The news about Kassouf has really upset me.
I wrote this a couple of years ago about how I think he’s a massive twat, but I am still shocked to hear that he robbed off a mate.
I’m really confused by how many grown adults with voting rights seem to be taking the line “I like Kassouf’s public image so I believe he’s innocent” or “I don’t like Kassouf’s public image so I believe he’s done this and more”.
When you are a public personality, being a bit of a loudmouth nobber does not automatically mean you are a thief, nor does being a public saint automatically mean you haven’t got kids locked in your basement.
Public personas are not real.
Kassouf at a poker table, being a nobber, is not representative of the real heart and soul of the total human that is Kassouf.
I hated pretty much everything about Kassouf at a poker table, but up until this week, I still would have left my open handbag next to him on the table, very confident that he wouldn’t take anything.
Once he’s sponsored by the biggest operator name in UK poker, I’d have given him my passport, holiday money and kidneys to look after as well.
Stupid to trust?
Not trust, logic; why the fuck would a guy throw away that sort of opportunity for petty theft? It would make no sense, so logically, much as I think Kassouf is a twat, I’d still reckon him to be low risk of petty theft.
This “the guy I like is always good” and/or “the guy I don’t like is always bad” mentality is killing our whole world, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to see it in poker too.
Fucking grow-up, everyone, everywhere.
I got to wondering what case of theft would be okay with Kassouf fans, because I would have considered that robbing from a mate was a slam-dunk cuntflag, but it seems not.
I do understand there are grey areas, had Kassouf robbed off the house, I would have thought he was a right royal muppet, but not necessarily a bad person.
The casino is just a business, and it’s on them to protect their assets. If you can rob off a casino and get away with it, it is different than doing it to a mate; it is not as “bad”.
Why is that so obvious to me, and yet it’s clearly not a universal thing?
Robbing £20milly off the house is less morally reprehensible than robbing £100 off your mate.
It just is, and I cannot be more scientific here. I do not want to sound like a flat-earther, but some things you just know, deep, deep down in your cells.
You either don’t rob off them or they are not your friends.
There’s a lot of Kassouf fans talking about “forgiveness”, and I don’t even know what that means in this case.
Anyone who thinks it’s feasible that Kassouf could keep his Grosvenor sponsorship after this is taking forgiveness too far; for Kassouf, being drunk in a Grosvenor casino was already a bit of a punt.
I sound strict, right? Well, yeah, but if you collect a cheque for representing a brand then being sloshed on their premises is not something they will have recommended in their employee handbook.
Got to hang out at a party with the fans? Pretend to be more drunk than you are, you’re a character, so act; that’s the price of fame, and Will Kassouf loved his fame.
Grosvenor are a serious brand. They are solid, and reliable, and they make their expectations pretty clear. There is no staff member at any level of Grosvenor who would survive that incident caught on camera.
Okay, not every (mutally agreed) sacking would be so high profile, but the sackings would be happening.
Even if Kassouf had the stones to cling to the “I was so drunk I had no idea what was happening” line of defence, he still loses his sponsorship on that alone.
Even excluding charges of petty theft, he is stupid enough to get very drunk at his place of work… have you ever had a job where that’s okay?
Let’s say there is something about which we do not know, for example, that the owner of the £100 chips Kassouf lifted has done something viciously egregious to Will, you decide what that is, whatever it takes to justify stealing some money off that person as vengeance.
If the removal of the chips can be justified, then it remains that Kassouf is stupid enough to do that in an environment with multiple cameras. Why not just get him drunk and take it outta his wallet in the taxi?
It seems, whatever the intention or exact motivation of the chip removal action, the only fact that is repeatedly and clearly evidenced is that Will Kassouf is a massive fucking idiot.
It does seem harsh that people lose their jobs for being massive fucking idiots, but it happens all the time, and I don’t think anyone should be protected from that because they are high-profile or have fans.
I keep seeing people say on social media that if you have ever done anything wrong in your whole life, you must forgive everything always.
Right, erm… just calm down a bit there, like.
I’m not gonna forgive genocide because I shot my neighbour’s dog with a BB gun.
There’s a scale, evil is a spectrum. Any existential or philosophical discussion on this is outside the scope of a poker blog, and probably my mind, but let’s not be deliberately obtuse.
Suddenly buying into unilateral forgiveness strategies because you’re a fan, or even a friend, of someone who’s got caught behaving badly is weak and morally flaccid.
I don’t even know why anyone who isn’t his friend involved in this incident is being called upon to forgive Will.
The chip robbing accusation is for his actual friends to deal with. Will Kassouf being morally bankrupt (or not) has no direct impact on my life at all, so my opinion on forgiveness relative to that is utterly moot anyway.
The fact of him being a massive fucking idiot on camera in the office has already been dealt with by Grosvenor.
I could be annoyed with Will for giving the poker industry a bad name, but actually Grosvenor’s swift action has sort of balanced that out. Massive fucking idiots exist in all walks of life and businesses, anyone sensible knows that anyway, so hopefully the incident overall shouldn’t be of too much interest to people outside poker.
The only way I feel Will may have actually hurt me, or people like me, is that perhaps brands like Grosvenor will be a bit more reticent in the future to pluck some noisy no-mark outta a massive MTT field and give them a golden opportunity.
In a time when poker brands are taking on famous sportsmen and high stakes players, Grosvenor took a punt on a low-stakes personality and he let them down.
Earlier this year, Forbes published an article on how to recover from an embarrassing incident with an influencer, and number one was to find a new voice for your brand.
Hopefully Will Kassouf hasn’t created a situation where these rare opportunities are passed only to polished public personalities because the low stakes no-marks indicate more risk than reach.