A while back the Press of Atlantic City ran an op-ed that credited Bill Byers and Dewey Tomko as the authors. After reading through the editorial I began typing my own responses, an article I titled “How Dewey Tomko Sold Out the Poker Community” which was more about the flaws in the way the group was presenting online collusion but nonetheless was critical of Dewey’s involvement –which now turns out to not be the case.
For this I owe Dewey a sincere apology, as I was hoodwinked by a usually reliable media outlet.
As it turns out Dewey is a bit of luddite according to Nolan Dalla, and since Dewey doesn’t even have an e-mail address it took a phone call from Nolan to clear things up.
This first started to come to light on Friday after Rich Muny posted some information linking certain anti-online-gambling advocates to one another.
At some point Nolan Dalla entered the social media conversation and said he would speak to Dewey about this. When Nolan mentioned that Dewey didn’t use E-Mail and he would have to phone him my radar was immediately raised, and I had a feeling we were heading down this road.
So what did come to light during the phone call between Nolan and Dewey?
Essentially, Dewey has no current connection with James Thackston, Bill Byers or any online gambling collusion software he has been linked to. Furthermore, and perhaps most troubling, he was not one of the authors that wrote the editorial, nor did he give permission to have his name attached to it.
Well, this certainly changes things now doesn’t it.
How could this happen
When the Press of Atlantic City article first came out my initial reaction was “Dewey Tomko?” That’s a strange name to get involved in this discussion. Dewey is not really a current player and certainly not someone who is associated with online poker in any way. If I was looking for someone to be the respectable name and face of an anti-online-gambling effort and to showcase my collusion software there are certainly better candidates than Dewey Tomko.
It struck me as odd then (and perhaps maybe that’s why I held back on my criticism of Dewey in my original piece and focused on Thackston’s collusion claims) and after reading Nolan’s breakdown of his conversation with Dewey I was left with another strange question, “how did this not get back to Dewey before Nolan rang him up this weekend some six weeks after the op-ed ran?”
How could I guy immersed in the gambling world not have someone in his circle mention they saw his article in the Press of Atlantic City?
After a couple minutes of thought I pretty much had my eureka moment.
The answer to both of these questions is probably quite simple and connected, Dewey is perhaps one of the few people in poker who wouldn’t come across this story as he’s not an Internet user, and apparently the people peddling his name knew this when they selected him –they all have relationships with Dewey but according to Dewey he hasn’t spoken to any of them in three or four years.
Based on Nolan’s conversation with him, it would seem that Dewey Tomko’s name has been used by the group without his permission or even knowledge to further their agenda.
If this is the case the whole lot of them should be reported and investigated, especially if they used Dewey Tomko’s name while communicating with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement or any other lawmakers, law enforcement or regulators.
This is certainly not the first time I’ve made a mistake, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.
I’ll certainly be more diligent when it comes to any reporting (even mainstream press) I come across but more importantly it puts the anti-online gambling movements efforts into a new light.
If the conversation between Nolan and Dewey is accurate and this was all done without Dewey’s involvement or knowledge than there are literally no bounds that this particular conglomerate of the anti-online gambling crusaders will stoop to.
Not only did they use Dewey in the article but they have been using his name on Social Media as well.
We’ve already seen glimpses of the underhanded dealings thay are capable of from the E-Mails and communications revealed by Poker Players Alliance Vice President of Player Relations Rich Muny, but the use of a person’s name without their consent is getting into the realm of the criminal.
I don’t know who among this group (James Thackston, Bill Byers, Cheri Jacobus) perpetrated this or who knew it was happening without Dewey’s consent, but we have reached a new level of low, and now I am even more of the opinion that we should not even bother with responding to their taunts on social media.
If Dewey Tomko’s name was attached to this without his permission we are dealing with a group of individuals who have no ethics whatsoever and are not interested in an honest debate.
*My original article from March 22 has been amended and now features a link to this article at the beginning.
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