Some people are asking me about the 60 Minutes stuff, so I might as well make a blog post to update everyone all at once. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, take a look at this post.
I’ll just make this whole thing point by point…
First, I am not going to appear on 60 Minutes. They wanted me to and I did go as far as meeting with an assistant producer in Atlanta for lunch, but I ultimately decided that I did not want to be a part of something that I felt would portray online poker in an unfair manner. I would have gone on 60 Minutes if I felt like the show was going to show a clear overall picture of the good and the bad, but I get the feeling that it may end up ripping apart online poker. In my opinion, that is unfair and potentially devastating to our livelihood. Not only do I have a financial interest in the continuation of online poker, I also have a huge emotional/mental commitment to this industry. I love being involved in it and I don’t want to see that come to an end. If it did, I would land on my feet job-wise because I have an okay cushion and I could definitely get into top business schools — but that being said, I don’t want to do that right now (maybe in a few years, we’ll see). On top of all of the financial reasons, I absolutely 100% believe that online poker is a safe, educational and fun recreational activity that millions of people enjoy and I think it’s completely unfair for people to tell other people how to spend their time and money. So that’s why I don’t want to see a bash job on the online poker industry.
Second, I should point out that I do not think that 60 Minutes is saying to themselves: “Let’s see how we can completely rip these people apart and draw as much negative attention as possible.” I think 60 Minutes will probably do a pretty good job (they’re good at what they do) and show a fair representation of what happened at AP and UB. The problem is, the public who watches the show and any politicians who see it will sit there and be like “well then, I knew it was dangerous to Americans, online poker is bad” — they won’t be able to differentiate between the PokerStars/Full Tilt Pokers of the world and the sites that are not being run correctly. And, of course, it’s hard for me to come up with a good response when someone says “well, you said for years that major online poker sites would never do anything like this because of the risks of losing their customers” — so it’s even hard to deny that there’s risk in playing at PS or FTP because all of the conspiracy theorists have a lot of ammunition to come up with their theories about other sites being rigged/unfair.
Third, I have made sure to clarify with 60 Minutes my side of the story. So while I don’t plan on being on camera (I don’t think, unless they have some footage I’m unaware of), I didn’t want to take the chance of being portrayed inaccurately if they happen to mention my involvement at any point during the show. However, I doubt they’ll be talking much (or at all) about someone who won’t be on camera, so I don’t think there’s much of a risk there.
Fourth, I’ve been told that Michael Josem and Todd Witteles both went on camera in Las Vegas (I think) recently. I was also told that 60 Minutes is out in Las Vegas using the WSOP backdrop for a lot of their coverage. I don’t know how they’ll tie it all in, but I guess I can see why that would make sense to them. I also expect them to come down to Costa Rica at some point, but I don’t know when as I have not been communicating with them at all over the last two months-ish. I don’t know if Marco is going on camera, but last I heard, he said that he wasn’t planning on it because he didn’t want the attention. I’m pretty sure that Mark Seif and Adanthar are going to be on the show too, but outside of those four main guys, I don’t know of any other major people that will be on the show.
Anyway, that concludes this update. I’ll be posting more on my blog in the next few weeks as I have a lot of stuff to blog about and I’m kind of bothered that I keep having to put off blogging for other projects. I’ve decided I have to make blogging a top priority because I really enjoy doing it and it’s important to me to have a place to get my thoughts out on a regular basis.
Congrats to all of the people pulling in big WSOP scores, I look forward to the rest of the WSOP and reading about all of the sick things people are doing out there.