Internet poker star Brian “sbrugby” Townsend‘s admission and apology this week is causing ripples in online gambling circles, according to InfoPowa News. Townsend has owned up to multi-accounting, a cardinal sin expressly forbidden by online poker sites where he plays (like PokerStars and Full Tilt).
Well-known as aba20 on Poker Stars and sbrugby on Full Tilt, Townsend has confessed to also playing as Makersmark66 in low stakes games at PokerStars, and as Stellarnebula at Full Tilt. In the blog statement that served as his apology, he emphasized that the additional accounts were not misused to collude during tournaments.
According to the news report, the admission and apology came “after strong player suspicions surfaced that he was multi-accounting.” The consequences were almost immediate, with Full Tilt issuing an announcement that Townsend is suspended from his pro status for six months, a professional embarrassment to Townsend personally as well as poker video instruction firm Cardrunners, with which he is involved as a professional. (As an attempt at contrition, Townsend is reportedly donating $25 000 of his Cardrunner earnings to a charity.) When InfoPowa went to press the Poker Stars decision on the issue was not yet known.
Another high-profile poker player, Scotty Nguyen (“The Prince of Poker,” according to his fans), was at the center of a mild controversy this week after his “provocative and discourteous conduct at the World Series of Poker resurfaced on ESPN television” and YouTube.
The footage was from several months ago, when Nguyen faced off against Michael DeMichele and Erik Lindgren in the closing stages of the Chip Reese Memorial $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. tournament at the World Series of Poker. “The less said about Nguyen’s allegedly drink and frustration fuelled foul language and conduct, the better,” InfoPowa reported. “Although it went unpunished by the tournament organisers at the time, it was sufficiently bad to anger viewers, many of whom apparently communicated their disappointment to him directly, motivating his widely emailed apology.”
What do you make of these incidents? Does it point to a new lack of professionalism in the game, or is it just human nature shining through? Is Townsend’s six-month ban fair, or is it overly harsh to set a precedent for other transgressors of the “no multiple accounts” rules?