Igor Kurganov has had his character slighted by reports in the Wall Street Journal and New York Post as they wrote about Elon Musk trusting him with $5.7 billion for charitable causes.
The outlets cast the Russian as a pot smoking waster with no relevant experience in finance despite him making a huge success of his poker career, earning $18 million from live tournaments.
Igor Kurganov Victim of Hatchet Job by Mainstream Media
Before Elon Musk’s billion-dollar battle over Twitter, another fight broke out over his charitable giving, and the poker player advising him https://t.co/ogj3niyL01
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) July 18, 2022
Elon Musk and Igor Kurganov struck up a friendship over their mutual involvement in philanthropic activity and the relationship developed sufficiently for the world’s richest man to offer Kurganov responsibility for overseeing charitable donations.
This move angered Musk’s right-hand man, Jared Birchall, who acts as his wealth manager and “fixer,” and who cornered Musk to try and get him to change his mind.
Kurganov was even allowed to hire and fire five bodyguards from Musk’s own security detail and also slept at his home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The New York Post printed:
“The tensions between Birchall and Kurganov are exacerbated by a clash of personalities. While Birchall is a devout Mormon, Kurganov is a former professional poker player who said he was kicked out of college because he smoked too much marijuana.”
In the end, a compromise was made whereby Kurganov would be responsible for $5.7 billion of Tesla shares that were already earmarked for philanthropic organisations.
Poker Community Rallies Around Igor Kurganov
The tone of the two articles didn’t sit well with members of the poker community. None more so than high-stakes legend Erik Seidel. The American tweeted his displeasure with the hatchet job journalism.
The recent press coverage of @IgorKurganov is such a disgrace & such sharp contrast to who he is. He’s a credit to our community, has impacted so many lives with his focus on effective altruism
— Erik Seidel (@Erik_Seidel) July 19, 2022
It’s a huge shame for such big names in journalism to paint Kurganov’s character as a pot smoking loser who knows nothing about giving to charity.
Kurganov and his girlfriend, poker star Liv Boeree, have both been involved with effective altruism for many years doing great work for those in unfortunate situations.
— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) July 19, 2022
Many big names in poker tweeted in agreement with Seidel’s sentiment, confirming that he is one of the most respected people in poker.
Maybe this is just the media being typically over political given that Kurganov is Russian and the USA’s current relationship with the Russian government. But the consensus is the same from all of us: Igor Kurganov is one of the good guys.
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