In this week’s poker news round-up, we bring you up to speed on stories about sexism, guns and very expensive oil painting full of dogs.
This week, scandals and controversies have coated the poker world like limpets on a salty rock. We have had everything from sexism, abuse and guns making me realise the near impossibility of finding consistent non-gambling sponsors to take our game to the next level.
Let’s start with sexism.
Normally, when discussions arise on the topic, of sexism it’s the women who create a phalanx type defence against a group of male chauvinists that aren’t even aware that they are chauvinistic.
The view changed this week.
It started with a blog post called Sexism & Misogyny. In it, the author, Justin Bonomo, told three tales of physical and verbal abuse carried out by at least three very prominent professional poker players. The severity levels reached a new high when allegations of rape surfaced.
Darryll Fish, who had recently finished runner-up in the World Poker Tour (WPT) Main Event in Montreal, took the baton from Bonomo and aired his views in a blog post entitled Sexism, Poker and Growing The Game. In this post, Fish admitted that during his final table appearance in Montreal, he didn’t want the Royal Flush Girls in his final table photo shoot on ethical grounds. The WPT honoured his wish, raising the question of this type of role in the future of our industry?
That’s the view of two males, here is one from a female.
World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner, Jackie Glazier, wrote a piece entitled Misogyny in Poker…or Whatever You Want to Call it! in which she threw down the gauntlet to the women working in the poker industry.
“How do we expect men to take women seriously at the poker table? Poker companies are sponsoring bikini models as brand ambassadors rather than successful players that actually care about the game. Girls are hired to prance around poker tournaments wearing next to nothing just so men can have something to ogle at. Sponsored female players are having poker photo shoots wearing lingerie and girls are turning up to play a poker tournament in a freezing air-conditioned room wearing next to nothing.” Wrote Glazier.
What happens next?
What I do know, is the more people write about this subject, the more awareness it raises, and the more likely people of all gender are likely to change.
Let’s now hop from one hot potato to a throat burning chilli.
You may remember that last week I was moaning about Dan Bilzerian’s gun collection after a burglary at the so-called king of Instagram’s home. The burglars didn’t manage to steal his guns, but my point remained consistent, what would have happened had they done so?
It seems people don’t need to burgle Dan Bilzerian to arm themselves to the teeth. They can pucker up that poker face head to the University of Oregon and compete in a freeroll poker tournament with the top prizes being a handgun and air rifle.
It’s mind boggling, and it gets even more disturbing when you read between the lines, as they reveal the whole purpose of the event was to raise awareness of the strictness of gun laws on campus. Yes, you heard me right, some students believe they should be armed, while in school, so they can protect themselves against the next armed maniac who comes waltzing in. Former Full Tilt poker pro, Phil Gordon, was asked to support the event. To be fair, he didn’t send any guns. He sent a book. It still would have blown their mind.
Continuing the theme of complete and utter madness and this week Sotheby’s sold a painting of four dogs playing poker to an undisclosed buyer who paid $658,000 for the Cassius Marcellus Coolidge classic. The painting called Poker Game was part of Coolidge’s 16-set collection called Dogs Playing Poker. I’m surprised Dan Bilzerian didn’t buy it, take it to the desert and shoot at it with a bazooka.
On the poker company front, the WPT announced plans to hold their richest-ever buy-in tournament. In a bid to extend media coverage in Asia, the WPT National Philippines stop will host a $200,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em (NLHE) Super High Roller event.
The Global Poker Link continue to grow their brand presence forming a new partnership with Americas Card Room. The pair will form an affiliate association with the ultimate aim to send Global Poker Link members to the 2016 WSOP. They are already guaranteeing one seat to The Colossus and hope to include many more, as well as a seat in the WSOP Main Event. Global Poker Link Stream Team member Rupert Elder won $125,000 playing on America’s Card Room while streaming on Twitch. It’s the highest buy-in won on the network.
The 2016 WSOP seems an awfully long way in the distance. Europeans don’t have to wait that long to soak in the brand. The WSOPC announced a partnership with Adjarabet this week. Meaning the WSOP will move into Eastern European territory for the very first time. They will hold a festival in Tbilisi, Georgia. There will be seven gold rings handed out in seven days with the winner of the $1,100 Main Event and Player of the Series qualifying for the 2016 WSOP Global Casino Challenge $1m Freeroll.
We end with some praise and criticism aimed at a personal level.
Former Bluff Vice President and Editor-in-Chief, Lance Bradley, has found a new job working for PocketFives.com, and with the same title no less. Former poker pro-Alex Jacob dominated the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions to earn himself a $250,000 first prize. And Antonio Esfandiari decided to promote his television appearance on Poker Central’s Pokerography show by hosting an Ask Me Anything on Reddit and then proceeded to answer nothing.
Sean Berrios won the WSOPC Planet Hollywood Main Event for $347,192, and Craig Casino won the Heartland Poker Tour Soaring Eagle event for $153,000.
Time Ladies & Gentlemen, please.
Someone has just called the clock.