STATEMENT ON MONKEY/BEAU (08/27/08)
Please review Monkey's blog for his account of the current situation. Our position at Gulf Coast Poker has been to not edit any of our bloggers material. They opinions are their own. In fact, the blogs are their own, so it is not our place to edit or censure them. We understand that the wild times get as much coverage as the daily grind. Those are an aspect of one part of the poker lifestyle. The best part of Monkey's blog is his unfiltered viewpoint, his blatant honesty, and the window that affords us into his life as an up and coming poker player.

In a recent post he made note of the fact he clued in a friend he had a big hand by kneeing him so he could get out of the pot. As a result of reading his blog the Beau has banned him from their casino. In my opinon this is severe. Will's actions were a breach of poker etiquette, yes, the first step toward collusion, maybe, but cheating no. Point of fact, him merely retelling the story is indicative of his intent in the situation.

Will played the hand with no intention of cheating other players out of their money. Had he kneed his friend to induce a raise or build a pot, absolutely he'd deserve a lifetime ban and he'd be trying to cheat somebody out of their money. Instead he put all his chips into the center and gave his friend a warning to steer clear. Had the knee been used to induce his friend to call and maybe create some pot odds to induce other players into the pot, that would be a far worse offense. Nothing of the sort took place. Nothing malicious was at hand, nothing ominous was going on, and no other players were in jeopardy by this action. In fact, the only person who lost money because of this action was Will. That's the most pertinent part of this situation. It was to Will's detriment and not his advantage. I am not saying what Will did was not wrong. It was. However, his intent was not to cheat or steal.

Let's be clear, I (and GCP) do not approve of the knee or any form of signaling, or any action that might be construed as the first step toward collusion. But I support Will and stand behind him. The parallels to this action are seen every day in a casino with no more than 10 minute/hand penalties being doled out. What's the difference between this and a player who exposes his hand to one player (arguably a far greater offense) out of turn? Or the player who is in a hand and announces what he has or even shows his hand to keep somebody from chasing a miracle. Yes, they are all wrong but nobody is banned from the casino. Let's repeat, based purely on intent, Will's action was not done to cheat people out of money.

Will is not a cheater.

Gulf Coast Poker.NET takes pride in going after the online poker websites that cheat people out of money Read our archived news bits. We hate thieves and cheaters. In fact, we've turned down online advertising money from some websites just because we question their scruples. If we knew of individuals cheating, we'd take pride in going after and exposing them. If Will was cheating somebody out of money we'd sever our ties to him, but he's not.

We do not condone, endorse, or encourage cheating in any form.

Furthermore, we've been proactive in exposing cheating, PlayerN has several poker stories heavily influenced by books written to protect players from cheaters. One of the long term goals of the fictional tales is to expose cheaters' tactics to a broader audience, so we can all better protect ourselves.

Cheating should be eliminated at any sign, and we are grateful the Beau is proactive in keeping their games honest. That is truly a good thing. Their vigilance ensures a safe place for us to play. That being said, in this case, I feel they are being too heavy handed in punishment and I hope they will reconsider. Will deserves to be sanctioned, perhaps a day or two ban, but nothing to the extent of a lifetime ban which is excessive.

We welcome all feedback on this situation and want to know where readers stand. I am considering steps we can take to help Will, perhaps an online petition urging the Beau to reconsider in time for the Gulf Coast Poker Championship.

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