A Twitter spat between Justin “Stealthmunk” Schwartz and rapper/activist Talib Kweli Greene snowballed over the weekend to involve a large segment of the poker community. CoinPoker’s pre-ICO has sold about 85% of its hard cap. A sports betting case in New Jersey could have serious implications for legal cannabis. And more.

Chain of Fools

Late Friday night, Justin Schwartz threw his two cents into a conversation involving a minor figure in the poker world and rapper Talib Kweli Greene and accidentally set of a firestorm. The player in question, going only by “Andrew” on Twitter, is a Trump supporter who said he enjoys Greene’s music, but not his aggressively outspoken activism on Twitter. Greene said that if Andrew can enjoy his political message when it’s rapped over a beat, but not when he’s tweeting, he’s a “culture vulture.”

Schwartz jumped in to say that appreciation of music isn’t contingent on agreement with – or even understanding of – the lyrics. An innocuous enough opinion, at least from Schwartz’s point of view. Not Talib’s, however. The conversation rapidly escalated, and pretty soon Schwartz’s inclination to split hairs ran afoul of Greene’s essentialism on topics of racial justice, and the latter called Schwartz a racist.

At this point, Dan O’Brien jumped in to defend Schwartz, and was quickly called a racist as well. Others jumped in to defend O’Brien and suffered the same fate. Following the logic that a racist statement makes a person “a racist,” and defending a racist also makes one a racist, then everyone who defends anyone else in the chain is a racist, regardless of how many steps removed they are from the initial comment.

Eventually, even people like Andrew Barber, Vanessa Selbst and myself, who tend to be seen by large swathes of the poker community as “social justice warriors,” attempted to de-escalate the situation and nonetheless ended up finding ourselves on the wrong side of the argument.

If you happen to love Twitter drama and want to catch up on everything from the beginning, it starts with the following tweet. If you simply want to get out the popcorn and jump into things as they stand, just go to the timeline of literally anyone in the poker community, as just about everyone got involved in some way at some point.

Quick Hitters

– Fledgling cryptocurrency-driven poker site CoinPoker went live for play money this week, alongside its “pre-ICO” in which up to 100 million units of its CHP currency will be sold for 0.05 € apiece. Support for the concept seems high, as 85% of that hard cap has already been sold. Ultimately there will be 500 million CHP in circulation, of which 375 million will be sold in a series of ICOs.

– Montreal local Maxime Heroux won the WPT Montreal, beating a final table which included Eric Afriat and David Peters for his first WPT title and ten times his previous lifetime earnings.

– Next month, the Supreme Court will decide whether a federal prohibition on sports betting outside the state of Nevada is constitutional. One legal expert has described it as the most important case of the century, because of its implications for states’ rights, including the issue of legalized cannabis.

– Draft Kings and the WPT have entered into a new partnership for the tour’s European stops, after their original arrangement fell through due to the former being forced out of Nevada after a decision by its gaming commission to require licenses for daily fantasy sports.