Community Lip Service

As you may notice from my latest link, plenty of people have already tackled this subject and done so quite well, most notably my friend Dave AKA F-Train. Despite the fact that I generally share the same sentiments as Dave, I still feel compelled to say something here, both because I am wont for content these days and because I have more than once been critical of the TwoPlusTwo Forums and think now is as good a time as any to clarify my frustrations with them.

I’m not an idiot.  I know TwoPlusTwo has done a lot for the poker world.  I admit that I traffic not just NVG, but other sections of their forum because as someone paid to keep tabs on the poker world, I would be failing at my job if I didn’t.  Of all the people who disagreed with Mason Malmuth’s statement that “TwoPlusTwo is the poker community,” I don’t think anyone referred to the site and the people who frequent it as irrelevant.

On the contrary, I am in agreement with Jon Aguiar that some of the best and brightest minds in poker contribute to 2p2.  A relatively high percentage of my poker friends post there.  But when you are evaluating a community, you can’t just point to one or two upstanding citizens.  You look at every single person.  You look at what the community tolerates, what it refuses to stand for, and the ideologies it espouses.

When I look at the parts of 2p2, there are plenty of things I appreciate.  I think the strategy discussion is well over my head.  I think it is a useful place to seek out information about smaller buy-in tournaments that aren’t covered by the major outlets.  It produces some funny photoshop threads.  And we can all agree it played an integral role in uncovering what we have uncovered regarding the UB scandal.

When I look at the whole of 2p2 is when I start having my issues.  I think plenty of people have adequately discussed the horrifyingly misogynistic attitude I’ve seen mostly in NVG but detected elsewhere.  Amazingly though, what I think bothers me more than the genuine hatred of women on that site, is the air of self-importance stinking up just about every thread.  Malmouth’s conceited comment is one example.  Here’s another:

The recent fight between Prahlad Friedman, Isaac Haxton, and Justin Bonomo resuted in Bonomo authoring a post that I found to be really quite well-written, save for one line towards the very end.  Here it is:

Above I have issued a challenge. Prahlad must either accept this challenge, or give both of us a public apology.”

Um….okay?  Or what?  Same can be said of numerous other posts that demand apologies, demand changes, demand their opinion is the only one that counts.  In many cases, Bonomo included, his perfectly valid reasons to be upset are undercut by this sense of entitlement that I just don’t have any patience for.  It is unwelcoming, it is condescending, and it is the primary reason I have vowed to never, ever post there.  I see its value, I applaud some of its efforts, but, on the whole, it is just not a place I can get behind.

And that is why 2p2 is certainly a poker community, but in my opinion it is far from the poker community.  At least I hope not.  Because it is a place where n00bs, girls, and people who don’t always see eye to eye with the 2p2 way can’t go and expect respect or even common courtesy.  And if there is something about poker that appeals to me more than anything else is that it is a game for everyone.  It is high takes, it is penny games, it is playing around the kitchen table with your family.  And it is all poker.  And anyone who takes part in it is part of the poker community.  And you gotta respect that.


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