The year 2022 didn’t pass by without the usual amount of scandals to rile and entertain the poker community, and here’s our rundown of the biggest poker scandals 2022!
#5: Nemsko rigs $12,000 WPT Ticket to her boyfriend!
Let’s kick off with some seriously bad behaviour by YouTuber Qiyou “Nemsko” Zhou, who rigged a Twitter competition to ensure her boyfriend, poker pro Alex “Thallo” Epstein won the first prize!
While fans thought they had a chance to win the $12k WPT package, including a $10k Main Event seat, Nemo had already decided who was getting the expensive treat.
The backlash was swift and deservedly brutal, with Todd Witteles tweeting: ““Being from the YouTube world, full of gullible 12-year-olds, she probably thought that there wouldn’t be much suspicion. She tried to pass off a rigged contest as an exciting giveaway, and now got caught and won’t admit what she did.”
Nemo finally had to apologise and re-do the contest, with boyfriend Epstein not in the mix.
#4: FTX, Tom Dwan and the Ultimate Bet Connection
The collapse of cryptocurrency giants FTX had a surprising amount of poker involvement, with Tom Dwan claiming to have known there was trouble long before the general public.
Sam had used his ftt token raise to plug a hole in alameda’s balance sheet.
I found this out at some point in I think 2021.
From a few places. Some were nice people who weren’t involved.
I know about a lot of corruption in the world, and sometimes it’s not my business to out
— Tom Dwan (@TomDwan) November 14, 2022
Tom Dwan tweeted: “Sam [Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX] had used his ftt token raise to plug a hole in alameda’s balance sheet. I found this out at some point in I think 2021. From a few places. Some were nice people who weren’t involved. I know about a lot of corruption in the world, and sometimes it’s not my business to out.”
A video of Dwan and Bankman-Fried discussing crypto and poker appears to have been deleted from YouTube, and Dwan – who played poker with many FTX employees – claims he didn’t know that former Ultimate Bet-scandal lawyer, Daniel S. Friedberg, was involved with FTX.
#3: Bryn Kenney and the Frog Poison Accusations!
One of the biggest scandals of the year saw Bryn Kenney accused of multi-accounting, ghosting, collusion, and even forcing players to visit shamans by one of his former horses.
The accusations of cheating came from Martin Zamani, who stated that Kenney forced him to visit a shaman who wanted to cut his skin open and inject frog poison into the wound. When he avoided this strange ritual he was told that LSD would be placed into his eyes.
Another player, Lauren Roberts, described Kenney as “abusive” and “pathological”.
#2: Jack Schindler and Ali Imsirovic called out as RTA Cheaters
Shortly before Kenney faced his accusers, the highstakes duo of Ali Imsirovic and Jake Schindler were accused of cheating by Alex Foxen, Justin Bonomo and others.
Banned from GGPoker for using RTA, and subsequently barred from numerous live tours, the dastardly duo did appear at the WSOP, but Foxen and Shaun Deeb didn’t exactly give them a warm welcome.
#1: Garrett Adelstein Accuses Robbi Jade Lew of Cheating on Hustler Casino Live
There can only really be one story to top the scandal charts this year, and that’s the cheating accusations that rocked the Hustler Casino Live show.
Garrett Adelstein, stunned by a ridiculous river call from poker newbie Robbi Jade Lew, walked off the show and then accused Lew of being part of a cheating ring.
Legal threats, lie detector tests, and multiple investigations followed, not to mention stolen chips and police involvement, had the story going viral.
A report commissioned by HCL’s owners was released last week, claiming they found no signs of cheating on the show, although such a scenario was possible given some lax security measures.
Well, that’s it for the biggest poker scandals 2022…but what will next year have in store for the poker world? Whatever it is, we’ll bring you the biggest and best stories right here on VIP’s Poker Boulevard!
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