Here I come with my highly important opinion on JackFourGate; since people can set up burners to talk about it, and half the community has lost their fuckin minds about it, then what’s the harm in another angle, eh?
I’m not gonna debate whether she was cheating or not. Plenty of people are doing that, and from my micro-stakes perspective, most of high-stakes poker looks like cheating, so I remain unqualified to say if she cheated or not.
What I’m interested in is how quickly this exploded irrespective of whether she’s cheating or not.
I will assert that, in this case, the reason the accusation happened as quick and hot-headed as it did was relative to the gender-presentation of the player accused of cheating, and that this is problematic to poker irrespective of the outcome of the investigation.
Qualifications, biases and disclaimers to get out the way.
MA in Cultural Theory with focus specifically on Gender and Identity. Not only did this course teach me to research shit, my particular interest was then, and remains now, how sex, sexuality and gender interact with the wider societies and culture to create and shape our sense of self and identity.
So, ya know, useful for employment.
Men who look like Garrett make me defensive, women who look like Robbi make me horny, however, whilst researching for this piece I have more positive feelings towards Garrett because he seems authentic (if a bit socially dense) and Robbi seems fame-hungry (which is one of my pet-peeves).
I also think all poker players have a point at which they will cheat. I always assume everyone will take a certain opportunity to cheat, depending on how it’s presented to them and where their personal line is; it was a bias that served me well as floor staff and I’ve never let it go.
The next 1500 words are likely to offend everybody and I give zero fucks. LFG.
What’s In A Look?
Both Garrett and Robbi are fit, let’s not beat about the PC bush like it doesn’t matter, it matters.
It’s not about whether you specifically want to bang either of them, it’s about how the fact neither of them is a pig has contributed to their development into an adult human person.
The way we look affects how people interact with us, and how people interact with us informs who we become.
That we have some high-stakes hotties is not just a credit to HCL casting, it’s interesting because a particularly stereotypical masculine look, meeting a stereotypical feminine look, specifically in a stereotypically masculine environment creates a power dynamic that goes beyond sexual.
Lots of stereotyping, but we all do it all the time, and we are rarely conscious of it.
Many people have stated that this accusation is “nothing to do with sex”, and in one aspect they are correct, because it’s not just the fact Robbi is female, it’s that she is female and audaciously feminine in her look. Nails and lips and tits and spray on trousers and she’s doing god’s work amen.
Let’s just imagine Selbst in Robbi’s seat with the J4, who I’d also bang since we’re counting. Seems like I’m planning a high-stakes poker orgy (that will still be less sticky than the current clownshow).
If Robbi is as masc as Selbst, I think it’s significantly less likely the accusation happens after one hand. If it’s Ivey in Robbie’s seat, then I think it’s as close to non-zero as the multiverse allows that the accusation is made after one hand.
It would have been easier for Garrett to swallow that he could have possibly been beaten in that obscene way by a masculine woman or a man versus a hyper-femme woman.
Selbst is more likely to be allowed to dominate male turf because she’s sacrificed some female privilege, and Ivey will always be allowed because he is the male turf (in poker).
Robbi rocks up looking like a teenaged boy’s fantasy and also appears to crush at the 95% male/masculine dominated poker? It can’t happen for the security of the patriarchy.
Females can be allowed to behave like men within the patriarchy, but not if the other men also want to fuck them.
It’s not about Garrett wanting to fuck her himself, it’s about him recognising the power she potentially has over some of his peers that he cannot ever emulate, and then being humiliated in a space where he needs to own her to retain credibility. The more dependant his ego is on the credibility of the men within that space, the harder he will take it when this is impacted, for example if one of the greatest of all time players happened to be sitting at the table when it happened.
It’s a topic for another piece, one guaranteed to fire up the house-wife feminists, but it’s not Garrett’s fault. The patriarchal structures abuse the psyches of both men and women. There is a tonne of literature on this topic, but be prepared to be broken down before you are rebuilt.
If Selbst had been sat in Garrett’s seat and had the same extreme and immediate reaction, I would also be claiming it was relevant to Robbie’s hyper-femme look.
If Robbie was actually male, but looked exactly the same, I’d have the same complaint too.
So, sure, it’s NOT directly related to the shape of anyone’s genitals, but it is relevant to gender, and our gender is still most often defined by our sex.
Men can let women play a skill game with them, but the closer her skill level appears to be to their own, the less they have nice things to say about her. In poker, what is the worst possible thing you can say about another person?
Whether the hand was a cheat, or not a cheat, the immediate response after one hand, in this specific case, is absolutely relevant to the gender presentation of the player in the “cheat-seat”. There does not seem to be another incident of two humans ending up in the full cheat investigation spot after one single hand, either online or live.
It’s incredibly rare to spot a cheat on the first time they cheat, and it’s incredibly rare to accuse a cheat on the first spot unless there is a pure red-handed moment about it (ie the device is seen there and then, or an Ace slips out a sleeve etc).
Unless previous suspicions of Robbi are being kept under wraps, and this was the moment Garrett snapped after prolonged exposure to a suspect cheat (see Veronica/Postle), or Garrett saw some device in action that’s hush-hush due to the investigation, his reaction was too hot for a logical man.
There was an extra bit of tinder to catch a spark here, and no-one could blame Garret for being sparked about that hand in a high-stakes game, but without further evidence he exploded too quick and the extra tinder was her being a goddamned girly-girl.
Cheat With Bland Lads
If this turns out to be an incredible insta-spot of a cheat it’s taught us that if you are going to cheat in a streamed poker game, don’t use femme women to do it; it’s not possible for her to win a ridiculous pot and not be immediately questioned by the losing male ego.
Cheats need to win ridiculous pots and it seems there’s no way you can get the cheats thru the men if the cheating hands have sparkly acrylic nails.
Potripper cleaned folk out of thousands and was finally caught by a group of players with a swathe of data.
Postle sat there for months, potentially cheated in hundreds of pots, and his female accuser was the first one to get dragged over the coals.
Kassouf gets caught on camera palming his mate’s chips and still many people denied he was a thief.
Robbi wins a single stupid pot and the entire community is immediately in full investigation mode.
Given how blind and slow we’ve generally been to cheats before, doesn’t it warrant any kind of self-reflection on why we went from zero to hero within a single hand on this one?
People are referencing the recent Magnus blow-up as evidence it happens between men, but in truth, Magnus had suspicions before his blow-up game. Magnus did what I’d expect a skill-game player who thought he was being cheated to do, he set a trap for his opponent after his early suspicions. Even with repeated cheating implications against Niemann over a period, from multiple opponents, FIDE still criticised Magnus’s behaviour.
The voices criticising Garrett’s behaviour, irrespective of the outcome of the cheat question, are thinly spread.
The only evidence we have that Robbi cheated is Garrett’s accusation over one hand, and the entire community has been focused on it for over a week; if you’re gonna cheat at poker, do it with short, chubby beta males who position no threat to alpha male egos or your cheat is dead before it starts.
I mean, not using a player of any sex/gender who doesn’t understand ranging hands to cheat in a high-stakes poker game would probably be the first blocker before we get into gender, but that’s another rant.
If your femme-cheat does understand intermediate poker at least, then get her to king-up and put on a fake tash. If she looks like a porn-princess, there is higher chance of the immediate cheat cable being pulled after a single hand of apparent soul-read, which is where a cheating suspicious should START.
If poker is a truly gender-egalitarian game, which hundreds of 4-follower anon accounts have told me it is this week, then a femme-woman should be able to cheat with the same capacity as any male and not get questioned until the evidence has mounted up.
If that isn’t the case, then this accusation, whether accurate or not, was informed by sexism, and whilst that might not be the most important nor interesting outcome of this incident, it’s not irrelevant.
Get cheaters out the game, but really get them out, don’t blow the operation on day one because the main perpetrator has perky tits and blow-job lips and it makes your masculine ego spiral out of your control, whatever your sex.
 Snyder M, Tanke ED, Berscheid E. Social perception and interpersonal behavior: On the self-fulfilling nature of social stereotypes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 1977;35:656–666
 Connell RW. Masculinities. 2nd ed. University of California Press; Los Angeles: 2005. (p77) Slightly bastardised for entertainment purposes. The primary quote: “the configuration of gender practice which embodies the currently accepted answer to the problem of the legitimacy of patriarchy, which guarantees (or is taken to guarantee) the dominant position of men and the subordination of women”.
October 9, 2022 at 6:28 pm
Good thoughtful article
October 13, 2022 at 2:42 pm
Well written, enjoyable article! Interesting to think about how this might affect some poker situations, feels close to zero relevance in this particular one though. J4o really is just too ludicrous of a call. Comparing this to Postle’s extended run is unreasonable bc 1) no single hand of Postle’s was in the ballpark of this insanity, and 2) this was -much- higher stakes.
“If it’s Ivey in Robbie’s seat, then I think it’s as close to non-zero as the multiverse allows that the accusation is made after one hand.”
But Ivey would call J4o here literally 0% of the time, because he understands J4o cannot beat a bluffing range, so his call would essentially be a confession of cheating. If he claims immediately after, as Robbi did, that he didn’t misread his hand, then ofc there would be immediate accusations; albeit dumbfounded ones. Seems self-evident Garrett would also accuse a Bland Lad with the same givens: not a complete newbie; suddenly playing much higher stakes than previously; this particular hand; the explanation. There’s just no way to explain it other than cheat, or someone who has no clue what they’re doing. Anyone that clears the latter bar would be assumed a cheat for poker reasons entirely, completely regardless of any aesthetics. imo.
January 20, 2023 at 6:24 pm
Hi there, just read this on Twitter and wanted to respond but you can only use so many characters. I know that dynamic you speak of exists and quite frankly it’s made all the discourse about it godawful. But I guess I have a few thoughts:
1) There is such a reality distortion field around this hand that I feel it’s impossible to say anything about anything in some sense, every single thing about it is so weird that I’d almost believe Robbi was a space alien in human skin. Regardless of what you think of the hand, she is an incredibly strange individual is she not?
2) The question of “did she cheat” is also very strange because I don’t think any other hand she played was odd at all, so basically they are alleging she cheated but only did so in what would have been the most suspicious spot possible. Mike Postle had a lot of very strange plays too but at least you could say “maybe he had a read” or “maybe he is miscalculating and lucked into a good play”…this one is so weird because even if you knew Garrett’s cards it still wasn’t that big of a +EV play! It was a coinflip!!
3) I think you’re absolutely right though, if Mike Postle looked like Robbi he/she would’ve been caught much sooner. Fwiw I was reading the 2+2 boards when this happened (idk why, I’m a glutton for punishment I guess) and while I didn’t get the sense that Robbi’s appearance contributed much to whether or not people thought she was cheating I did notice a lot of people assuming she was dumb as a brick.
4) I play online on a site that allows avatars, and there is a chat feature, and while people are often very mean spirited and racist on there I have noticed if you have a woman in your avatar, particularly one that is not a celebrity or clearly a stock photo (so theoretically it could be a picture of the player) they treat you a lot different. I’ve kind of wondered if switching my avatar could give me some kind of hidden advantage….I’m curious, what have you experienced there? Do people assume you don’t bluff, or call you down more because they don’t wanna be bluffed by a woman?
anyways…hope you write more, I used to read this blog a while ago but couldn’t find it because I would type in “baffler” 🙂