CEO of Russian GGPoker skin PokerOK declares 'war' on poker backing stables

Moscow's Red Square in winter
Haley Hintze Author Photo
Haley Hintze
Posted on: April 03, 2024 02:58 PDT

The impact of organized backing stables on online poker's player ecology continues to cause systemic imbalances that can adversely affect ordinary, everyday players. In one of the most forceful pieces of evidence regarding the growing conflict between stables and sites, the CEO of PokerOK, one of GGPoker Network's skins in the CIS region , has declared "war" on "funds", referring to the backing groups funding players who are part of numerous stables throughout online poker.

Posting as "DonkVsFish" on the Russian poker forum GipsyTeam, the CEO went on repeated tirades against the funds. He declared, "There will be no more negotiations. [] Funds are prohibited from playing poker, period. Take the money and get out. If you come back, we will find you and the measures will be stricter."

The CEO stressed that PokerOK's decision to ban all stables and their backers is being done with the full knowledge and consent of GGPoker's owners. "First of all, we emphasize that our position is known and agreed with the GGPoker network. The leadership fully supports our line as a whole and all of today's dialogue." He also asserted that the GGPoker platform was always intended for amateur players.

Dozens of posts on impact of funds and stables

The CEO posted over a hundred messages in a busy GipsyTeam thread on the topic, beginning on Monday, before requesting that his account be blocked. The heart of his warpath declarations were made within two lengthier posts on Monday, while the bulk of the message count was devoted to back-and-forth slams between him and members of stables and backing groups.

The two main posts he made, roughly translated to English via Google, were as follows:

"Dear funders. Today our ambassadors were at the table. I will only communicate with Vea and Tio [Russian online regulars and stable operators Artem Vezhenkov and Gleb Tremzin] from now on. 

"You don't understand normal language. You are listening to the wonderful [Sergey] Nikitin, the winner of GG.

"Fine. 

"There will be no more negotiations. Good luck. go straight to 2+2. 

"fiat lab [a major Russian stable] you will now be closed for playing in the years. Goodbye. You decided to play games with me. Felt strong. GG has always been only for amateurs. Good luck to you in your struggle.

"And don’t think about offering me any shares and this is crap. Everything was told to you clearly today. you are no longer welcome here. 

"I've been wanting to sort out online stables for a long time. This is just the beginning. 

"I also sincerely apologize to ordinary players who will be affected by all this. Our efficiency is 80%. funds think they are smarter than everyone else. Fine. Do you think I need money? OK. You think I’m a nobody and weak because I treated you kindly and talked to you. Funds are prohibited from playing poker, period. Take the money and get out. If you come back. We will find you and the measures will be stricter."

And most importantly, I would not advise you to run to other rooms on the network. Because obviously I do everything in secret. You will have to take everything into account. And then you will get what you deserve.

"I kept thinking you were businessmen. That we can find common ground and let the fund’s graduates play for fun. As discussed at the meeting today. But you don’t hear a normal approach and concern for the regulars who will suffer. Ok, I heard you very well. We wanted some action. Receive.

"Let Inner or Mikhon, Vea or Gleb lay out the entire ultimatum and position. 

"Do you want movement ok. I wanted to protect regular graduates who want to play with us without problems. 

"But you only think about yourself. OK. Good luck to you, let's start the real movement.

"next funfarm [another large Russian stable]."

Just 20 minutes later, the CEO followed up with this post:

"First of all, we emphasize that our position is known and agreed with the GGPoker network.

"The leadership fully supports our line as a whole and all of today's dialogue.

"Let's move on to our requirements.

"The activity of backing funds on PokerOK and GGPoker will be stopped completely.

"This applies to both the game and any marketing manifestations: advertising of funds from streamers who cooperate with PokerOK, promotion on social networks, advertising in the media, publications about the successes and winnings of your players. You must not play on PokerOK and must not advertise training, playing or backing on PokerOK (Telegram is considered your personal channel).

"You undertake to publicly declare that you understand and accept the position of our room and our network and leave the sites with PokerOK and GG. The text of the application must be agreed upon with our representative.

"If any of your players express a desire to cease cooperation with the fund, leave the fund and never work with any fund again, we agree to reconsider our restrictive measures. Let us emphasize: this applies only to those players who permanently cease cooperation with the fund.

"If we learn that this player continues to participate in the fund (whether from any public sources or using our analytics tools), the most stringent measures will be taken against him.

"You should understand that our decision to fight funds was made solely to protect the interests of poker fans. We are interested in maintaining our strategy in the gaming community, promoting poker and supporting the right to equality and the right to win for all players.

"We do not want our restrictions to affect regulars and players who are not members of the funds.

"We don't want to ruin your students' 'poker dream' and their ability to make money from poker. Therefore, you will have to give us lists of those players who are leaving or have graduated from the funds who want to play honestly on our site. We do not want restrictions to affect players who do not cooperate with the funds, so we will remove the restrictions from them and from your graduates.

"We will support players who love and appreciate PokerOK, who want to win rings and bracelets, who are ready to sign that they play fairly.

"If they come from funds, we will be happy to continue cooperation with them at the media level (for example: commenting on major series). This also applies to fund owners. We believe that we preach one goal - the development of poker, so we will continue to cooperate in the name of popularizing the discipline. We have no need to develop conflict.

"To summarize:

"The funds leave PokerOK and GG, publicly announce their agreement with the position and their departure from PokerOK and GG, and stop all media activities related to PokerOK and GG, coordinating your posts with our representative.

"PokerOK, in turn, is ready to remove limits from players who stop participating in the funds.

"If these players are found to continue to cooperate with the funds, we will take immediate action against these players.

"This was at the round table today.

"Two funds took care of their players. The rest automatically refused without coming.

"Tio, Wea Minton and Inner are witnesses."

The two messages received a net of nearly 400 downvotes combined from GipsyTeam forum posters , most presumptively from participants in or backers of stables.

Individual players will be allowed to denounce participation in stables

The CEO's messages offered few olive branches towards backers and stable participants. As he declared above, one exception is that players willing to denounce their participation and sign a statement to that effect will be allowed to remain. However, their activities will be monitored, likely to include transfers to and from known backers of funds and evidence of collaboration with other stable participants.

Despite the callout to "go straight to 2+2," the conflagration had yet to gain significant traction there, being mentioned in just one NVG thread

GGPoker itself has not commented publicly on the situation involving PokerOK and the CEO's declarations, meaning there is no indication as to whether the GGPoker network's flagship site is considering a similar crackdown. Numerous high-profile poker stables, including many famed players, continue to operate on the site, which leads the online-poker world in cash-game traffic.

Featured image source: Wikimedia Commons - © Vyacheslav Argenberg /  http://www.vascoplanet.com/