Will Jaffe Calls Out Boring Pros, Justin Bonomo Responds

Date IconLast Updated : Apr 17th, 2023
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Will Jaffe Calls Out Boring Pros, Justin Bonomo Responds
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This week’s Twittertainment sees Will Jaffe call out poker’s elite for being boring and Justin Bonomo responding with more than a hint of sarcasm in his voice. 

The latest Twitter drama started on Wednesday when Jaffe explained why certain high-stakes live games aren’t fan friendly. In his view, watching the same small group of top pros sit stoney-faced for hours while they play for millions isn’t an exhilarating form of entertainment. 

Will Jaffe Rekindles an Old Debate

The tweet, of course, provoked a response from people across the online poker community. Dan Smith pointed out the obvious; they’re in tough games and, therefore, need to focus on playing every hand optimally. 

Dusk Till Dawn owner and high-stakes recreational player Rob Yong had a different view. He believes a 6-max game featuring the world’s best poker players would get “loads of attention.”

“I think an all-elite pro stream 6-max with all the best in the world wouldn’t actually be really good to watch and get loads of attention - however never happening unless they get appearance fee or something that makes it + EV,” Yong tweeted on April 12.  

Sam Greenwood entered the chat and kindly reminded Jaffe (and the rest of us) that this debate has been had hundreds of times before over the last 20 years. One of the eternal struggles in poker since Chris Moneymaker’s 2003 WSOP win has been making poker entertaining for the masses. 

“Great take. Never been made before. Hope you get lots of likes,” Greenwood tweeted. 

Poker Should Entertain Everyone

Hole card cams and live commentary have helped make poker events popular with mainstream audiences. Another strategy poker companies and broadcasters have used over the years is mixing pros and charismatic amateurs. 

In today’s climate, streamers and social media personalities such as Ethan “Rampage” Yu, Alan Keating, and Mr. Beast are drafted in to liven up high-stakes games. However, even this strategy has its critics. 

Poker purists who want to see the best fighting for millions have long balked at including “personalities.” Jaffe is clearly on the other side of the fence. He wants to see a bit more personality from those who ante up. 

Among the replies to his original tweet was a video from Justin Bonomo. 

Bonomo, the leading all-time money winner, did his best to embrace irony and respond facetiously to Jaffe. "I'm happy with my choice. It's worked out well for me."

While Jaffe’s tweet divided opinion, Bonomo’s response received universal praise from his fellow poker pros, including David Williams, Jeremy Ausmus, and Maria Ho. 

Two Types of Content for Two Different Demographics

When it comes to high-stakes poker, Bonomo certainly knows better than most what it takes to win. However, Jaffe also has a point.

Whether or not it’s original, his take on what makes poker entertaining has some merit. Hardcore fans appreciate the nuances of high-level decision-making, but members of the general public probably don’t. 

Colorful characters can make the game interesting for casual viewers. The good news is that there’s room in poker for two types of content: high-stakes games filled with serious pros and laidback games featuring a mixture of personalities. 

That fact won’t settle that latest Twitter drama, of course. Indeed, even if there isn’t a right or wrong answer, it’s fun to debate these things. What’s more, it’s even better when poker pros such as Justin Bonomo aren’t afraid to poke fun at themselves in response to being called boring.