On August 30, 2012 I wrote a derisive article regarding a policy at the 2+2 poker forum concerning charity events posted on the site. In the article, and in the headline, I used the word “hypocritical”, which was a very poor choice of words looking back on things. Sometimes when you are involved in something that you truly care about, perceived slights seem more personal than they are, and arguments become hyperbolic, which it did in this case. My desire for 2+2 to allow the posting of the charity podcast overtook my consideration of the legitimacy of their policy.
Soon after the original article was published, I was contacted by 2+2 moderator ProfessionalPoker, who was a central figure in the ordeal, and offered him a chance to tell his side of the story in a follow-up article; he declined. At this time I thought we had moved past this, and I had no idea that these lingering hard feelings existed with either ProfessionalPoker or Mason Malmuth until the recent events came to light, and I regret that this story festered for so long before we talked, and came to an understanding.
Some five months later, on Tuesday, I spoke with Mason Malmuth and Mat Sklansky on the phone for roughly 30 minutes regarding this article and came away with a far better understanding of their point of view. They explained the policy and the reasons behind the four exceptions they have made over the years concerning this policy (it was one of these exceptions that I used to criticize the site in my September article). Mason Malmuth estimated that while only four exceptions had been made to his knowledge, hundreds of requests have been turned down in this time, and spoke highly of the 2+2 community’s track-record with uncovering fraudulent charities.
The four exceptions Mason listed to me were:
- Gary Johnson’s 2012 Presidential Campaign
- Scott “ElevenGrover” Bell’s UB Documentary
- And twice the rule was excepted for charity events for respected members of the poker community that passed away
All of these instances were vetted, and in the first two Mason was insistent that a major factor for their exemption was that they would help the poker community.
The policy in question would have been better termed as needing to surpass a very high level of scrutiny, as I do not believe there was any malice on 2+2’s part for not allowing the post. Hypocritical it is not. More than anything else, I regret choosing that single word instead of the less vitriolic “questionable” or “disputed”.
This article is not being written because Mason Malmuth banned me from the site (as my post count of 17 would indicate) or because of the recent events; I’m writing this article because I feel it is the right thing to do after having spoken with Mason and Mat and getting their point of view. I would like to put this controversy to bed once and for all, and move on to rectifying the situation of missing funds from the fundraiser.
We all have our little problems and petty issues with the 2+2 poker forum, and ways we would like to change it if we could; we always think we can do a better job than the one that is being done. But the fact of the matter is the forum is well-run and does a great job of keeping the poker world updated on news and gossip. My criticism was overly harsh.