Poker Social Media in Meltdown
A group of high-stakes pros have sent the Twittersphere into meltdown with a series of rants that would make a toddler proud. David “Viffer” Peat has fired shots at Allen “Chainsaw” Kessler, and the spat between Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu has finally come to a head.
Tournament Guarantee Scam
Kevin Mathers, the Pocketfives Community Manager is well-known for promoting the most random things in the poker world on his Twitter account. This time it was a tournament that was nothing out of the ordinary, except for some detail on the guarantee that was being advertised on the website.
“The first of three opening flights in the $1,100 $250,000 GTD @HPTPoker @MeadowsCasino starts at 3pm today”
Allen Kessler, a well-known figure in the high-stakes community was immediately on Mathers’ case claim that this guarantee was nothing of the sort.
“Cmon @kevmath i convinced @HPTPoker not to use the term "guarantee". You shouldnt use it either.”
A visit to the casino’s website uncovers the fact Kessler is in fact correct, as 200 players must register before this guarantee comes into effect. Not really a guarantee, you must agree. Another high-stakes reg, Matt Glantz, chipped in with his two cents
“Sorry @Kevmath, this is probably the first time I have ever disagreed with you on anything. @AllenKessler is 100% right here. This is a total scam guarantee. I am sure the intentions were pure this time by @HPTPoker & @MeadowsCasino, but this mistake should not be repeated.”
Then it all started to get out of hand because Kessler just wouldn’t let the matter drop. Mathers, we should bear in mind, is a highly respected member of the community, while Kessler is seen as a bit of an oddball who plays in games above his real skill level.
“You should know better than to pander to fake "guarantees". Are you going to do the same for the westgate one?”
Viffer is one of the great personalities in live poker, and when it comes to speaking his mind there are few who can match him. Deciding that this was little more than bullying, he turned on Kessler to point out a couple of home truths.
“Allen, you win idiot of the month award and are strong favorite to win idiot of the year........He crossed the line regurgitating information about poker like he always does? He helps, you cross the line every time you sell someone action, that’s disrespecting money.”
What is this? Does Kessler engage in shady behaviour when selling action?
It turns out that those in the know have long been aware that Kessler isn’t even a long-term winner in the games that he plays. The man who is nicknamed the “Chainsaw” is anything but, if Viffer is to be believed. He gained this aggressive sounding nickname after a single live tournament performance and it just stuck ever since. In reality, he is one of the biggest nits on the circuit and is known to be overly concerned with good value structures. “Chainsaw Approved” is a widely used tongue-in-cheek slogan that speaks of great value available.
After asking several times if he actually wins money at poker Viffer ended with
“Now you have lost all credibility. Please don’t ever question anyone again. You aren’t a winning player, and anyone buying a piece of you is a losing proposition and we both know it.”
Polk and Negreanu End Their Love In
This pair of high-stakes pros have long been at each other’s throats on social media. As Doug Polk has transformed himself into a YouTube star, he has taken advantage to constantly fire shots at Pokerstars ambassador Daniel Negreanu. Polk these days doesn’t appear to be much of a poker player at all, spending his time running his Upswing brand alongside his YouTube channels based on both poker and cryptocurrency. Part of this social media work includes courting controversy, for which Negreanu has unfortunately obliged him for many a year now.
Now though, the constant bickering looks to be over as Negreanu has publicly blocked Polk on Twitter. It sounds petty, but you have to agree that Polk’s bugbear with the Canadian is legitimate.
The history here boils down to the now infamous “more rake is better” quote that Negreanu came out with during an interview about Pokerstars’ rake and loyalty scheme changes. It’s undeniable that this is what everybody watching thought he meant. The vast majority of the industry were opposed to the heavy-handed way Pokerstars took a scythe to the Supernova Elite VIP benefits, and as a company employee Negreanu did his best to make everything sound fair. The problem is he made a complete hash of it.
Polk then mercilessly and repeatedly brought this point up to embarrass Negreanu and to also shame Pokerstars for what they had done. Just about everybody who knows about the real money online poker landscape, thinks that Pokerstars have abused their position as market leader. With around 70% of all traffic they have done little to hide their contempt for their long-term customers – apart from Negreanu’s speeches, of course.
Negreanu later decided to deny that he had ever made out that more rake is better for the game, but it was too late. Writing on his fullcontactpoker blog he insisted
“I do not believe that raising the rake is good for poker. Rake increases take more money out of the game and benefit whoever is collecting the rake. That is my position on rake. Period.”
Polk was again on his case on Twitter to make sure he didn’t get a minute’s breathing space.
“I'm not sure if you realize you're lying, but you specifically said that recreational players lose less and that's better for the ecosystem.”
It’s hard to feel sorry for Negreanu given how he supported what Pokerstars did to our community. By putting his virtual fingers in his ears and refusing to listen no longer, we can take this as fact he knows he has lost the argument.