The Muck: Ike Haxton Tackles Barstool Sports Poker Invasion

sports poker bar stool

Sport bar stool begins to have a greater influence in the poker world, and Isaac Haxton not sure if that’s a good thing or not. But many others – recreational and professional gamers – are fans of the media giant and support the exposure Barstool brings to the game.

At World Series of Poker 2022a number of Barstool personalities, some of the popular crack the aces poker podcast, participated in the Main Event. While most were felt before the end of Day 2, Adam “Smitty” Smithaka “General Spank”, will enter Saturday’s Day 3 session with an above average stack.

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In this edition of Mudwe discuss the point of view of the poker community on Barstool Sports, and why by Dave Portnoy media company is at the center of a fiery poker drama.

Isaac Haxton

Smith and Ben Mintz both appeared at the PokerGO features table during the first two days of the World Championship event. Those who love Barstool appreciated the cover, while others, like Haxton, felt differently.

The social media drama involving Barstool began on day 1c when Allen Kesler and Owen Roder, an inexperienced tournament player and Barstool personality, busted in the same hand. Roeder 3-bet preflop with pocket aces barely twice the size of the initial raise, then eventually lost the hand to another player who flopped a full house.

Afterwards, Kessler called the raise an “annoying bet” on Twitter, and some poker fans felt the comment was unnecessary. Eric “Nate” Nathan Stool, which broke on Day 2, criticized the “chainsaw” for allegedly being rude to Roeder, although Kessler denies doing any such thing. The argument sparked a Twitter feud between the two poker players, and it ultimately led to Haxton’s tweet.

What poker fans are saying

Haxton isn’t the only poker player who doesn’t seem to be a big fan of Barstool Sports. But the sports outlet has a passionate and loyal following, known as “Stoolies”, and they have come forward to defend Barstool on Twitter.

“Isaac, I’m sure you’re also the last person the stools want to hang out with”, 2021 WSOP Player of the Year josh arieh replied.

“I would hate for poker to turn into a game where I only interact with people I like/agree with. Part of the beauty of poker for me is having small doses of interactions with people I otherwise would never have met. It’s such a great activity to really burst your bubble,” 2022 WSOP Player of the Year leader Dan Zack wrote.

“Idk man, we love the game. We want to grow it. You put a whole fanbase in a box. A ton of your peers are fans. Maybe Barstool isn’t for you (we’re so widely spread that I’m sure there’s something you’d like) but there’s no denying the buzz we’ve created this week,” Eric “Nate” Nathan Stool defended the company he works for.

“It’s undeniably good for the game and its growth”, poker pro Darryl fish argue.

Adam “adam22” Grandmaison popular no rider adult lifestyle podcast, which competed in the 2022 WSOP Main Event, has also championed Barstool Sports and argues that the poker community needs to embrace the Stoolies.

“It’s such a weird thing to worry about. No one is forcing you to be friends/colleagues/associates with anyone. You’re playing a literal game,” @Schwangstar tweeted.

“Perhaps you and Bono could start your own safe space poker tour,” @MikeDami88 replied.

“Come on man, at first I found the bar stools a bit cringeworthy, but they’re funny and entertaining to listen to too and poker should be for everyone, not just math wizards”, @Seahawksfan2314 wrote.

While most of those who responded defended Barstool Sports, a few sided with the high-stakes poker legend and potential future Poker Hall of Famer.

“Stools suck. Not really offensive, but they’re like grasshoppers,” @FabFive45212425 tweeted.

“this is the truest statement I have read today,” @KyngTearz complaints.

Barstool Sports is an American media giant, last valued at $450 million in 2020 when Penn National Gaming bought 36% of the company for $163 million. Portnoy founded the company in 2003 and built it, as he puts it, “brick by brick” from the ground up.

Along the way, the many blogs, social media content, and podcasts branded as Barstool have come under fire from those who believe Barstool plays into the culture of “toxic masculinity.” But the Stoolies don’t see it that way, and like Mintz remarked to Kessler in a tweetBarstool CEO, Erika Nardiniis a woman and the company employs many women.

Whether or not you love or hate Barstool Sports, or think the medium is sexist and bad for poker, there’s no denying that the brand is becoming more prominent in the game. And they’ll likely be here to stay.

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