July 13, 2022 Featured Articles, Poker News Lars Liedtke

Matt Berkey Calls Out PokerNews.com For Promoting Known Cheaters

PokerNews have been slammed for promoting known cheaters Ali Imsirovic, Bryn Kenney and Jake Schindler in their 2022 WSOP Main Event coverage, with Matt Berkey leading the backlash against the poker news site…

Matt Berkey was among a number of poker players and fans incensed at the apparent use of the big-name cheats’ Main Event runs to provide easy clickbait material.

Matt Berkey Calls Out PokerNews.com For Promoting Known Cheaters

“I’ve lost respect for reporting”

One fan take on Twitter: “I’ve lost respect for reporting,” wrote Jason Sprinkles. “I am certainly on the fringe of the community, but I am a fan first, and a player who appreciates the hard work of many pros who I have both played against in good faith, and follow because they motivate me. Cheaters anger me. Not cool.”

For those who have missed this year’s biggest stories completely, Imsirovic, Schindler and Kenney were all banned from GGPoker for cheating, believed to involve RTA-use and multi-accounting.

Kenney addressed the claims against him in a softball PokerNews interview, but both Imsirovic and Schindler refused to answer the allegations, and have subsequently been blackballed from several high-profile events.

Matt Berkey Calls Out PokerNews.com For Promoting Known Cheaters

The WSOP took no action against them despite calls for them to be banned from the world’s greatest poker series, and PokerNews have been regularly reporting on their various runs in the ongoing Main Event.

Dan Smith, however, hasn’t been shy about naming and shaming poker’s bad guys, humour playing a big role…

Back to the media frenzy and Ben Cundall, senior commercial manager at PokerNews, refuted Berkey’s claims that there was a reporting blacklist in play, and claimed the “alleged” cheats were simply newsworthy.

Irish pro David K. Lappin wasn’t buying that, though, tweeting: “For days I’ve said nothing about the coverage of Ali, Jake, Bryn + Kassouf because to even mention them adds coverage of sorts but seriously @PokerNews – What are you playing at here? The click economy is a false economy. You’re creating a race to the bottom.”

Chad Holloway, perhaps PokerNews’ best-known reporter and journalist, was following the same line as his colleagues:

“Ok… if cheaters weren’t allowed to play in the first place we wouldn’t have to report on them when they win, so how about starting there instead of acting as if PokerNews calls the shots? Y’all acting like we’re writing articles titled ‘10 Reasons Poker Cheats Are Great People’.”

The poker gods must have been listening to the Twitter spat as very soon the men at the centre of the controversy were Main Event-ing no more…

…and with Imsirovic and Schindler both out, the hope is that the reporting can now focus on the positive stories among the 123 runners, who have made it to Day 6 of the 2022 WSOP Main Event!

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