The Ultimate Bet cheating scandal took a detour yesterday and sparked a discussion regarding the legitimacy of 2+2 as the online poker forum over all other poker forums. 2+2 founder Mason Malmuth got involved in a UB scandal related thread in an attempt to have the next big thing in the investigation, an presumed appearance of current UB CEO Paul Legget, take place on 2+2. In a podcast or in a thread somehow where he’d take questions from key people within the investigation. Some closely linked to 2+2, some not.
It did not go down well with everyone involved and it all resulted in a discussion regarding whether 2+2 is such a dominant entity in the industry that it is the natural and possibly only logical choice for such a happening or not.
Since I have six years experience of interacting with 2+2 as a site rep for various sites, I figured it might be interesting to hear my point of view. Especially since I’m of the rather contradictory opinion that 2+2 receives too much and too little cred at the same time.
[intlink id=”783″ type=”post”]In my reflection piece on the Bluff Power 20 list[/intlink] I stated that felt someone from 2+2 (Maso or whoever) deserved to be on there. So I definitely believe 2+2 is a powerful entity.
The main reason why I loved 2+2 as a site rep was due to its ability to suck up and spread information. Wherever the information I needed to react to (when I was not being proactive) emerged, it would find its way to 2+2 soon enough. Even if Shit Went Down in a German forum (I don’t speak German) I didn’t have to worry. I could respond in English on 2+2 and at the speed of light it appeared in the German forum in German without the context of my words being altered beyond recognition.
Being in charge of social/community communication can be stressful as hell. The existence of 2+2 has helped a lot. And if you’re the guy in charge of the place that gathers and spreads all the information for people like me; you have power.
Now, where 2+2’s power is overrated (I got my bag packed and my hiding place staked out) is in the power of its frequent users/readers.
It obviously depends on how you define power, but in the context of this discussion, I think it is all about the power to affect business and businesses. Positively or negatively. And contrary to what some may still believe, the opinion of prominent 2+2 users doesn’t really matter that much (which is a far cry above “not at all”). The business (rake) they themselves represent is overrated because of the incorrect way in which rake is used to value players. A lot of people are finally realizing this, but not everyone. Secondly, the business of the people they can influence is a drop in the ocean compared to the overall economy of online poker. Nothing proves this better than the UB/AP scandal itself. UB and AP are still in business. Healthy business. What worse could you possibly do to your customers than what AB/UB did (I say AB/UB as to not confuse it with Cereus)? And how much of a bigger role can a community of customers of those brands play in uncovering the scandal? Yet they survived and thrived. As neat as 2+2 is (every industry on the planet should have a 2+2), as many dedicated users/readers as the forum has, there are still far too few of them. Especially if one also discounts the angle shooters who quickly start seeing an opportunity where there was once a scandal… Personally I think it’s a shame and like to pretend I am wrong. But my experience tells me otherwise.
As for the question at hand, I think whatever media outlet can conduct a Paul Legget interview/ Q&A in a professional enough manner so that the content can attract attention outside grinderland, should do it. And it should be directed behind the scenes by the people who’ve uncovered it all. I can understand that people find Haley Hinze (never met, never talked to) a tad drama queenish. But the level of journalistic works she’s done on this scandal over several years is spectacular. And it is also very respectful to the trade of journalism. She doesn’t seem to reveal a single fact without having triple checked it.
To leave her out of any such initiative to put Legget on the burner – for personal or other reasons – would be a disgrace and detrimental to the whole point of such an initiative.