*Since this article was first published I have spoken to Mason Malmuth and written a follow-up article better explaining the policy at the 2+2 poker forum. You can read that article here: http://pingroof.com/article/making-amends-with-mason-malmuth-and-2-2*
The poker world has long been known as a very charitable place, and the latest example of this will take place at Midnight on Monday, September 3rd, when a 50+ hour poker podcast dubbed “The Ironman Podcast” benefitting the 22Q.org Foundation will get underway. The Podcast’s main goal is to raise awareness and act as a fundraising vehicle for the little-known but unfortunately fairly common childhood syndrome, the 22Q.11 Deletion.
In the process, the VegasPokerRadio.com hosts will also be trying to set a world record for the longest continuous podcast with the same hosts, and with famous poker players and celebrities featured as guests, and the site setting up a charity online poker room for the occasion, this seems like relevant poker news that the poker community might be interested in. Not to mention that this seems like a cause virtually everyone in the poker world could get behind, but this is apparently not the case.
Unfortunately for the organizers of the podcast and the people involved with the 22Q.org foundation one of the biggest vehicles to get the word out to the poker community has been less than accommodating when it comes to promoting the show. A post detailing the podcast was recently deleted from the 2+2 Poker Forum, and the rationale behind the decision was ambiguous to say the least, with the moderator even deciding to take a shot at the charity itself. Here is a brief explanation of the events according to a spokesman from the 22Q.org Foundation:
“On Monday night, I went to 2p2 to post about the upcoming Ironman podcast on VPR to support the 22q foundation. This is a project that has been in the works for a while, and now we were in the final stages of getting the word out about what was coming up. Since I am a long standing member of the 2p2 community (member #661, registered since 2002), I went to the NVG section to post about this, as I felt it was news. I don’t think my post was up longer than 10 seconds before it was removed. I don’t have the actual post since I never saved it, but I distinctly remember mentioning that this was a 50+ hour podcast to support the 22q foundation. I also distinctly remember mentioning in the post that I did not want to post a link to VPR as that could easily be seen as a conflict, but did link to the 22q foundation so people could go there to learn more about the syndrome. I asked people to tune in; I also mentioned the poker room to benefit the foundation. I don’t recall if I used any names other than my own.”
The post was removed by 2+2 moderator ProfessionalPoker (who had a well-publicized encounter with Daniel Negreanu earlier this year). When asked why the post was deleted the following Direct Message conversation occurred:
ProfessionalPoker: “Sorry but 2+2 only allows charity spam only when approved by Mason Malmuth, which is almost never. He wont even spam his own charitable foundation.”
Me: “If I remove the link to the other website, will that be ok?”
PP: “No sorry – no charity spam. No spamming the radio show. FYI – the organization is pretty small. Here is their tax return. https://dl.dropbox.com/u/58992941/20…0766a0e7-Z.pdf ” (this pissed me off, and showed how ignorant someone could be about something)
Me: “My wife is on the board, I’m aware how big or small they are. Is there anything I can post about it?”
PP: “No Joe. Nothing.”
Me: “Ok, thanks”
Anyone who has visited the 2+2 poker forum knows that posters link to podcasts and upcoming events all of the time. 2+2 uses a strange policy when it comes to links on the site (as Daniel Negreanu found out earlier this year) allowing anyone uninvolved directly to post the link, leaving the fate of the post up to the discretion of the moderators at the site. It amazes me that the forum would not even allow a single post on the subject; but many decisions at 2+2 have been head-scratchers over the years.
The 22Q.org spokesman offered the following explanation of why the post was removed, and why Mason Malmuth doesn’t allow these types of posts: “They will not help anyone… learning tonight’s story about the former mod Gregorio, I learned that it’s not that 2p2 won’t help anyone, they won’t help anyone unless it helps them.”
The incident being referred to occurred roughly one year ago, when a longtime moderator at the site quit and called out the powers that be at 2+2 over what he perceived to be a double-standard, as 2+2 allowed Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson to directly ask for donations on the 2+2 poker forum.
You can read the entire thread here (the most pertinent posts to this topic are in Gregorio’s second post): http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/55/about-forums/my-resignation-mod-elect-gary-johnson-poker-news-views-gossip-forum-1063556/
While 2+2 is a privately owned business, it is also a user-based business. If you are unhappy with the current policy that allows the site to link to donation pages for specific political candidates (and not others) while disallowing legitimate charitable causes directly associated with poker and poker players, I suggest you let 2+2 know how you feel about this.