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The Attempted Rewriting of Online Poker History

We are now 15 years into the online poker era and in addition to the already copious amounts of media available on this era a number of highly-publicized books and movies are scheduled to be released in the very near future. Unfortunately, for those of us who lived through this era it’s looking more and more like there might be an attempt to rewrite the past 10 years.

On the one hand we have projects like Ship It Holla Ballas and BOOM, where poker players who were able to cash in on the Poker Boom (recipients of being the right people in the right place at the right time) are offering up highly stylized versions of the 2003-2008 years of poker. Basically, these projects are the view of a small minority of poker players who excelled at the game and cashed-in big time. While I have no issue with these stories, and find them extremely interesting, I also find them to be but a small piece of the story –sort of like telling the dotcom story through the eyes of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

But the stylized versions of the Poker Boom are nothing compared to another project. More troubling is the upcoming book by Ben Mezrich (the Ben Mezrich who lionized the MIT Blackjack Card-Counting Team and Facebook founders) Straight Flush. In every interview Mezrich (who potentially has a connection to the founders of Absolute Poker) uses words and terms like “Ballsy”, “An American story”, and “Change the world”.

After reading the mainstream press’ coverage of the upcoming book, it’s fairly apparent to anyone in the poker world that this book is going to idealize Scott Tom and company, and make them into some kind of modern day Jesse James.

In all of the articles I’ve read on this book I have yet to see the Super-User scandals even mentioned; it’s as if the most well-known story of the company never happened; like telling the Enron story without the scandal, or Bernie Madoff without the word Ponzi appearing. While I haven’t read the book yet, the initial PR campaign is extremely troubling, especially considering Mezrich’s ability to turn his books into movies.

The sins of Absolute Poker ARE the story, yet we are being led to believe that the real story is the struggle between the US Department of Justice and the handful of Frat Boys they are persecuting. That their only crime was trying to live the American Dream and they were punished for it.

The truth is, the owners/founders of Absolute Poker are scum, not misunderstood heroes with an ends justify the means mentality. They stole from the poker community not once (The AP Super-User Scandal) but twice (continuing to accept deposits post-Black Friday with no intention of ever paying out). For more poker news check our Daily Titan Poker News section.

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