|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!
|Dr. Jaclynn Moskow
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.