majority of the time, its not comiserated, its celebrated. This is one of the phenomena that if you went over to Tibet or China and said "Men and women – their brains are the same," they'd say "No, your missing so much of the beauty of life." And so, to have this "Oh, we've got scientific data that says so, we've got these studies that say men and women's brains are the same," okay, good luck with that.

But, if you can call him sexist, I can call you racist. I'll finish on this – the most underrated type of intelligence in the world right now, in western society, in my opinion, is the female intuition.

Let us add another argument to the dispute, the weight of which is also not indisputable.

Modern science, when comparing the brains of men and women, generally does not find significant differences between them. This explains many posts by critics of Ben Rolle, who dispute the scientific validity of his theses, and Charlie Carrel says the same, albeit with different conclusions. However, in February 2024, a group of scientists from Stanford used a neural network to analyze MRI brain scans of subjects. The stDNN model accurately distinguished between male and female brains, demonstrating high cross-validation accuracy (>90%), reproducibility, and generalizability to data from multiple sessions of the same participants from three independent cohorts (about 1,500 young people aged 20 to 35 years). Using explainable AI (XAI) methods, it was shown that brain features associated with the striatum and limbic system consistently demonstrate significant sex differences. Brain features identified by XAI accurately predicted sex-specific cognitive profiles, which were also independently replicated.

According to the authors of this groundbreaking study, it demonstrates that sex differences in the functional organization of the brain are highly replicable and generalizable, as well as behaviorally relevant.

The journal in which the study was published is not one of the leading ones in the industry, its impact factor is below one, so one should not rush to conclusions. Criticism of the methods can be found, for example, on Reddit.

On the other hand, practice shows that a correctly trained neural network can quite well find hidden patterns in complex processes.

Did Ben Rolle know about this publication when he decided to provoke a storm on social media? And is that why he insists on discussing the issue from a biological point of view?