Joe Ingram and Bryn Kenney Cliff Notes- Cheating Interview

Joe Ingram and Bryn Kenney Cliff Notes- Cheating Interview

Scandals & Crime

The Bryn Kenney ghosting saga was back in the spotlight on Tuesday and this time, it was Joe Ingram grilling the high-stakes pro.

Joe Ingram and Bryn Kenney spoke for over two hours about the latest poker cheating scandal, but did we learn anything new? (Image: YouTube/joeingram1)

Ingram teased the interview last week and, after collecting information from members of the community, he linked up with Kenney over Zoom.

Ingram has been hot on poker cheating scandals over the last two years, including the Mike Postle situation. His latest attempt to tease new information out of Kenney took two hours.

What did the conversation reveal? According to some people on Twitter, not a lot. Ingram asked his followers what they thought about the interview, his questions, and the answers Kenney gave.

Twitter reacts to Ingram’s interview with Kenney

The main criticisms focused on the ways the questions were asked and, in turn, how Kenney was allowed to speak for minutes at length. Some people said Kenney’s rambling soliloquies allowed him to gloss over certain points and say the things he wanted to say.

U were to easy on him. He sat there and lied. He even had the opportunity to confront his accuser and turned it down. U need to have them on together and hash this shit out.
When can we talk about matt/mateo/mj Gonzalez? I got a story to tell

— 180° (@ryangm) September 7, 2022

Previous interviews and comments regarding the accusations leveled at Kenney have stirred up an air of distrust among people in the poker community. As long-time pro Eric Haber pointed out in the comments, a lot of people “want blood.”

U were to easy on him. He sat there and lied. He even had the opportunity to confront his accuser and turned it down. U need to have them on together and hash this shit out.
When can we talk about matt/mateo/mj Gonzalez? I got a story to tell

— 180° (@ryangm) September 7, 2022

That may be true. Some people believe Martin Zamani’s allegations that Kenney stakes a large stable of players who regularly engaged in soft play, account sharing, and ghosting. Others are more willing to accept Kenney’s version of the story. Others want more evidence.

Obtaining definitive proof isn’t easy in situations like this but, as Ingram pointed out in his interview, GGPoker could hold some important information. The accusations are that collusion primarily took place on GGPoker, particularly back in 2018 when Kenney was acting as an advisor and agent for the site.

Well known player cheats. Cheater gets called out by scummy person he associated with. Cheater gets interviewed by a friend who treats him with kid gloves. Time passes. Cheater is starting a venture that requires trust. Cheater goes on Joey’s podcast to try to gain trust.

— SSN Poker (@SSNPoker) September 6, 2022

If that’s the case, Ingram questioned why someone from GGPoker hasn’t addressed the allegations. Kenney agreed but also said that account activity was reviewed in the past by GGPoker’s Integrity Council and no one was banned.

Kenney interview summary

What else did we learn from the interview? Here are cliff notes for some of the most important talking points:

1 – Kenney helped shape GGPoker

Kenney helped GGPoker during its early days. He advised the executives on the types of games they should offer in order to create a lasting ecosystem of players. He advised them against becoming a mobile-only poker app, and he helped build high-stakes games by recruiting players.

In essence, Kenney was an agent for the poker site. He would get players to sit down in the games and play. Part of the incentive for players to try a new poker site was Kenney’s offer to reimburse their bankroll if anything illicit happened, such as their money being stolen.

I was “vouching” that if players had money in their GGPoker account,  it was “guaranteed 100%” by me, Kenney said.

2 – Seeking enlightenment in life

Kenney is all about developing as a human being and isn’t afraid to explore alternative ideas and techniques. He’s used a shaman to see if it could help him become a better person and he offered the same opportunity to some of the players he staked.

Kenney also offered his players the chance to grow as people. He would provide free accommodation and food at tournaments so they could play their best poker.

3 – Collusion and soft play weren’t encouraged

The most significant part of the interview started at the 41-minute mark when Ingram pressed Kenney on what happened while he was working as an agent for GGPoker. Ingram wanted to know how Kenney’s position as a recruiter and as someone staking players in the game affected the table dynamics.

“There was no instance where I was telling people to soft play or collude with anyone else at any point,” Kenney answered. “Did I ask people to start this satellite or start this game that I was staking to get the games running? Absolutely,” he continued.

3 – No proof of cheating

Bringing his answer to a close, Kenney said that there “would have been messages” showing that he asked people to soft play, collude, or cheat.

4 – Kenney on his integrity

Kenney added to his denial of any wrongdoing by telling Ingram how he’s handled business in the past. “There were so many people that I staked. The whole reason I survived is that I did honest business, clean business with everyone I dealt with,” Kenney said.

“I kept my integrity when I was negative millions in the hole. Now, I’m in a spot where I won the Triton tournament and the best point in my career, to say now I’m going to do these things that I would never do at any point in my career doesn’t make any sense,” Kenney explained.

5 – I had no control

At one point in the interview, Ingram picked up on Kenney’s comment that some of his players had ghosted each other in the past, but that it was only on a few occasions. Ingram asked whether Kenney believed that cheating among his stable of players wasn’t his responsibility.

Kenney said that it’s not a case of him refusing to take responsibility, it’s that he could only do so much without having access to the data GGPoker’s game integrity team has. He said he would “love to police the games” and have as “little wrong going on as possible” but that’s not his role in the industry

Kenney doubled down on his point about policing games by saying that he always alerted GGPoker executives when he saw a “fishy hand” between two players or he was given information by others. He never had the “privilege” to be part of the internal investigations, he added.

6 – Out of context texts

People have asked for evidence of cheating among Kenney’s stable of players ever since Zamani made the accusations. The poker pro published a screenshot of text messages (see tweet below) he claims show evidence of ghosting and multi-accounting. The images allegedly show Kenney discussing staking options and how players can use other people’s accounts.

Here is stars cheating as well as a “owner” of a site who has credit giving funds to all the players, being able to sustain this by making fields massive and having a huge chunk of everyone’s rake. I know some of screenshots are weird @PokerNews has already verified this chat pic.twitter.com/ZDwKryM1VE

— Martin Zamani (@martin_zamani) September 6, 2022

Ingram asked Kenney about the messages and he said they were from a time when players could have accounts with all the sites connected to the GG Network (skins). Kenney said references to names and player accounts referred to people moving from one GG skin to another.

“No one was helping anyone at any point in their tournament,” Kenney said.

The high-stakes pro did say he has “helped people before” and that horses of his have “helped other people.” He didn’t elaborate on this, and Ingram didn’t press him.

Kenney did clarify that better players didn’t take over the accounts of worse players late in tournaments. He also said he’d refused to help people who made final tables, including players he’d staked in the Millionaire Maker.

Discussions will continue

The discussion may or may not have revealed any new information, and it may or may not have changed people’s minds who’d already cast judgment on Kenney. What it did do, however, was keep the saga alive and keep the pressure on anyone who may be cheating or who may be thinking about doing so.

Written by

Daniel Smyth

Dan Smyth is a poker media journeyman who politely reminds CardsChat readers that poker is played all around the world, not just America.

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