According to Daniel Negreanu, poker pro and The Celebrity Apprentice runner-up Annie Duke is a, “f***ing c**t”. That’s what “Kid Poker” said during what he believed was an off-the-record moment in an interview for PokerPlayer.co.uk. Unfortunately for Negreanu, his comment was published. Needless to say, Duke was none too pleased to hear it.
The comment came after Negreanu was asked what he thought of more than a dozen men participating in the Ladies Event at the 2010 WSOP. He proceeded to go on a tired about Duke, who has always voiced her displeasure at the Ladies Event saying that there should be gender equality in poker. Negreanu commented, “What irked me is that this woman has the audacity on her website to call herself ‘the best female poker player in the world.’ So I’m like ‘how offensive are you, you f***ing c**t? You want to say you’re speaking for women, yet you claim superiority over all of them.’”
Duke responded on her Twitter, “Thank you for the support. I was certainly shocked at the language myself. I welcome criticism, but not abuse.”
PokerStars, the online poker room that sponsors Daniel Negreanu, initially responded in this way to his comment: “Although Daniel Negreanu is a Team PokerStars Pro, he is an entity to himself and as such will always be encouraged to express his views and speak his mind as he would otherwise do so, PokerStars Pro or not.”
This further angered Duke who posted An Open Letter to Pokerstars in which she condemned the site for not clearly chastising Negreanu’s comment. In that letter, Duke stated, “So, PokerStars, you are encouraging Daniel to continue to express views in this manner, to conduct these public attacks using offensive slurs and inappropriate language? I am more than dismayed that PokerStars is making a statement here that they encourage this kind of behavior, this kind of language use. According to PokerStars, this kind of behavior enriches our community.”
In a response to that letter, PokerStars released an official statement saying, “PokerStars does not support the use of derogatory or hurtful language directed at any other player. While this was a personal matter between two players, we wish that better judgment had been used in the choice of words.”
Negreanu has yet to apologize to Duke for whom he has held an open distaste for since 2003 when he posted that she has smelly feet among other unflattering things.
To Negreanu’s credit, it is hypocritical of Annie Duke to cry for a game in which gender is a moot point and then advertise on her website that she is the “best female poker player”, but obviously his comment crossed the line. The real loser here is the poker world: it’s kind of hard to take the activity seriously when two of the most high-profile professionals engage in such childish (albeit entertaining) banter.