Remember a while ago when Poker Hall of Famer Dewey Tomko (supposedly) co-authored that op-ed for the Press of Atlantic City basically condemning online poker? Tomko took a TON of heat for it on Two Plus Two and in the poker media in general…which might have been warranted…if Tomko actually co-authored it!
Turns out, according to a new blog post from Poker Night In America's creative director (and personal friend of Dewey Tomko) Nolan Dalla, Tomko had NOTHING to do with it.
While Tomko knows (now supposed) co-author Bill Byers, according to a phone conversation Dalla had with the bracelet winner, it’s been a while since he’s heard from Byers.
Sure, I know Bill Byers. But I haven’t talked to him in ten years.
In fact, Dalla says that Tomko not only hasn’t talked to Byers in years but has NO IDEA about the article and, in fact, is actually a supporter of online poker, despite not ever having played it.
I have no association whatsoever to anything to do with that. I don’t play online poker. I’ve never played online poker before. Not even once. I don’t know anything about it. Why would I say something on something I know nothing about? I don’t do that.
The Press of Atlantic City ran the op-ed, likely, under the assumption that Tomko’s affiliation was genuine and, of course, we and other media outlets had no reason to question the authenticity of the Press of Atlantic City op-ed. Well, **** us.
Good thing Nolan Dalla has a personal relationship with Tomko and could get to the bottom of it. Six weeks after the op-ed was published Dalla called Dewey for an extensive conversation about the piece. Dewey claims to not know anything about it.
I have no idea what you’re talking about. You know me. I don’t write columns to newspapers. I’ve got other things that keep me plenty busy.
So here’s the summary as Dalla states it:
First, Tomko didn’t write the editorial. Second, he knows nothing about it. Third, he hasn’t lent his name to any cause associated with any findings about online poker.
To be fair, while Dalla, a longtime trusted industry staple and a historian of the game, talked to Tomko, and obviously very much believes that Tomko had absolutely nothing to do with this, there are still, perhaps, scenarios that exist making this very unclear as to exactly what happened.
Perhaps Press of Atlantic City was just plain duped, in which case we all were, or perhaps it’s Dalla that doesn’t have all the information. The answer, of course, may lie somewhere in between.
When we called and talked to Editorial Page Editor Jim Perskie at the Press of Atlantic City he indicated that an email of verification was sent back to both parties and that, via a Google search, they were who they said they were. Upon further pressing of how this op-ed came to be, we were stopped with: “I’ve got nothing for you.”
Perskie also indicated that we were (as of 1:40pm EST) the only people on the planet to ask him about this as of yet. We don’t think we’ll be the last.
So, while it looks like Tomko was attached as a co-author without his permission – we just don’t know.
Of course, this story holds nowhere near the same severity as the Ultimate Bet scandal, but it wasn’t that long ago that one of the most trusted names in the game, Barry Greenstein talked face to face with Russ Hamilton and told the world he was convinced that Hamilton had nothing to do with the superuser scandal.
Let’s hope though that we’re not entering a time when we need to double check every article published to make sure that the person attributed in the by-line was in fact the person that authored the article. If so, Steve Ruddock is going to have a pretty hefty cell phone bill.
We’re going to let the final word (for now) go to Dalla himself who states it pretty clearly.
Someone is lying. Someone is making things up. Someone needs to be exposed as soon as possible and all those who have used any evidence or testimony from the such an individual should be dismissed immediately as sources who are not credible.
All of that said, if you followed this story, you need to read Nolan Dalla’s post about his conversation with Dewey Tomko.