Poker players are often the first to jump on money-making opportunities that do not involve the nine-to-five grind. They were early adopters of crypto, both individually and on the corporate level of online poker sites. More recently, they have flocked to the booming market of NFTs. But there are some in the poker community who are not at all happy about it.
One critic is David “Bakes” Baker, who had this to say on Twitter:
“Guess which poker player is taking pics of chicks asses on the strip and then trying to sell them as NFTs. No mention of compensation for the models. Wonder if there was even consent? Oh you can buy a NFT of a Thai restaurant too! Nice scam.”
The photographer is Jonathan Little, whose Twitter feed indicates he has enthusiastically embraced the NFT explosion.
Poker.org asked Bakes to elaborate on his issues with NFTs. He told us:
“I’m already pretty over the culture of photographing and filming everyone and everything and posting it for public consumption, and doubly so when the person posting is a public figure using it for personal financial gain.”
Street models such as the two featured in Little’s above photograph are common in Las Vegas. They are there to be photographed, and expect to be paid. As Bakes told Poker.org, if Little tipped these models, one can regard the process as a legitimate business transaction. Whether the models should also be informed that their likenesses would appear as an NFT with a sale price of $350k is open to speculation.
It appears that purchasing Little’s art comes with a ticket to a meal:
“The only footage from the first annual The Real: Las Vegas feast. Own a piece for a ticket next time.”
While one could argue that Little’s primary artistic focus appears to be on women’s backsides, he has other subjects, such as the Thai restaurant shown above, and the following unfortunate individual:
“The year is 2021. You’re broke and desperate in Las Vegas and finally stumble into what shade you can find, closing your eyes for the first time in a day. Then @JonathanLittle comes up and snaps your photo so he can sell it on the internet.”
Twitter user Brendon Kaufman summed up the reaction of many to the image:
“Come the f@ck on, we cannot be selling pictures of homeless people. This makes me pretty angry.”
“Whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” has never been less true. Poor decisions and personal misfortunes are captured on camera and shared all over the internet. This has been the case since the introduction of camera-phones. The advent of NFTs, however, allows public figures like Jonathan Little to benefit financially from such images.
Whether this should be normalized will doubtless be an ongoing conversation.
Update, 11/14: Poker.org asked Jonathan Little to respond to the story, particularly whether his subjects received any compensation. He told us the following:
“I paid the girls $20, which is the price they requested. I gave the person in Nap Time $100. I did my best to teach people about crypto and hand out money to anyone involved.”
Featured image source: Twitter