Despite still being embroiled in the wake of an online poker cheating scandal, high-stakes pro Bryn Kenney is gearing up for the launch of his own brand new online poker site.
The 35-year-old Kenney, who is battling Justin Bonomo for the lead on the all-time money list, is an ambassador and investor of the upcoming real-money site 4poker.
The timing is not good for the New York native, who was accused this April by former horse Martin Zamani of a slew of transgressions, including multi-accounting, ghosting, and even the mistreatment of the players in his stable. Kenney attended the WSOP this summer, getting the cold shoulder or even hostility from his peers along with fellow accused players Ali Imsirovic and Jake Schindler.
Kenney admitted to some small infractions, but refuted most of the claims in an interview with PokerNews. However, his refusal to directly answer some tough questions, coupled with some damaging text messages provided by Zamani, has most in the poker community believing he is guilty and was worthy of the ban from GGPoker two years ago.
His ban has since been lifted, and he was recently spotted playing on the site in late July. Poker Integrity Council member Jason Koon explained that certain players would be invited back eventually after serving their time, depending on the severity of the violation.
4Poker Chief Operating Officer and former PokerStars exec Heath Cram is standing in Kenney’s corner, stating that Zamani’s claims were “a quite desperate outburst from a former disgruntled associate.”
“I’ll make my own judgement of people,” Cram told Poker.org. “I frankly haven’t spent time with someone with as much passion for poker and people since working for PokerStars founding owners.”
An online poker product designed by former PokerStars employees sounds promising, but trust becomes an immediate concern after hitching their wagon to Kenney’s star. Although a few pointed out that Kenney would be uniquely qualified to spot and perhaps prevent cheating at the new site, most of the reactions to the announcement were negative.
“Is it called 4poker because that’s the maximum amount of accounts a players is allowed to have?” Ondra Machalek asked on Twitter.
“It’s called 4poker because Bryn gets to seel all four of your cards while super using,” joked Veronica Brill.
“Why would anyone want to play on a site represented by a cheating piece of sh*t?” asked Sean Pitzer.
The 4poker site is expected to have a soft launch later this year, and will host a major tournament series sometime in early 2023.