Over time we have gotten used to seeing some of poker’s most high-profile players falling from grace following allegations of cheating and ghosting. On this account, 2022 will be remembered as a year when several such allegations shocked the poker community.
The bigger story broke in April-end when Martin Zamani charged Bryn Kenney, the #1 ranked player on poker`s All-Time Money List, of running a cult-like stable and indulging and promoting illegal cheating activities!
In an April interview with PokerNews’ Sarah Herring, Kenney vehemently denied all the allegations, although he didn`t have proof to show for anything he said. The poker community came down heavily on him for the way he tried to deflect some difficult questions and his failure to corroborate his claims.
Kenney addressed all the corruption charges for the second time on Tuesday, September 6, on Joey Ingram`s Poker Life Podcast on YouTube.
Over 2,000 concurrent viewers tuned in to watch Kenney talk about life and poker after the cheating accusations, his relationship with GGPoker, the face-off with Lauren Roberts and Martin Zamani, and his pet project, an upcoming online poker site “4Poker”.
You can watch the complete interview below.
Needless to say, the poker community had its own take on all that Kenney said, and their verdict wasn’t as sympathetic as Kenney would have hoped!
Here`s a quick look at the highlights of Kenney’s interview with Ingram.
Life After Cheating Allegations
Ingram began the interview by asking Kenney how he has dealt with these serious allegations. Kenney responded, saying he has chosen to pull the positives out of the negatives. He said, “It’s helped me to grow and maybe see some woe blind spots I might not have necessarily been seeing.”
Ingram talked about Kenney’s previous interview with PokerNews’ Sarah Herring, where he denied the accusations Martin Zamani made. He referenced the “shaman and frog poison” story, and Kenney admitted he is a practitioner and suggested Zamani follow this as well to “check his energy.”
Kenney went on to claim he has staked hundreds of players and would often recommend yoga, healthy eating, etc., for better results, and these were merely suggestions and not a hard set requirement as Zamani made it to be.
On a side note, after Joey Ingram announced Kenney as the next guest on the podcast on August 25, Kenney tweeted that Zamani had lied about the allegations.
The next guest on my Poker Life podcast will be @BrynKenney
What questions should I ask him??
— Joey Ingram 🐉 (@Joeingram1) August 24, 2022
Martin knows he's clearly lying about multiple things and fabricating the truth even in anything that has some truth (recommending things to benefit instead of force), Lauren has owed me since the start of our relationship and free rolled me for millions of dollars
— Bryn Kenney (@BrynKenney) August 24, 2022
Following the interview, Zamani tweeted more proof of Kenney lying.
Bryn claims I owe him $, he’s supposed to be giving me my rake for all 100+ players I signed up and hasn’t. Why would @GGPoker agree to give me my players if they weren’t mine. This is how he dissolved my agency and proof he agreed to be paying me. pic.twitter.com/Oyop6M7V2X
— Martin Zamani (@martin_zamani) September 6, 2022
Rift With GGPoker
Bryn Kenney recalled he first met GGPoker reps in March 2017, hoping to set up his own skin on the network. But he learned that this would need him to obtain a license, regulation, etc., so he dropped the idea. The brand later approached him to become the “face of the site.”
He further claimed to have encouraged GGPoker to develop a desktop client and offer more extensive tournaments. He even helped the team design the tournament series in November 2017 and signed an agent-affiliate deal to help bring in players for the site’s high-stakes games. He said – “I was effectively their poker room manager.”
On being questioned about Justin Bonomo’s claim that Kenney had vouched for the games he helped start, Kenney denied he vouched for the game’s security – “I vouched for the money they had on the site…I’ve never been banned on GGPoker ever. I’ve never had my account frozen or suspended.”
Face-off With Lauren Roberts
In April-end, Lauren Roberts posted a series of tweets, sharing screenshots of chats with Kenney to substantiate Zamani’s accusations that Kenney ran a cheating ring on GGPoker. After Kenney’s interview with Sarah Herring, Roberts came out with another scathing attack on Kenney. Ingram asked Kenney how Roberts jumped into the picture.
“There was never any instance where I told people to collude or soft play at any point,” Kenney said, “My intention was never to take advantage of her or anybody else.”
But when Ingram said Kenney had allegedly groomed her as a whale and had others beat her in the games, he denied it all, claiming that Roberts or anyone else never bankrolled him – “It just didn’t happen like that. I gave her lots of credits to play lots of games. She owed me over $2 million … At no point did I have any action of hers in any tournament … I was never staking her…“Nobody ever bankrolled my life. I’ve paid my own way.”
New Online Poker Site Plans
Ingram soon steered the conversation towards Kenney`s new online poker site “4Poker” and how the cheating scandal might have affected the project. Kenney clarified – “My intention with this site from the beginning was to build something that was great for the community. My goal is to offer people a place they feel safe to play on and to grow the game.”
Viewers & Poker Community Reacts
Ingram repeatedly tried to nail Kenney to specific questions, seeking particular responses. Still, Kenney fell back as far as giving clear replies is concerned, evoking many reactions from the watching audience.
One commentator said, “Bryn is deflecting and hiding,” while another pointed out, “This guy won’t admit anything.”
Another viewer commented – “Bryn ain’t stupid, he knows he won’t be made accountable, and there’s scant evidence.”
Many viewers also demanded Martin Zamani be called to the show, but Ingram denied the request, instead offering to host a forum between the duo later. Kenney agreed, charging Zamani for lying. “I don’t see any point; the guy has clearly lied about many things.”
The response from viewers was vicious, and many labelled Kenney a “coward.”
The poker Twitterati also had a lot to add. One viewer pointed out that the interview was going on as expected, Ingram was asking the tough questions, and Kenney sidestepped them.
The Bryn Kenney / @Joeingram1 interview is going about as you would expect. Joey is asking the tough questions, and Bryn is dapping himself up, basically talking about he's the only reason @GGPoker is a thing, and denying everything.
— JBills (@holdemandcrypto) September 6, 2022
Another user pointed out how Martin Zamani was among the people watching the interview in real-time.
— NFTbag (@NFTbag80) September 6, 2022
Lauren Roberts was another player who couldn’t keep from commenting. Roberts hinted that Kenney was also guilty of libel by replying to Kenney’s August 25 tweet where he charged Zamani of lying.
This sounds like libel to me. I suggest you document the alleged monies owed or stfu. https://t.co/YlRtHThRYk
— Lauren Roberts (@PlayPokerLkAMan) September 6, 2022
Ingram gave a shoutout to the Twitterati and asked for their opinion on the interview.
What do you guys think about the conversation w/@BrynKenney?
— Joey Ingram 🐉 (@Joeingram1) September 6, 2022
His tweet met with varying reactions.
Do not agree with giving obvious cheaters a platform just for the sake of "both sides".
— low-fill drinker (@NathanDrill) September 6, 2022
This further solidified my opinion of BK; a 100% certified slithering weasel 🤬
— Gerardo Garcia (@Gerardo86769852) September 6, 2022
— The zen of slay 🐷🐷😈😈🚿🚿 (@slayAbidesDOTL) September 6, 2022
Kenney seems desperate to clear his reputation from this mess, but given what they have been served by him so far, the poker community is, by and large, not biting the bait!