If you want to find the best place in the world for missing nuance, come to Twitter; Nuance died there, unsubtly.

First, some disclaimers, in the interest of embracing Nuance; this is an opinion piece, you can find the facts, cos they are out there.
Google exists, and all poker media channels pump out embedded tweet pieces. The disclaimers are to give you a head-start on putting some Nuance on my opinion if you decide to keep reading.

I’m good mates with Dave ChipRace Lappin and Saron Bangable Harford.
We’re practically neighbours, they often feed me, and their kid is the only kid I regularly offer to babysit and get disappointed when they say no.

I know Dara O’Kearney from some hangs on various poker events.

I’ve never met Jonathan Little or Daniel Negreanu; I’m an ex-Negreanu fan and a current Jonathan Little fan. I form my opinions on them on what they do publicly, as I do with all celebrities.

Whilst these are my genuine thoughts and opinions, part of why I’m actually writing it is to contribute to supporting David and Dara, who are outchipped in this Twitter feud by 40/1 in terms of followers, and that feels unbalanced.

David v Goliath

Negreanu tweeted something really stupid in reply to Lappin, asking him if he had “banged his girlfriend”, which is Saron.

Saron is from Irish farming stock, she doesn’t need me in her corner, she can pick and fight her own battles. What has interested me is that suddenly Jonathan Little is now in on the noise, apparently defending Negreanu’s response, not the actual words, but the context of Negreanu’s “aggressive” (or is it lame and childish) response to him feeling attacked.

Nuance screams in agony.

On the face of it, Little is 100% right. You poke the bear, you gonna get clawed.
No-one had sympathy for Steve Irwin when a stingray finally fucked him up.

A wild animal will attack because they mean it, they won’t deny it afterwards. If they could talk and be interviewed, they’d say “yeah, well, whaddya want, man? That fool was coming at me, I have an inbuilt nervous reaction to defend myself, wired at the very deepest level. If he’d stayed two foot further away, he wouldn’t have triggered my defence response”.

I agree with Little that people have a right to respond to what they perceive as attack however their instinct leads them, just with the added layer that if you display racist or sexist tendencies whilst doing it, you are proving that you are racist or sexist.

How sexist is it, what Negreanu said? On a scale of one to Weinstein, where are we at?

“Did I bang your girlfriend?”
It’s a bit crude, but any regular readers of my blog will know that’s no issue here, crude is my bag.

“Did I make, sweet, considerate, love to your girlfriend, focussing on foreplay and her pleasure?” That’s better, right? That’s not crude.

It’s not better, Nuance gasps.

The reason saying “did I XXX your girlfriend?” when two males beef is a problem, is because it positions female as chesspiece in male games.
It’s not the turn of phrase that matters, it’s the embedded idea that females are commodity in male wars.

That’s it. It’s not the end of the world. It’s not rape.
It just shows how a person sees women.

A woman could say that too, not only men are misogynistic, but any person who says the phrase “did I bang your girlfriend?” in the middle of wee beef absolutely is, at an unconscious level.

Realistically, it’s true of a lot of us.
Yep, true of me too; I’m a fat, opinionated female whom is often misogynistic, but when I realise it’s happened, I acknowledge it and try to learn from it. I either have to embrace misogyny, and declare it proudly, or I have to work not to be misogynistic. It’s my choice, but those are the options.

I’m sure that’s what DNegs will do. He definitely will not double-down on his slip and then blame our interpretation of his words that lead to our faux-outrage.

To be a high-profile individual and tweet “did I bang your girlfriend?” visibly to a large following, shows not only does it not occur to DNegs at a fundamental, personal level, he doesn’t have the basic public self-presentation skills to adjust the metaphor to an actual commodity.
I find this ridiculous when I combine the fact that our community is based on a zero-sum game with the reality of PR being a basic mechanic of his damn job!

“Did I crack your Aces?” is the same statement without human females as the equity.

Nuance exposes us all in the end.

Who really cares if Negreanu is sexist and racist anyway? Throw that in the pot with his lack of self-control on Twitter and I’d be game to bung a few quid on him being US President in 2024.

My take is that Lappin and O’Kearney were bang out of line exactly in line with how chat shows of their nature are, and have to be, if they want to be popular.
Entertainment channels take the piss out of celebrities, that’s how it works. If you want all the benefits of celebrity and power, you take the other side too, or you’re not psychologically ready for celebrity.

If you want to have the moral argument about whether that is good for society or not, go for it, but realise that argument is decades old now. The value of certain entertainment types is always up for debate, but the TheChipRace is exactly a chat show model.

Big-name guests padded with fillers, one comedy/presenter host and one with more gravitas, a little bit of music, topical commentary, closed community segments, and personal poking of the guests for their life gossip. It’s a format as old as public leisure radio broadcast.

The world’s 2nd longest running chat show comes out of Ireland.

Little’s strategy content is outstanding. As a micro-stakes player, he is one of very few strategy creators that I actually understand what the FUCK he is talking about, but it’s not bringing in any new players.
If you RT a strat piece from Jon Little and a non-poker follower watches it, it will almost certainly reinforce their previous thoughts that poker is inaccessible. One needs to know the basics before anything above the basics becomes less than terrifying.

Beef, now beef, people get.
If you’ve engaged with the Twitter around this poker chatshow/poker celebrity dingdong, then your non-poker followers will have seen something from the poker world they recognise in the form of humans having a grumble at one another.

No-one likes being told to “go fuck themselves”, let’s be fair, and Jonathan Little was told to “go fuck himself” in a well-strategised social media marketing tactic.
Jonathan Little was told to “go fuck himself” multiple times over multiple platforms.

I can’t think of anyone who would enjoy that, but since it wasn’t me being told to go fuck myself, I did quite enjoy the “go fuck yourself” clip.
And honestly, after Little clarified himself and said that he didn’t mean “real” regs, he actually specifically meant “rec regs” like me who are shit at target tourneys after playing satellites, then yeah, Johnathan Little can go fuck himself.

Even though he’s right.

Another nuance; I can think “go fuck yourself” and also, at the exact same time, absolutely, 100% agree with what he said about me.

I reveal myself in how I deal with that conflict.

The onus is on us all to find our own interpretation of Nuance.
Did the ChipRace present content in a way that was more beneficial to them than Jon Little or DNegs? Yes.
Did they lie about anything? Doesn’t look like it. And I looked hard.

It looks like TheChipRace milked a marketing opportunity because it’s not in their business interest to miss out on one using a well-tested strategy that they did not invent. I know Lappin is a big fan of American chat show Saturday Night Live.
If anyone should be pissed off, it’s them, because The ChipRace is lifting their marketing techniques.

It looks like Jon Little had a hard time admitting his original tweet was unclear, possibly because it’s not in his business interest to appear to make mistakes when talking about poker strategy.
It could be that he did mean “regs” in the way we all primarily mean it, but then realised how it looked, and wanted to back track rather than be perceived by peers as attacking them, but this can only be speculation to anyone except Little.

Yes, of course it’s fucking racist.
Read a book one time.

It looks like DNegs is racist, sexist, entirely unware of it and hiding behind white male privilege.

Hardly unique to the poker world, but a shame to be traits of our most public ambassador.

I loved the way Jonathan Little initially reacted. He felt slighted and he lost his shit a bit.
More Nuance, I may not agree with the reasons he felt slighted, but once it was apparent he was, I liked the way he reacted, I thought it was emotional, open and honest.

There will be other people who considered that Jon Little’s reaction was oversensitive. I expect they will continue to absorb his free strategy.

What I didn’t like is how he then blocked David and The ChipRace but continued to tweet in the threads, aware they cannot see nor respond. This seems disingenuous.
Block and forget, or engage and carry on the argument, not half of each!

Given Jonathan Little has a larger account than Dara, David and The ChipRace combined, he is clearly spreading his half of the story, and choking any discussion from them; and he’s complaining about dirty tactics?
Come on Jon, have a look at yourself there!*

Counter narrative to dominant voices is vital, in poker no less than wider society

The function of the magazines, the talk shows, the windows into the lives of the names that drive our industries and leisure spend give us the opportunity to decide.

These names and faces, the celebrities, are essentially vying for our money, and an even more valuable commodity, time.

We get to make judgements on whether we give it to them based on what they show us they are.

DNegs repeatedly demonstrates incredible, socially-blind narcissism and before now, racism and most recently, deeply ingrained sexism.
He’s not some random scruffy hoody at a €20 bowl comp, his job is being the most major face of my industry.

It just doesn’t seem right.
Not in a niche industry where we should, in theory, on average, be a bit more intelligent than other random cross sections of society.
I mean, we think maths is fun, we play a game of incomplete information with minute edges for lols.
Surely we can see social nuances when all the information is out there?

I think David and Dara do their work. I know David does his research, because when we have cocktails, he bores me with all the stuff he’s learned that doesn’t make it into the pod or the blog; nothing on those platforms is plucked from a hairy Irish arse.

I think they are on the pulse with their audience and what they want to talk about. They are active in many low-stakes/recreational player groups/forums and private chat groups.
They see the tone of conversation swing from sweary slagging of so-and-so for this or that, to dick memes, to some quite in-depth strategy.

David and Dara may be long-term winning professional players, but many of us low-stakes recreational guys still see them as “one of us”.

The right to test our celebrities by the trial of social media fire is a modern but undeniable one, and some channels facilitate that; The ChipRace is one such channel.

If this didn’t happen within the poker world, I’d be more worried; on a wider level because a small economy operating too disparately from mainstream zeitgeist is always in a very weak position in terms of recruiting new customers.
On a more immediate level these channels are important to poker because a large percentage of new or returning poker traffic is currently driven by the content affiliation industry and that’s expensive.

I enjoy having my opinions challenged, but sometimes, there is no changing them, and one I won’t let go of is that a brand ambassador always represents the values of the brand.
As an ambassador, if the company values change to be too apart from your own, you should take the uniform off.
As a brand, if your ambassador’s values grow too apart from the brand identity you want to portray, you should take the uniform off them.

When I give money to a brand, I am supporting their values, so in the end I have to find an answer to a nuanced question for myself: Am I okay spending my leisure money with a brand that not only demonstrates it has very different values to me, but appears to openly support ones for which I can find no empathy?

** I spoke to JL on Twitter today, and he has now unblocked David and The Chiprace account. So he did take a look at himself, apparently. Respect.