Is It Time For the Poker Community to Chill?

Date IconLast Updated : Apr 26th, 2023
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Is It Time For the Poker Community to Chill?

In this week’s Twittertainment, we ask the question: is there too much drama in the poker world right now?

Anyone who reads our weekly breakdown of viral trends in online poker will know that some of the game’s biggest names have been less than cordial recently. 

If you check out Twittertainment from March 30, you’ll see excerpts of Matt Berkey and Nik Airball going back-and-forth on social media. 

Those two are now locked in a $200/$400 heads-up battle, even though they almost got into a physical battle (see video below) before the match. 

The Berkey vs. Airball drama isn’t the first time two poker players have disliked each other, and it won’t be the last. However, for a lot of people in the community, things are getting out of hand. Phil Galfond is one of those who feel like people are causing drama and need to chill.

Galfond Gives His Takes on Social Media, Bullying, and More

He recently appeared on Charlie Carrel’s YouTube channel and, among other things, discussed the current state of social media. 

Galfond admitted he’s not naturally inclined to confrontations. Therefore, he’s had to adjust his social media strategy to avoid them. 

However, not even he’s immune to attacks from people. That led to a discussion about people Galfond wishes he’d defended from unwarranted attacks. 

To his credit, Galfond did tweet recently that Matt Berkey isn’t a scammer. But he also said there have been “plenty” of other situations he didn’t step up when maybe he should have (see video above - 52 minutes onward).

Vanessa Kade Joins Calls for Calm

Also joining the calls for calm within the poker community was Vanessa Kade. “Twitter has been such a terrible shit show this week. Can we please have a thread of good vibes,” Kade tweeted on April 19. 

Veronica Brill decided to have some fun with all the recent Twitter drama and give people something else to focus on. That thing was a sobering (and slightly sarcastic) comment that, once the sun has imploded, tweets will be the only thing left.

“One day the sun will burn out, all of humanity will be gone, and the only thing left will be our tweets,” Brill tweeted on April 16. 

The implication of Brill’s tweet holds weight. Essentially, when all the madness is over and emotions have leveled out, tweets remain a constant. 

Therefore, if you’re going to post something, make sure you’re prepared to stand by it because, when the wind blows in a different direction, it might not feel so right.

Is It Right to Hit the Mute Button?

GGPoker Ambassador Andy Stacks had a slightly different take. Stacks said that anyone who doesn’t like the current drama can simply mute the instigators or block people. In his view, controversy is a natural part of discussion, so we can’t shelter ourselves from it. 

There’s certainly a debate to be had on this point. On the one hand, discussions and controversy are healthy parts of life. On the other, some people take it too far. 

The line isn’t often clear and, moreover, it will be in a different place for different people. However, when multiple voices are calling for calm, things have probably gone a bit too far. 

Twitter is a platform that thrives on controversy. Bad news travels faster than good, so there will be more disputes, name-calling, and general negativity in the future. For now though, at least until the World Series of Poker starts, it would be good if everyone chilled out.