Tempers Flare: Doyle Brunson, Doug Polk, and Bryn Kenney Get Caught in Twitter War and Peace

Twitter has become that latest battleground for poker’s elite. With live games still in scarce supply, frustration has boiled over into a series of incidents involving Doyle Brunson and Bryn Kenney.

Doyle Brunson

There’s tension in the air as poker’s elite, including Doyle Brunson, take shots at each other online. (Image: Poker Central)

Brunson recently hit two people with a banhammer, while Kenney has taken shots at anyone with a bankroll.

The fractious exchanges may be a sign that players are tired of COVID-19 restrictions putting major events on hold. Or it may be because they’re trying to generate some action, like Conor McGregor in the UFC. Either way, it’s entertaining.

Brunson blocks big mouths

The first signs of tension appeared last week when Brunson blocked Doug Polk and Matt Glantz on Twitter.

Brunson tweeted about a book called The Case for Faith in Your Life. Although he didn’t necessarily make any comment about his belief in God, the implication was that the book’s author found “the truth” after investigating Christianity.

Polk was the first to chime in with one of his usual snarky quips. Quicker than a check-raise with the nuts, Brunson hit the block button.

Glantz was next in the firing line. Although seemingly innocuous, his question of how anyone can “possibly know the truth” also rattled Brunson.

Both pros were banned by the openly religious Brunson for what he saw as an unnecessary attack on his faith. Or at least that’s how it seemed.

Brunson informed his followers on April 3 that all was forgiven. He’d received some “terrible news” and took his frustration out on Polk and Glantz.

As is the nature of social media, there are those who applauded Brunson’s forgiveness. There were others, however, who enjoyed seeing both players get the silent treatment by poker’s godfather.

Bryn Kenney goes after Phil, Phil, and Ike

While half of the poker community was piling on the Brunson vs. Polk vs. Glantz fracas, others were busting out the popcorn in anticipation of another heads-up showdown.

With Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu currently going at it, Bryn Kenney felt the need to put his name into the mix.

First, he criticized Phil Galfond in a tweet that’s since been deleted. Kenney’s comment referred to Galfond offering anyone a heads-up on his own site, Run It Once.

Galfond responded and said he’d play Kenney on a site of his choosing. Kenney quickly flipped the script and said he wouldn’t play, but would “pick a person” to back against Galfond “at any stakes.”

Galfond pressed the issue and asked Kenney what game he would be willing to play. He also offered to play anyone else at $200/$400 PLO on WSOP.com or live in Las Vegas.

Kenney moved the goalposts again by saying $200/$400 is “too small” and that it would have to be $2,000/$4,000 against someone of his choosing.

That comment sparked as much derision as intrigue.

Although a match between Kenney (or someone he backs) and Galfond isn’t dead in the water, Kenney has since turned his attention to Phil Hellmuth.

Picking up on comments made during the recent Hellmuth vs. Negreanu match, Kenney challenged Hellmuth to a “King of the Hill” showdown.

Not content with slamming Galfond and Hellmuth, Kenney also took aim at Isaac Haxton, and offered to cross-book with him in any event. Haxton rose to the challenge, but Kenney didn’t commit himself to anything.

Kevin Rines, a recreational player and follower of Galfond, pointed out that the recent social media sparring makes it look as though poker players are trying to emulate WWE superstars (see the above tweet).

There’s certainly tension in the air. Maybe it’s because the game’s elite haven’t been able to duke it out in a major live event for a while. In regard to poker and wresting, Brunson hopes the game doesn’t go too far down the scripted entertainment route.

Written by
Daniel Smyth
Dan Smyth is a poker media journeyman who politely reminds CardsChat readers that poker is played all around the world, not just America.

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