POKER OP-EDS

The Redeem Stream

By Robbie Strazynski
November 24, 2022

I’m far happier to be writing this article than my last op-ed, in which I was critical of Joey Ingram vis a vis Norman Chad.

It was never my aim to produce a “hit piece” on Joey. I’d have hoped it was abundantly clear throughout my writing just how much it pained me to be penning such biting criticism of a friend. Perhaps that’s what ended up striking a chord and prompting a response; that the criticism came from a friend.

In our telephone conversation prior to my publishing of the article, Joey said he’d soon be responding in full on his channel. He did so yesterday, and I’m glad I stayed up to watch the first half hour of it, despite the stream only beginning at 3am here in Israel. While I was writing this article, he added this pinned note to the top of his latest video‘s comments section.

Joey Ingram apology

On multiple instances during the stream, Joey shared the message of that second paragraph, and as of this publication, the video has been viewed by almost 12,000 people. I clipped out the primary excerpt where he addressed the situation:

I went to sleep last night relieved and glad to have watched Joey’s public apology, urging his followers not to choose the path of violence; that he doesn’t condone it under any circumstances. That’s the right type of message that influencers of the (poker) masses ought to be sending via their platforms.

Norman’s Missing Tweets… Don’t Change Anything

A number of responses to the article, including Joey’s, were of the opinion that it was biased specifically for not having included Norman’s (missing) Tweets, which would have better presented “Joey’s side.” I maintain that there was no way for me to have realistically found them while Norman’s account remained deactivated.

After the article was published, Norman emailed me and shared with me the text of the six Tweets he had made over the course of a few days, which ended up leading to Joey’s reaction. As I had suspected, seeing them didn’t change my feelings on this matter nor would I have altered what I wrote by even one word.

Norman also wrote to me that “I just believe he was misreading the intent and context of almost all I was writing (which is partly my fault, for not writing them better; also partly the fault of Twitter, which is not the best space for nuance, irony or sarcasm).”

But to focus on the missing Tweets would be to miss the forest for the trees. The “point” of my op-ed was clear:

Where Do We Go From Here?

I do genuinely hope that at some point in the not-too-distant future, once rightfully-flared tempers have settled, that Norman and Joey will be able to talk it out, reach some sort of mutual understanding, and move forward.

I know that my involvement in this brought into focus just how careful I need to be with the words I choose.

I hope that’s a takeaway for everyone who has read the piece — especially those with influence, audiences, and followings — even if said words may have been meant harmlessly in jest.

Joey echoed the sentiments of many in his apology yesterday when he said that “we want Norman back”. His absence in the community is felt, and his reemergence on Twitter would be warmly received.

People Should See This, Too

Almost 18,000 people have read my op-ed from Tuesday, speedily having made it one of the most viewed articles I’ve ever written. Unlike almost everything else I publish, however, I did absolutely nothing to promote it beyond the initial Tweet, and yet it spread like wildfire. Poker forums, Reddit, and word of mouth are very powerful.

That’s perhaps an indicator of algorithms and media consumption in the 2022 landscape. People rush to see carnage.

I truly hate that “that’s the way the world just is.”

But you know when “the world is better”? On a day like today, Thanksgiving.

I’d like to believe that if not for my op-ed, Joey wouldn’t have acted as quickly to issue his apology. But he chose to act quickly and responsibly, and ought to be commended for it. A genuine attempt to redeem oneself ought to be recognized and appreciated.

And for that, today, I am thankful.

Joey Ingram

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Written By.

Robbie Strazynski

Robbie founded Cardplayerlifestyle.com in 2009. A veteran poker writer and presenter, Robbie hosts the CardsChat Podcast as well as The Orbit, a first-of-its-kind roundtable discussion live broadcast on Twitch.tv/poker featuring poker’s biggest names and personalities. In 2019, Robbie translated the autobiography of poker legend Eli Elezra (Pulling the Trigger) from Hebrew into English. Robbie’s “Running […]

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