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A “Final Statement” on An Encounter with Joe Sebok

Today was WSOP Event #28, a $1500 no-limit event. I got to the Rio an hour late and stood in a long line to late register. By the time I took my seat, blinds were at 50/100, starting stacks of 4.5k.

I’m going to spare you a lot of banal commentary on how I got chips (except to say that I did get QQ all-in preflop against KK and bink a Q on the flop to stay alive) because there’s more interesting stuff to report:

With one hour remaining in the day, I took my seat after a color-up break to find Joe Sebok, a guy who has made several hundred thousand aggressively promoting and defending UB, an online poker room that has twice scammed the poker community out of millions, sitting on my immediate right. I’ve monitored and written a little about Joe Sebok and UB so having the chance to be seated less than a foot away from him felt fateful.

I had no intention of engaging Sebok in some impromptu debate about UB. I’m here to play poker, not listen to the defense mechanisms of some delusional, spoiled manchild. But while I wasn’t about to try to engage Sebok in a debate, I was certainly game for some slowrolling, trolling, and other childish antics. And believe me, those things are childish. I have never slowrolled anyone in my life. I have never celebrated in an obnoxious manner after winning a pot, nothing. Anyone who has played any poker with me can vouch for my having pristine etiquette at the table. But tonight, I saw no need to apply that same level of decency to a guy buying into tournaments with the blood money from a poker community fleecing/cashgrab. My personal opinion is that he should be unwelcome at poker tournaments until he returns UB money to affected players and I was happy at having a chance to create that atmosphere for him.

A half hour into Sebok’s addition to our table, I got my chance to troll. Keep in mind a lot of the back and forth is me recalling from memory and paraphrasing. I’m sure Sebok has his side of the story and I’m sure that it differs from mine in it’s perspective.

With a stack of somewhere in the neighborhood of 27,000, he raised to 1900 during 300/600/75. With around the same stack, I called (in the seat immediately after him) with Ace-Queen offsuit. Everyone else folded. Sebok bet 2400 on a flop of Ace-King-Six. I called. He bet 4100 on the Ace turn. I called. He bet 7200 on the King river. I took a few seconds to count out chips and put in a call (I’ll explain later why there was zero reason to raise). Sebok insta-mucked his hand. I waited as long as I could to show mine, the table had to insist that I show (and I do have to, so I did after waiting a few seconds). I turned over my hand and clapped/fist-pumped right in Sebok’s face while saying “that felt nice!”

He said, “wow, way to be a dick.”

I said, “yea, I’m the dick here.”

Him: “Oh, you’re one of those guys huh?”

Me: “Yup, one of those guys who doesn’t like you.”

(Now, while this convo was happening, I was counting out my chips after winning the pot and crossing way over into his space. Like basically counting his chips in as obnoxious and obvious of a manner as I could).

Him: “Ahh… yup. Another internet forum tough guy. You guys know absolutely nothing about anything. You just read some stuff online and believed it.”

Me: “So why don’t you tell us what happened?”

Him: “Every time I try to, I get shoved out.” (whatever that means) “You guys know nothing.”

Me: “I know you blackmailed someone to protect your UB allowance.”

Him: “You don’t know anything about anything. That was completely made up. Aguiar’s friends even all come up to me apologizing for it and saying it was wrong.”

Me: “Oh WOW… really? Like who? Name one of his friends who has said that.”

Him: “All of them! All of them have said it!”

Me: “Okay, so if all of them have said it, it should be easy for you to name one of them so I can go ask him.”

Him: “All of them, all of his friends.”

Me: “Okay, so just name one of them.”

Him: “I don’t have to, it’s all of his friends.”

Me: “I just don’t see why you can say that but then not give one name of someone who has said that to you.”

Him: “I don’t have to, just go ask anyone.”

Me: “LOL… okay. I can see you’re in a deep state of denial, there’s no point in talking to you.”

Him: “Okay, tough guy.”

Me: “To be honest, I have to give you a lot of credit. It takes a huge pair of balls to not only show up and play these events, but to actually run your mouth at the table too! I honestly am impressed in a way.”

Him: “Good, I’m glad I could impress you.”

Some other guy: “Are you two friends or something.”

Me: “No… NO… He is not my friend.”

Him: [more stuff about internet tough guys who know nothing]

French-Canadian guy (to Sebok): “Man, it is so bad how you handle this stuff. You put yourself into a deeper hole because you just handle it so bad. I laughed so hard when you were telling a guy to confront you… on Twitter. Twitter is not a confrontation!”

Sebok gets real defensive and starts explaining to the guy that he was trying to move the confrontation away from Twitter to real life, but French-Canadian guy just kept repeating, “it’s so funny though, you challenge people to dual… ON TWITTER!”

Sebok was getting more steamed and defensive with the French-Canadian dude. By this time the banter between he and I had calmed down. I did notice however that he kept staring at me as if to intimidate me which is just so LOL. I’m 6’4″ 230. He’s probably something like 5’8″ (very short guy, lots of little man syndrome) and probably 165. I mean, it would require a whole new degree of stupidity on his part to do something physical. And we’re talking about a guy who has done lots of stupid stuff!

Once play was done for the day, he seemed to sit and wait for me to finish bagging my chips. Then he got up from the table at the same time I did. I thought he was going to follow me out into the parking lot. I wasn’t sure how I would have handled that other than just to be sure I wasn’t the one who initiated any physical contact (I obv have like less than zero interest in going to jail for trolling Joe Sebok). But a cooler Sebok-head prevailed and I never saw him again after walking away from the table.

Okay, for why I never raised that hand. I think first of all, now knowing he had air, you’ll see that never raising got max value out of him. Secondly, there is simply zero value in raising him on the river. PokerNews reported on the hand and acted like I was some fish for raising on the river, but PokerNews is painfully retarded and bad at what they do. There is just no value in raising on that river. He never calls with anything I beat because he knows I have an Ace there 100% of the time when I shove (getting no fold equity). And with the non-zero possibility that he had quad Kings, I gain literally nothing from raising. Okay, end of that rant. I was just annoyed that PokerNews and people at my table were acting like I was dumb for not raising. Not raising was 100% standard.

A final note to Joe Sebok: if you decide you’d like to make a real apology and return all UB money you earned to players affected, I’d be proud. I’m also happy to help in any way. We can advertise to our U.S. readers on how they can file a claim to get some of their lost UB money back. Would be easy to give like a year for all players with UB to verify how much they have on there, then you (and any other UB shills/affiliates) return all money you made to an account that is distributed to affected players based on proportion of how much they lost to UB. It’s doable and you should consider spending a few thousand on the right lawyer to help you with it if you value your reputation in poker at all.

Anyway, I made day two with 51,400 in chips which is quite good. I think average is more like 35,000 or so. We should be in the money within a couple of levels. You can follow me and my chip count updating account on Twitter if you care to follow along with live updates from the WSOP (pending phone battery life).


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