#269: “Who Is The Real Troll?”

Posted CriticismPersonalPoker PlayersThoughts

“…you are absolutely a troll.”

“You people…”

“Get a life you fucking loser. It’s pathetic.”

“a sanctimonious wanker…”

Ok, Mr. Negreanu might have a point with that last one but to the people who are drinking the Kool-Aid and believe that Dara and I are trolls, let me give you my perspective…

We just had a lovely surprise, winning an award that we did not expect to get nominated for, let alone win. While it’s great to receive recognition from your peers and we are truly honoured, a large part of the value of winning is that we can use it to market the show and hopefully pick up more listeners.

My last blog was admittedly a soppy affair expressing a deluge of gratitude but I meant every word. So many people have supported ‘The Chip Race’ over the years and I wanted to let them know that we appreciate them. The next day, however, I put my producer hat on and went about the job of trying to get some media exposure. I collected quotes. I wrote an article. I helped write up Unibet’s press release. I even reached out to the mainstream press. I didn’t want this moment to slip past without capitalising on it.

Then, just a few days after the result, at the exact moment when that publicity value was most potent, the person with the loudest voice and biggest reach in the industry cast unsubstantiated aspersions on the legitimacy of our win, using his enormous influence to degrade us alluding to some sort of subterfuge in the jury room. This wasn’t a spur of the moment childish ‘ewwww’ of disapproval. This was a premeditated decision to voice a half-baked conspiracy theory to damage us. In that split second, tens of thousands of potential listeners, fans of poker, who follow Daniel probably took his word that it was rigged in some way and will always hold that opinion now.

The GPI’s president says Daniel’s ‘inside information’ is wrong and Daniel won’t reveal his ‘source’ so isn’t it likely he has made it all up to suit his agenda? And now that he has acted this way, what choice do we have but to defend ourselves publicly? Pokerstars sponsored the awards and their reach is comparable to Daniel’s so they are in a position to right a wrong here with a statement of their own. They have, however, chosen to remain quiet while their global ambassador spreads falsehoods.

I get that Daniel is upset that Dara and I wrote critical blogs about some things that he said. That’s absolutely fine. He has his beliefs. We have ours. He can say what he thinks. We can argue to the contrary. That’s not trolling. That’s expressing an opinion.

If Daniel was critical of the work we did or something we said on ‘The Chip Race’ that would be equivalent. But he didn’t do that. By his own admission, he has never listened to a single episode. What he’s doing is tearing down our work and the 1000+ hours we have put into the show because he doesn’t like us. That’s the very definition of trolling.

For what it’s worth, I think Daniel’s foul-mouthed attack on me on twitter is irrelevant. It reveals a lot about his character but it has no bearing on any of this. Daniel can call me all the names he wants. He can express all the horrible xenophobic sentiments he wants. I won’t dignify those comments with a response. What I won’t stand for, however, is him attacking the show on which Dara and I have and continue to work so hard, alongside other very hard-working people and a loyal sponsor who backs us. What I won’t stand for is him spreading lies and misinformation.

We may not have the megaphone that he has at his disposal but we will use whatever voice and means we have to call Daniel out for yet another bad take. He may cry ‘faux outrage’ as he has done in the past but the truth is he has done material damage to us with his uncorroborated allegations, damage that can’t be reversed. The best we can do is get the truth out and limit the negative effect of his trolling.