At the time of this writing, there is a thread in our News, Views, and Gossip Forum titled “Controversial T‑shirt wearing at Super High Roller ‑ NO POLITITARDING” It’s about how at the final table of the “EPT Super High Roller Event,” top notch tournament players Olivier Busquet and Daniel Colman (who finished first and second), wore T-shirts with political statements on them which were relative to the current war between the state of Israel and the Gaza strip. An article on Poker Fuse by Michael Gentile describes the events.
Eric Hollreiser, head of corporate communications at Rational Group, parent company of PokerStars and the EPT, issued a statement to Pokerfuse on the topic.
“In retrospect it was a mistake to allow them entry,” Hollreiser stated. “Our tournaments are designed to promote poker and poker competition and not as a platform for political statements.”
“Players have many channels to express their views on world politics, but our tournaments are not an appropriate place,” he continued. “We will refuse entry to any player displaying political statements of any kind.”
So was Hollreiser correct? And what is Two Plus Two’s opinion on this matter?
Well, we have also been down this path. Even though there is a great deal of political discussion on our forums, especially on our political forums, the following situation came up in one of our published books a number of years ago. The author(s) began the acknowledgments with the sentence: “It takes a village to write a book, at least if you’re us.” and we took it out.
For those who don’t know, the phrase, “It takes a village” is also the title of a book by Hillary Clinton, and this phrase has become closely identified with her. Furthermore, since most of our books, as this one was, are about how to win at poker, and are not about politics, we felt that political statements of any sort are not appropriate, thus the sentence was removed.
Before I get any rebuff from those who know I have conservative/libertarian views, which would not be associated with the views of a liberal politician like Hillary Clinton, let me assure everyone that any political view would be removed from our publications since they are about strategy and theory and not about politics.
I also recognize that this example is small potatoes relative to what Eric Hollreiser and PokerStars faced. If we let the offending sentence stay in, it wouldn’t matter much, but it seems to me that the principle is the same. There is a time and place for politics, and it’s my opinion that the final table of the “EPT Super High Roller Event” is not it. Thus, we in Two Plus Two management agree with Eric Hollreiser when he states “In retrospect it was a mistake to allow them entry.”