We've all been there. Someone gives you a sad story and you loan them money...and they don't pay you back. No matter how hard you try to get repaid, it never happens. You eventually give up and write off the loss, but then you hear about how that person scammed someone else. Chances are they've done it many times before and will continue to do so.
The modern poker world is shady, but not as violent as its origins. We're still only a generation or two away from the mafia running and controling major casinos in Las Vegas. When the mafia still had a presence, their intimidation kept the gamblers in check...because those ruthless wiseguys were not fooling around. If anyone stepped out of line, they were going to get beat down by a couple of thick-necked mafia goons. And if you really screwed up, it could cost you your life. As the saying goes... "There's a lot of holes in the desert."
Today, the threat of violence is minimal. Poker has become a legitimate sport and the criminal element no longer looms overhead. Unfortunately, there's no deterrent to prevent scammers. Even the worst possible scenario... a 2+2 thread or a post on Poker Fraud Alert or video blog on YouTube... is still not enough to reel in these known-scammers.
According to a new op-ed, Phil Galfond got screwed over for $250K loan and was only paid back $50K. Not only did Samuel Touil deceive Galfond about paying him back, but he was also outed as an angle shooter who shorted pots.
PHIL "OMGClayAiken" GALFOND
Many people don't "out" their thief for fear of upsetting them, or for fear of losing leverage. Many believe that their debtor would pay if he were able to, or that they are close to a resolution. In some cases, this is true. In many, the debtor is simply keeping up appearances in order to maintain his reputation.
Others don't speak up because they are embarrassed they were scammed, or because they simply want to avoid drama. They'd prefer to put the whole ordeal behind them, hoping in the back of their minds that one day they'll miraculously be repaid.
The problem is, those who set out to steal from others never have any intention to repay. They are often good at playing a part, and they benefit from our instinct to stay quiet.
We need to fight this instinct, not only to pressure those who owe us, but to show other would-be thieves that they can expect to be outed, and to protect good people from becoming victims.
Phil Galfond is appealing to the good senses of the poker community. If everyone sticks together, then they can make it tougher for these thieves and broke dicks to operate. If they think they can get away with it…they will continue to do so with impunity. Even getting called out no longer deters these psychopaths. Until someone starts hacking away at knee caps with Louisville Sluggers, scammers won't think twice about taking advantage of the good will of others.
In the end, the poker community needs to come together and help police themselves. However, incidents like that occur all the time. Phil “OMGclayAiken” Galfond might be one of the greatest PLO players of all time, but even the best pros in the world are susceptible to shady hustlers and highly-convincing scammers. Alas, if you see something…say something… especially if that brokedick is a shady mofo who is not to be trusted.
2+2 poster NickMPK summed up Galfond's op-ed the best: "I feel like the story of some random degenerate not paying back a $250k loan is a lot less interesting than the story of why Galfond would loan a random degenerate $250k in the first place."
You can read Galfond's op-ed here.