Thursday, May 26, 2016

The fifteen minutes Jaclynn Moskow was relevant.

Until this morning, I had never heard of Jaclynn Moskow.* This isn't that unusual for me lately. I haven't been as focused on "who's who in poker" since becoming a Mom and getting off the circuit. I asked my husband. He has (and continues to), floor some of the biggest cash games in the country. He said the name didn't ring a bell. I showed him a picture of the all-female line-up from a taping of "Poker Night in America" a popular poker TV show. He was able to name the majority of women photographed, even specifying their game preferences and personality attributes. Not the blonde in the middle though. We both drew a complete blank.

A mostly familiar crowd.

Granted, I'm just a blip on the radar in the poker world. I've written a few columns here and there, I've dealt and floored all over the world but mostly I keep a low profile in the field that supports my family and has provided me with a network of "Poker Family", without which I would be lost. We both work in well known rooms on "The Strip", but know far more players by name than we are recognized ourselves. Staff should blend in and be efficient and competent, but not necessarily household names.

With that being said, my home is a poker home and we are huge advocates for the game. We recognize the value of the players, the dealers, the media and every other cog on the wheel that keeps things moving. I am a strong advocate for women in poker. I celebrate the successes of female players as if they were my own and compete, as they do, in a male dominant environment for more opportunities and accolades.

It was for this reason that when I woke up this morning and read the "latest scandal" involving a  relatively unknown "Jaclynn Moskow" (JM for brevity) and one of the most recognizable names in poker, Nolan Dalla, I was beside myself.
The incomparable Nolan Dalla.

JM, a cash game player from Florida, wrote and published a lengthy blog post accusing Nolan and two other men involved in the taping of the show of sexual battery/assault, gross misconduct and anti-Semitism.

To be clear: I am rather fond of Nolan Dalla. He is, without question, one of the people I admire most in our industry. He is brilliant, funny and regularly charges against the grain with his larger than life convictions and political beliefs. Above all else, he has a certain class and grace about him that can only be described as "refined".

I will sum her post up briefly for those not already up to speed: She claims she was sought after by Nolan to appear on Poker Night in America (he is the creative director). She showed up, played a little bit, was replaced on set (as is customary when there are alternates) and later everyone adjourned to celebrate the taping at a local bar with the cast and crew. Festivities were had by all. She asked about appearing on a special "ladies" taping of the same show in Florida, to which Nolan replied that they had no room for her but would keep her in mind in the future. She showed up in Florida anyway and the crew was able to get her some TV time. After the show was taped, she expressed interest in further opportunities but was never invited back to the show. Somewhere around a year later she sent a letter to the powers that be suggesting that she had been the victim of sexual assault and harassment, as well as discrimination because of her religion. She demanded compensation and/or to be given a regular spot on the show or she would make her allegations public.

The sexual assault she alleges occurred at the post-taping after party at the bar with everyone, including her boyfriend, present and public. She claims that a camera man grabbed her ass, Nolan Dalla "motor boated" her breasts and another executive confided that the best part of the show was that there "were no Jews involved". Being Jewish, she suggests this was highly offensive to her. Back at the hotel, there was also a racist statement made by yet another person in the party. This she overheard directed towards an African American front desk clerk. Also, an assault on her senses. She claims that she didn't mention any of this in the previous year, despite lobbying for more opportunities to be on the show, because she was traumatized and didn't want it to affect her poker career. Of course, the damage she suffered could be repaired if she were given opportunities to appear on air. She claims that she has "proof" of all of the above, but would only reveal them publicly if her demands were not met. Back and forth between executives for the show, lawyers and various other entities ensued. The lawyers for the show made the decision to offer her $15,000 to settle the issue. She countered that she wanted $20,000. (A clarification was posted on two plus two saying she actually countered for $100,000). She claims that in retrospect, telling her story was worth more than $15,000. Or, more likely, the time limit to accept the offer passed while she countered for more and she was no longer eligible for any type of settlement.
Complete with implied odds!

Not to be deterred, JM made a rather impressive looking website for herself. It touts, in extreme detail, her successes in the field of medicine. She graduated from The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine where she says (about herself in the third person), "she created her own major entitled Molecular Biology and the History of Medicine". Her biography extols the extent of her education and talents, how they apply to poker and even her work as a scientific consultant for the film "The Perfect 46". While the site is rife with narcissistic overtones, complete with retouched photos of herself and flowery quotes about her plans to write several books in the future, it is largely uneventful. The problem I have with Dr. Jacklynn's cluster of pages is that she includes on them a blog. In this blog, she has but one post.

The post details, explicitly, the above allegations and a specific call to action. She says, if she doesn't get an apology from all involved, she's going to release "proof". Nolan Dalla responded today on various forms of social media his detailed rebuttal including email correspondence between him and his accuser. JM responded on a well trafficked poker forum that she would be doing an interview on a Podcast sometime in the near future, at which point, she will reveal her "proof". Meanwhile, on Nolan's heavily populated Facebook, eye witnesses in attendance at the bar that night have offered up their testimony should this escalate to a point where he needs it.

Rape culture is a thing, and its a big deal. We live in a largely patriarchal society and victims are often shamed or even victimized further with disbelief when their claims aren't taken legitimately. Which is why, despite my better judgment and my personal experiences with Nolan notwithstanding, I did my best to keep an open mind about Jaclynn. I dug through her Twitter where she posted pictures of her partying with the cast and crew hashtag OMGFUN. I saw selfie after selfie with quotes from her about random men routinely commenting on her beauty, asking her to do porn and for her to "please post more pictures!". I saw her attempts to command, continuously, attention from literally anyone who would lend it. She is loud and proud an activist for women and yet none from the poker world are taking up her cause in solidarity. (Edited to add: Since writing this a few women & men in the poker community have stepped up in support of JM, in what is quickly becoming a rather polarizing scandal) In my sleuthing I noticed that she IS garnering support from a different crowd. The feminist and social justice warriors of the internet are banding together with her, welcoming this recently crowned victim into their fold. The more I read about Dr. Moskow, the more I realized that she is either incredibly insecure or desperately trying to cling to some notion of fame she believes she deserves.

And she's funny, too!
I would feel sorry for JM if she weren't trying to damage the reputation of someone so widely respected in an industry I am a part of. Instead, I'm angry. In her triumphant "quest to advocate for women", she's actually propagating victim shaming and rape culture. By claiming to have evidence of her alleged groping, but withholding it until she receives interviews and apologies, she's using a supposedly tragic occurrence to extend her fifteen minutes of fame. Her "cat and mouse" style blog post ending with "Your Move" reeks of a black-mail-ish air that trivializes victims of actual assault and their often times inability to speak up. Every time she screams her story with the subtle undertone of "Look at me! Look at me!" she's silencing someone else who now will also get the side-eye. Sexual assault isn't a joke. It isn't a game. It isn't a move on a chess board.

Dr. Jaclynn Moskow
I have no doubts that JM is a smart girl. She has managed to create enough buzz about her today that nearly every one in poker will now recognize her name. Its a shame she had to piggyback off someone else's notoriety to accomplish it. Especially in such a potentially damaging manner. Though I can't sympathize with her motive, I can understand it. Poker is a cut-throat industry. You must either possess a great deal of talent or extraordinary beauty to continue to be relevant. By all accounts JM is a mediocre player. And though she isn't classically beautiful, she's pretty by most standards. Playing $1/$3 in Tunica, MS she'd be the belle of the ball. On the set of a national TV show, however, she lacked either of the pre-requisites to be memorable. It may have taken her a year to realize it, but when she did, hell hath no fury.

It's a sad day when the exploitation of women is used, in kind, for exploitation. This is so atypical of the poker world, and thankfully so. JM ended her blog with "Your Move" in what is obviously a game to her, but aside from a few rage inspired anecdotal OpEds, I imagine this ship will sail unremarkably into the night. There are no other moves to make, JM. No one wants to play with you.






*On a side note, I would like to clarify that I would never ordinarily post specifically negative information about an individual. I live a very "judge not, lest ye be judged" existence. Live and let live. I feel this is a special circumstance when people I hold in high esteem are being cast, dishonestly, in the most unfavorable of lights. I will be happy to re-evaluate this blog post, or even dispose of it, in the event that this situation resolves itself or new information is brought to light. I'd much rather be writing about summer poker and Game of Thrones anyway. All photographs and information sources were collected from public domains.

 




13 comments:

  1. im wondering if the real reason u feel this way is due to ur shared anti-god beliefs of dalla, and maybe a similar feeling of hatred for jews?

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    1. Nope. Love the Christians, love the Jews, love the Atheist. If you're nice to me, I'm nice to you. I don't care what gender of person strikes your fancy, or what deity you build your shrine to. Thanks though, Tony. ;)

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  2. Great blog Jenn. As usual. And after reading HER blog post, and the NOLAN's blog post, as well as a few other people's takes on the situation...and taking into account my personal relationship with NOlan over the years, I fall where you do. I just can't seem to want to give this girl a stitch of credibility. It's like she sat down and tried to hatch some kind of ploy wherein she arranged each character on the table, and asked herself, "Okay...how can I do the MOST possible damage to each one of these guys!???" I just find it all way too ridiculous to even POSSIBLY be true. The Jew thing? The black guy thing? The camera man ass grab? Sorry...but being what I consider to be a pretty good judge of character? I am calling bullshit on this woman. And her story.

    And Tony Bigcharles? Just what in the hell is that comment you left all about? You off your meds or what????

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  3. I didn't even include the "black" thing because it happened at yet another "crime scene" and things were already getting sort of preposterous.

    I'm afraid this is going to get a lot worse before it gets better though and that my assessment of her going quietly into the night was inaccurate. Today, is supposedly, the unveiling of the big "proof" day, so we'll see what that is all about.

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  4. Great blog, JGay! I agree 100%. I have played with her a few times, but do not know her. What I do remember about her is her dbl up cashing out, and then trying to min buy back into the same game within 10-15 mins. I saw this at least 3 different times.

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  5. JM needs to get ahold of Dick Wolf and get into the whole "this story is not based on actual people or events..." thing for an episode of Law & Order SVU for next season? The claim of being "motorboated" might be a first in the realm of sexual assault allegations? You are being very kind suggesting she is pretty "by most standards".

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  6. This certainly is an interesting situation. Not knowing any of the main characters, I ask myself how an intelligent woman like Dr. Moskow could make these allegations in such a public fashion if they weren't true. The only logical answer to that would be that she is seriously disturbed.

    The Neanderthals on 2+2 are, of course, having a field day with this. And I certainly understand that those who like and respect Nolan Dalla would rally to his side. I hope we really will hear information that will help clarify things one way or another.

    Interestingly enough, I am a moderate Republican male who has twice in his professional life had women create fictional accounts of harassment in order to pay me back for their own pathological purposes. Yet, although there are interesting questions on the stories from both sides, I have this spidy sense that Dr. Moskow's story will prove to be the more accurate of the two.

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  7. Pokermonkey--its basically i felt JG was siding with dalla for the wrong motives, due to their shared beliefs on God and liberal views far outside most of the south. for example-her feelings and shunning of her husbands family due to their strict christian views like my moms family. shes talked of this before at length via facebook. i like the south. i did well in shreveport winning over $15k in poker for april and may and im sad the whole thing got lost in blackjack on the boat. great poker action here. and this weekend ill do well in coushatta and lake charles. nice people down south, good strong christian and conservative views, its why so many support trump. i waited til the primary ended to support him, but i do now. much softer and easier games than Vegas. i would love to visit the place Loris husband works in biloxi as floorman and assist her in distributing blankets to the vets. Lori is very active in the poker industry and shares my beliefs in lots of things, hope to meet her next month.

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    1. Wow, Tony...I lost track of the sidebars. At last count I was at like 5, maybe 6. Because of that, I feel challenged to even offer up a response of any kind. But I would like to add, that I love oysters on the half shell...but will NOT eat them during months that lack an 'r' so I am very excited for September to get here!!!!

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  8. Of course, the damage she suffered could be repaired if she were given opportunities to appear on air.

    Women who come out with accusations like this are generally telling (mostly) the truth. Having said that, she is certainly damaging her case with her demands.

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  9. Hey, Jennifer.

    I'm still torn on what to make of the "he said she said" facts. But your impression of her personality, based on what she chooses to put out into the world via her own web site and Twitter, exactly matches mine. It's weird and unprofessional, with a pervasive aroma of desperate attention-seeking. I know a whole lot of doctors, and I've never seen this kind of mismatch between the amount of bragging and the amount of accomplishment about which to brag, with respect to a medical career. Contrary to you, I don't reach that conclusion shaded by any personal support for Nolan Dalla. I've never met him, and have had only brief, superficial, forgettable interaction with him via social media.

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  10. Sorry I'm late to this, I didn't know you were blogging again, Jennifer.

    Did you see her podcast? She came across as quite believable to me. More importantly, she had text messages with the 888 poker guy where she spelled out exactly she said happened in her blog. The guy not only didn't deny any of her charges but apologized for things getting out of hand.

    That's important. She said right there in the text message that Dalla planted his face in her boobs. And the guy didn't respond, "What? What are you talking about? I never saw anything like that?" Nope, he apologized. And he was definitely a witness.

    I can only conclude that Dalla planted his face in her boobs.

    And...well, she has a website that makes herself look good? No kidding. That puts her in the same category of 10's of thousands of people. Ho hum.

    I know you know Dalla and find it unbelievable that he did this. And that's why, I assume, you are reacting this way. And of course, you make a very good character witness for him. But sorry, that doesn't mean it didn't happen.

    Truth is, we will probably never know for sure EXACTLY what happened, but I find your reaction to her charges more than a little disconcerting.

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  11. Out of curiosity, when Dalla finally admits what happened and apologizes, will you write an apology post? Will you write it to not just Jacclyn, not just women in poker, but to the entire female gender for the delegitimization of Jaccyln's claims and thus many claims to come?

    Also for someone who has made a living by playing poker, your logic blows. Her looks have no relevance in what events took place. Neither does the contents of her website, nor if you knew who she was before yesterday, nor how you personally feel about Nolan Dalla. This is freshmen level logic: the vigor with which you feel something to be true has no bearing on whether or not it is true. Great post Nancy Grace.

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