Bart Hanson has caused quite a stir this week with comments on Doug Polk’s podcast that have been described as “racist” and “xenophobic” after he stated that cardroom bosses should ban European players…
Hanson is the owner and CEO of CrushLivePoker, with 15 years as a pro and more than $1 Million in tournament earnings and 6 WSOP final tables to his name.
However, it was his discussion with Polk about cash game “protection” that sparked the biggest interest – and controversy – after stating: “Why don’t you just require an American driver’s licence!”
Hanson described his views as half-joking, half-serious when he described the “euro invasion” of California and Las Vegas.
Bart Hanson defines “Euros” as anyone who is non-Canadian or American
Defining “euros” as anyone who is non-Canadian or American, though he excluded Asians from his list, Hanson claimed they “are mostly professional players…they come over here…some are nice, sometimes they stick out like a sore thumb…their behaviour makes the game more serious…”
That, it seems, is a bad thing in Hanson’s opinion, who claims 50 Europeans at a time would descend on California cardrooms and destroy the 5/10 games there.
“I haven’t seen that happen in Texas,” he adds, “ but it could,” and he has a solution for those running the cardrooms. “Why don’t you just require an American driver’s licence to play?”
“Bart xenophobe Euro ban is racist”
The live chat was quick to pick up on Hanson’s attitude towards non-Americans, with comments such as “Bart xenophobe” and “Euro ban is racist”, and “segregation? wut?”
Both Polk and Hanson are of the opinion that the stereotype of the “euro pro” makes the game less fun, and when asked by Polk, “Are we not going to allow Asians now?” he replied, “No, we definitely want Asians.”
Whether it was all meant tongue in cheek, or was simply a badly-thought out explanation of a problem that does exist in poker – pros not welcome at rec tables in general – it spawned a lively Twitter discussion.
Bart, you can’t ban Germans. That violates Federal anti-discrimination laws. Other than that-great idea.
— Brian Comeaux (@BrianComeaux2) October 1, 2021
Hanson was a bit taken aback by that accusation, replying:
“I’m not sure how much clearer I could have been on the pod. If I was an owner of a private Texas poker club I would seriously consider requiring a US driver’s license to play. How that has translated to “ban all Germans from casinos” is beyond me.”
After reading some of the live chat from the @DougPolkVids podcast today, not only am I a “LIB” I am also a fascist.. I guess I play both sides
— Bart Hanson (@BartHanson) September 30, 2021
“You are definitely making friends in Europe right now”
In the podcast interview, Doug Polk told Hanson:
“You are definitely making friends in Europe right now.”
However, Doug Polk later on joined in firing shots at Europeam players:
“If some guy shows up, doesn’t speak English, has his hoodie and glasses on, taking 45 seconds for a decision…that guy just sucks to have at your table. I know recreational high-rollers who quit because of the influx of Germans. There’s this guy who I’ve never seen before, he’s like 12 years-old, tanking for 17 minutes… scarf-wrapped face…”
That sparked a “shots fired at Vogelsang” comment in the chat.
There is more – much more – to the discussion, as can be seen in the video above, but perhaps both Polk and Hanson would do well to look at their language for future discussions on the topic.
“Those foreigners would have affected your experience. Taken out of context, does not sound good. In the context of a cardroom full of “Euros” taking the game seriously, well…it’s not much better.
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