Polk on Scammers

4 years ago
Doug Polk on Scammers
03 Apr

Should you out scammers in poker?” asks Doug Polk and it’s a question where the answer is not so simple as it might seem at first – Doug’s ten-minute YouTube video weighing up the pros and cons, including two cases where he himself was the victim of scammers.

The two sides of the argument according to Polk can be broken down quite easily:

  • "We should not be airing such things publicly because it makes poker look back and it’s not good for the game.”
  • "We should be outing scammers because it protects the community and in future others won’t get hurt.”

The first point is an arguable one to say the least, but Polk tries to be objective in his assessment, stating that because poker already has a dubious reputation in general – it’s gambling, after all – it could be regarded as scaring new players away from the game if we focus on the scams and cheating which take place.

A quick look at 2+2 forum and various other sites is all it takes to see just how prevalent such scams are, involving and committed by even big-name players, many of which have been covered by myself on PokerTube previously.

Polk rejects this ‘protecting poker’ argument, however, and highlights the two incidents where he was stung, the first involving Brad Booth, whom he transferred $30K to online but when he turned up in person to get his cash he discovered Booth was busto!

Everyone and his dog knew this in the live poker scene, apparently, but Polk’s online focus meant he wasn’t party to the gossip at this time. Had others outed Booth first, Polk would have likely avoided the loss (which he says Booth is still slowly repaying years later.)

Doug states that outing such people is the only real deterrent in poker, there is little legal recourse and “we’re not living in the 70’s or 50’s where we can break someone’s legs!” he says.

He then relates the tale of Joshua Tyler – who almost certainly hacked Polk’s laptop after pretending to be friends with him, setting Polk up for a $35K online hammering – and allegedly big wins against others also using similar tactics.

“We have a moral obligation when we get hurt in these instances to come forward to protect the people around us,“ says Polk – and although he can understand those who seek to protect poker’s reputation by not airing such scams and those behind them, he finishes by saying:

Sometimes shitty stuff happens and you have to do what’s right to fix the situation. We can focus on the positives of the game... while at the same time realizing that at some moments we are going to have to deal with the negatives.”

As always, it’s interesting stuff. We here at PokerTube always believe in airing the bad stuff alongside the good, but what do you the readers and players think? Thoughts and suggestions in the comment section below please!

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


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