Isaac Haxton Tells PokerStars to ‘Shove Their Olive Branch’

3 years ago
Isaac Haxton Tells PokerStars to ‘Shove Their Olive Branch’
21 Aug

Twitter is the place for a good stramash in the poker world these days, and Isaac ‘Ike’ Haxton wasn’t slow in taking some well-aimed swipes at those who have been publicly lauding PokerStars for what they claim is an ‘olive branch to the poker community’.

Steve Ruddock, usually a very decent writer on the poker scene, started the ball rolling with his editorial article on, stating that:

"The company is hoping to mend some of the fences that were broken over the last few years’, an article which Global Poker League CEO Alex Dreyfus retweeted calling it a ‘great piece’."

Enter ‘Hollywood Haxton’ with fists swinging from the off, the high-stakes online cash game legend still furious at his former sponsors and their disgraceful decision to pull the carpet from under the feet of its SuperNova and Supernova Elite players, effectively costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars

Haxton has been one of the most outspoken critics of the world’s biggest poker site, refusing to extend his contract with the newly-named Stars Group flagship site early last year claiming:

“I believe PokerStars is behaving unethically.”

Dreyfus, whose reputation in the poker world is about on a par with that of PokerStars after his attempts at ‘sportification’ of the game failed to materialize with dismal figures in season 1 of his much-vaunted GPL and who has been publicly outed for slow-paying stars such as Fedor Holz, claimed…

…but it’s not a ‘reality’ which Haxton appears to recognise…

Ruddock, who wrote the original article, has been defending himself in the Twittersphere too, against charges of writing the piece as a Stars shill, which would be the first thought of many given his somewhat sycophantic approach to recent events.

‘The narrative that has developed over the past few years is that PokerStars doesn’t want winning players. That it wants all winning players to just go away. This isn’t true,’ states Ruddock in his opinion piece, adding: ‘What the company wants is winning players who exhibit the right traits. If you’re a solid winning player who moves up in stakes instead of adding more volume, they do want you.’

What he forgot to add, and what he has been pulled up on, is any mention of the SNE and SN players losing out on huge sums of already-hard-earned cash along the way…

…although it appears he has corrected this in the article now.

Back to Ike Haxton, however, and he is convinced that the PokerStars changes were a simple cash grab, no different to theft…

…even going as far as to say that it would be ‘unfair not to’ compare PokerStars with sites which stole players money such as Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet among others… ‘It's less viscerally gross than super-using but on a dollar scale it's a bigger crime,’ claimed Haxton.

So, it appears that at least one major voice is refusing to allow Stars Group to quietly wheedle its PokerStars brand back into the hearts and minds of the poker community without creating a scene.

Articles 1993

Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more


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