Debate over 2+2’s deletion of charity post rages on

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Aug 31, 2012 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

The big story of the day was actually caused by an article I wrote for detailing a situation that occurred between a 2+2 moderator and someone trying to post at the site regarding a record-setting poker podcast where the proceeds will be going to charity.

To summarize what took place (you can read the entire account at a thread was created on the 2+2 poker forum talking about the Ironman Podcast, a 50-hour podcast benefitting the foundation. The thread talked about the show’s monumental undertaking, comprehensive guest list of poker players and mainstream celebrities, as well as the charity poker room that has been created for the podcast, BUT the thread was quickly deleted by the 2+2 moderator ProfessionalPoker.

When asked if there was any changes he could make that would allow the thread to be posted he was told:

ProfessionalPoker: “Sorry but 2+2 only allows charity spam only when approved by Mason Malmuth, which is almost never. He wont even spam his own charitable foundation.”

Me: “If I remove the link to the other website, will that be ok?”

PP: “No sorry – no charity spam. No spamming the radio show. FYI – the organization is pretty small. Here is their tax return.…0766a0e7-Z.pdf ” (this pissed me off, and showed how ignorant someone could be about something)

Me: “My wife is on the board, I’m aware how big or small they are. Is there anything I can post about it?”

PP: “No Joe. Nothing.”

Me: “Ok, thanks”

The article actually was posted on Thursday, but it wasn’t until Daniel Negreanu caught wind of it Friday morning that it became the poker gossip story of the day, and found its way to 2+2 with everyone from 2+2 moderators to Mason Malmuth himself weighing in.

Daniel Negreanu’s response on Full Contact Poker

Thread on 2+2

While I feel the whole thing is much ado about nothing I do want to clear up a few misconceptions that some posters at 2+2 seem to have with the “issue” of the Ironman Poker Podcast thread being deleted from the site.

#1 – The Policy’s Hypocrisy

The policy is fine, but to claim it’s strictly enforced is blatantly untrue. In addition to the Gary Johnson threads (which were asking for direct donations) former 2+2 moderator “Gregorio” has also pointed out other instances where charity threads were allowed to stay up on the forum, and other posters have spoken of the Barry Greenstein Playground thread as well (a matter I’m unfamiliar with). Here are a few links to illustrate this point:

This was also not a direct link to a donation page or a solicitation of money in any way (unlike the cheerleading for Gary Johnson); it was a link to a poker podcast supporting the charity. A poker podcast attempting to set a world record and featuring a distinguished lineup of guests I might add. So yes, it was a charity event, but it’s also relevant and newsworthy to poker players, and the event itself was what was being discussed, not the amount they needed to raise or anything like that.

#2 – The Treatment of the OP

The way this was handled was about as poorly as an unscripted 82 year-old addressing a national audience. How hard is it to simply say, “I’m sorry, I’d really like to help you out but my hands are tied on this”? Why was the size of the charity brought up at all? Why did the moderator use the phrase “almost never” instead of “never”? This implies that yes, leeway can be given, but not to such a small charity.

#3 – What could be Done

I think everyone understands why the policy is in place, and the slippery slope it would create, but zero-tolerance always causes problems and is never the best solution –just the easiest. And as I stated above, there are prior instances where decisions have been made that fly in the face of the policy. Exceptions have been made, despite the revisionist history I have seen in the thread.

Would it be so hard to at least take a second look at something like this before outright dismissing it as “spam” (a loathsome word for any post dealing with charity) instead of trying to dig up tax documents to see how big the charity is? Events like this blur the lines between spam and newsworthiness; is it too much to ask that you take 5 minutes of your time to see what the event is? This isn’t some dime-a-dozen local poker run, or charity poker tournament in the local pub. How often would a decision like this need to be weighed? A dozen times a year maybe?

If the policy was truly “ZERO-TOLERANCE” and not so easy to manipulate, such as me being able to post a link to Daniel Negreanu’s video but god forbid Daniel post the link himself, even if the previous 10 videos were linked to on the site, than the response (sans the ‘you’re charity is a rinky-dink outfit’ bit) would be far easier to stomach. But when you have been directly soliciting donations for one political candidate over the past year, and allow certain charitable things to be promoted, you can’t claim to adhere to a Zero-Tolerance policy.

#4 – the Right to Disagree

Frankly I don’t care what policy you put in place, or how you enforce it, but I, and every other person, have the right to dissent against your policy if we want to, which is how I ended the original article:

“While 2+2 is a privately owned business, it is also a user-based business. If you are unhappy with the current policy that allows the site to link to donation pages for specific political candidates (and not others) while disallowing legitimate charitable causes directly associated with poker and poker players, I suggest you let 2+2 know how you feel about this.”

My point is simple. You can claim a zero-tolerance policy on these matters but the facts show it is not zero-tolerance and exceptions have been made. The treatment of the original poster (who has a daughter battling the 22Q11.2 Deletion) was abhorrent, implying the charity wasn’t “big” or “distinguished” enough to be given a second glance.

2+2 is a user-based forum, and these users (if they dissent enough) do have some say. I was merely asking 2+2 users that if they agreed with me that the policy was being misapplied and the treatment of the poster was unnecessarily rude that they should dissent… which it seems some of them did.

If you would like to learn more about the Foundation or the upcoming Ironman Podcast at you can visit their websites:

To make a direct donation to you can visit the following page:


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