Doug Polk Butchers "Vulture" Ben Tollerene

6 years ago
Doug Polk Butchers Ben Tollerene
10 Sep

Doug Polk, of Upswing Poker and Twitch stream fame, is fast becoming ‘must see’ poker video and ‘must listen to’ poker audio. His latest video was a sustained 32 minute attack on Ben Tollerene, who Polk described as a “vulture of the high-stakes poker community.”

The dispute broke out, as many do, on the 2+2 poker forum last weekend when Polk responded to comments Tollerene had made when the Alex Dreyfus slow-paying Fedor Holz issue hit the poker forums. Polk reports how they had come to an agreement around two and a half years ago to coach one another. Polk agreed to help Tollerene with No Limit Hold’em strategy whilst Tollerene would provide payment in kind by helping Polk with his Pot Limit Omaha. This turned sour when Tollerene, having received some No Limit coaching from Polk, reneged on his side of the deal.

Polk quickly decided enough was enough and like removing your glasses and rolling up your sleeves for a fist fight, Polk did the 2016 poker version of that action by taking to YouTube and expressing the full extent of his ill-feeling towards Tollerene. The video description on YouTube says it all when it states:

"This is a video I have debated making for some time now, mainly because of how upsetting the event was for me. I have now decided that I want to get this off of my chest. With both my personal and business dealings with Ben Tollerene, I have had issues and want to bring those to light.”

In the video Polk acknowledges he could be getting typecast for producing this type of video, but proceeds nonetheless. Polk advises that on the basis of their first meeting and their shared goals, Polk and Tollerene discussed a deal for mutual coaching and also to take a piece of each other in their respective games. They made several deals, for example, a $150k loan to Isildur1 where they both had a piece. It’s interesting stuff. Polk’s comments are in-depth and it is impossible to give you the full details in this article, so you can check the video for the rest.

Dare I say that this is all a bit trivial? Tollerene reneged on a deal; big deal. Polk was quick to give him pieces of his action and hours of coaching before getting much back, if anything, in return. Polk also says Tollerene broke Poker ethics that if you discuss strategy you don’t play against that person in the future. I kind of feel for Polk, he thought the best of someone but they let him down and he got hurt. I hope he wouldn’t be offended if I said for someone who admits to losing $1 million over a few days of cash game poker I would expect them to have a thicker skin. Polk says he has lost all respect for him and this episode with Tollerene, someone Polk looked up to as an idol in the high stakes poker world, hurts him the most when he looks back on his life and considers what he would repeat and what he regrets.

Polk unwittingly re-affirms something many people have found out before, that your idols might be great at what they do, but this does not always make them great people. It’s worth mentioning that this is one side of the story. There is always at least two sides to everything! It seems certain to me that Polk will soon surpass 10,000 YouTube subscribers and keep growing from there.

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Malcolm comes from Consett in the North East of England and is an avid poker player and writer.Read more


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