Winning Poker Network CEO Phil Nagy discovered critical remarks Jonathan Little made about his poker site, Americas Cardroom. He permanently banned the poker pro in response.
Nagy didn’t specify which comment or video led to the ban, but Little, a poker coach, has long been critical of unregulated sites. In May, he posted a video titled, “Online Poker in America: How to Cash Out Safely,” in which he warned his students that their money could be at risk without protections afforded by regulated sites.
Nagy defended his move saying such bans have been commonplace at brick-and-mortar casinos for years.
The ACR boss has taken some heat over the years from poker players for site security issues, so it is little surprise that pros such as Shaun Deeb couldn’t help from injecting themselves into the latest controversy playing out on Twitter.
As much as I enjoy the Nagy John little drama I think this is a terrible precedent for acr to start I have bashed almost every site at some point if they followed @WPN_CEO rules I’d be banned on every site please reconsider Phil you’ll lose a lot of loyal customers
— shaun deeb (@shaundeeb) September 9, 2020
“This is a terrible precedent for [ACR] to start,” Deeb tweeted, noting that under Nagy’s rules, he would be banned at nearly every site he’s played at for posting negative comments.
Did Little Deserve to be Banned?
Little, a WPT champion, made it publicly known that ACR banned him. He didn’t apologize or backtrack from what he said. Instead, he stood by his comments and defended them.
My job is to help my students make more money (and not get scammed out of their money) from poker and I will continue doing my best to help my students. 3/3
— Jonathan Little (@JonathanLittle) September 10, 2020
“My job is to help my students make more money (and not get scammed out of their money) from poker and I will continue doing my best to help my students,” Little wrote.
So why is it when someone acts disorderly in a casino or live tournament, they can be banned for life, and it's ok the Borgata can ban you for making a video. How is WPN any Different?
— Phillip Nagy (@WPN_CEO) September 10, 2020
Nagy, who referred to the poker pro as “Little John,” countered by arguing that other businesses have a right to ban players for insulting the company, so he should be allowed to do the same.
“I’m OK to agree to disagree,” Nagy said. “I think it would [be] better not to have an influencer saying what John is saying than doing what he’s doing. No hard feelings. There are lots of marketing avenues I choose not to take. Playing ACR is a privilege, not a right.”
Poker Community Chimes In
The public feud between Nagy and Little turned into a heated debate on poker Twitter. Most sided with Little, but some defended the Nagy’s decision.
“You just risked ACR because someone was honest to their customer base to limit liability … His followers see him playing X site and deposit and get screwed, then he gets involved … he eliminated that risk rightfully so with a disclaimer. Fix your software before talking privilege,” @Nate_Daugherty tweeted.
High-stakes pro Chris George gave his two cents on the issue. He encouraged players to ditch unregulated sites such as ACR in favor of Run it Once and Partypoker. The only problem with that suggestion is, Americans don’t have the option to do so unless they leave the country. Legal online poker is only available in four US states — Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada. Players in those four states don’t have access to Run it Once or the global Partypoker platform.
Despite banning Little, Nagy informed the poker coach and pro that his account balance will be refunded in full.