The world of poker is a very complex structure built around players, the online poker sites and casinos that provide the games, the limits and games played, rake, backers, and a lot more, and in the end, trying to provide the best game possible that helps everyone. The entire situation with Townsend, Hastings, and Cole involving their combined knowledge and play against Ilsuldur1 leaves a bad smell in the air for everyone, especially for Full Tilt since Townsend is one of their Red Pros.
As a player, I would like to see Townsend be more committed to giving his attention to doing what being a Red Pro demands at Full Tilt. Townsend has put his hands up as the guilty boy and received his penalty, the matter is now closed and we must move on, though most of us will remember it with a shadow on how he handled his role. He explains his actions in his blog post.
Cole South posted this:
I’d like to try to help clear up some issues on my side. There has been a lot of intelligent debate that I would be happy to answer.
1.) Full Tilt very understandably did not want us to comment during an ongoing investigation, and they have found that I did not breach the site’s rules in any way.
2.) A shared hand history database seems to be the main issue of contention. I have discussed many difficult hands from play against Isildur with Brian Hastings and Brian Townsend, posted on pokerhand.org where we can give each other feedback. I have never sent or received raw hand history data to Brian Townsend or Brian Hastings (or anyone else for that matter) — reports of a “conglomerated” database of all of our hand histories from play with him are absolutely false. My hand histories showing Isildur’s mucked cards are in only my possession, and I don’t have any hand histories from Brian Hastings or Brian Townsend’s matches, such a database is not possible.
3.) Team play is another point that has been brought up. I have never played on Brian Townsend or Brian Hastings accounts, used a program to see their screen or let them see mine, nor have I been in their presence while any of us played online poker since a Cardrunners meeting about a year ago. Never have I asked for or been asked for strategy advice during a hand. I’d like to reiterate, the one-player-to-a-hand rule was never broken here.
4.) I’m not going to get into finances, but I have never played a single hand at a table with a player who I have had a piece of. That’s the only issue I could think of that would be relevant with regard to action sharing.
I believe it’s clear that Cole South is completely innocent. He is entitled to have a share of Hastings play (but this should be made public in my opinion) if he thinks there is value, he is happy to have a stake in Hastings.
As for Hastings, he should just tell everyone his side of the story. Townsends post tells us something but it still leaves an air of doubt in my thought. What Cole South did making his statement is very positive, and for me, has cleared his name.
I’ve had a look at the 2+2 community and the posts are pretty damaging, Full Tilt has made a statement on how they are handling the situation with an explanation. Giving Townsend a one month suspension may solve any future problems with Townsend, we have to hope so. Many wonder why Townsend is still part of the Red Pro team since this isn’t his first infraction with Full Tilt Poker Rules but only Full Tilt could answer that. Full Tilt has tried to be fair and handle a bad situation since they are more like a referee in this and what has happened is going to be a learning ground for anything that might come up in the future with their team and their players. It’s a difficult situation for everyone to be in and like most things in the poker world, we wait for the next hand.
The bad part of it all is that there appears to be no answer to help Isildur1. A Red Pro getting a penalty doesn’t change the matter of his poker losses and the fact that he was at a disadvantage with all of it. I believe he can come back because he is a young kid and lots of talent. It has to be a huge learning tool for him.
Let’s all hope that with each step we take in the poker world, we leave a clean footprint and the game improves for all of us.