Patrick Leonard Responds to Angle Shoot Accusations

3 years ago
Patrick Leonard Responds to Angle Shoot Accusations
03 Sep


It’s a ‘story’ I’ve been following for over a week now – the Patrick Leonard‘angleshoot’ during the PSC Barcelona Main Event – and it shows no signs of going away anytime soon, with the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Vanessa Selbst, Scott Seiver and many others keeping the discussion going, and Leonard himself releasing a YouTube video explaining his actions.

Negreanu’s tweet on the issue included a ‘poll’ which saw over 75% of those voting Pads’, as he is affectionately known, actions as an ‘angle’ of some sort – the Head Coach and founder of the bitBStaking stable struggling to get people to accept his explanations.

The clip included in Negreanu’s tweet sees Leonard say: ‘You go it’ as he contemplates calling his opponent’s river bet – but he then continues to look at Luigi Shehadeh for a reaction instead of quickly mucking. Even the commentators on the live stream immediately say, “Oh, that is a bit of an angle in my opinion” and to the majority of observers it most certainly was.

‘Voice of Truth’ started a 2+2 thread on the incident, writing: ‘It boggles the mind to think that even after the Torelli angle shoot someone goes ahead and angles on a live stream again, even with knowing that there are tens of thousands of viewers watching,’ the thread now at 10 pages of claim and counterclaim and all sorts of thoughts about what Leonard’s intentions really were.

Following tweets such as…


…Leonard released his own version of what was behind the ‘speechplay/angle’, explaining that the bubble situation and the fact he would be likely up against Shehadeh in tough spots again, he figured it was “important to find out what he does when he is strong”.

A reasonable explanation and much deeper than the simple ‘scummy angle shoot’ claims which were flying all over the internet, but it still hasn’t made Leonard’s actions more acceptable to the majority of players and fans – and perhaps rightly so in many ways – although most feel it is just a minor angle and Leonard needs to rethink his approach for the future.

Over at Calvin Ayre, Lee Davy was in a quandary, writing: ‘When I heard on the poker grapevine that he was angle shooting during his deep run in the PokerStars Championship Barcelona Main Event, my gut reaction was that people were wrong.’

‘My opinion of Leonard being a good guy is so strong I have difficulty believing nobody else can see it. So the storytelling in my brain kicks in. I start to wonder if this isn’t a big conspiracy by PokerStars to deliberately tarnish the name of an ambassador of their rival online site.’

Not, of course, a deliberate conspiracy mapped out in detail behind closed doors, but a ‘jump-on-the-bandwagon, witchhunt’ of sorts – hardly unheard of on the internet and entirely believable in the poker world as well, Davy writing: ‘the poker community doesn’t care about context. Poker players love their pitchforks and torches.’

Before I also get accused of taking Davy’s words out of context, you can read his column here yourselves! But the lines: ‘Leonard stated in his video that PokerStars promoted the clip, and it received over 250,000 views. In the poker industry, reputation is everything, and something like this can ruin people with lesser reputations than Leonard,’ should not be glossed over.

Well, it’s a difficult situation, and Leonard himself realizes how his actions might be misconstrued, but as one of the good guys of the game he should be given the benefit of the doubt – but also reminded that, ‘No, it’s simply not acceptable, please don’t do it again’!

As Leonard wrote on 2+2:

"Fwiw guys I can definitely see WHY you think it's an angle, don't get me wrong. Just think that when I explain the actually situation you should maybe give me the benefit of the doubt. …I can assure you my intentions were very innocent here, but again, understand why you would think otherwise. The aftermath has certainly made me reconsider a lot of things, both about on and off the table activity. I'm already bald, I don't want to be grey too."

And even Vanessa Selbst found it in her heart to come to a conclusion of this sort… though somewhat grudgingly as is her style…

Articles 2002

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


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