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Dewey Tomko vs. James Thackston - Who's lying?

2014-05-08 20:38 by Olsdog

One big story that's been given a new angle is that of Dewey Tomko writing a Press of Atlantic City article that paints New Jersey online poker in a bad light. The open editorial has since been removed from the Press of AC's website, but making this short and sweet, it questions how vulnerable NJ internet poker is to cheating. The end reveals that co-authors Bill Byers and Tomko are miffed because the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement wouldn't let them test their online poker security.

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This op-ed prompted TwoPlusTwo users to mercilessly bash Tomko, even accusing him of being in cahoots with Sheldon Adelson. Luckily for the three-time WSOP champ's sake, respected journalist Nolan Dalla decided to look further into the matter. What Dalla discovered includes the following:

Dalla: On the editorial which appeared in The Press of Atlantic City newspaper:

Tomko: I have no idea what you’re talking about. You know me. I don’t write columns to newspapers. I’ve got other things that keep me plenty busy.

On knowing Bill Byers, who allegedly co-authored the editorial with Tomko, which appeared in The Press of Atlantic City newspaper:

Sure, I know Bill Byers. But I haven’t talked to him in ten years.

On being asked permission to have his name attached to the editorial:

No. That didn’t happen. No one every asked me about it. This is the first I’ve ever heard about it.

On his actual position with regards to online poker and safety issues – as well as legalization and regulation.

I’m totally in favor of online poker. I haven’t played it. But I know it’s good for poker. I can’t really comment at all about security because I’m not qualified in that area. How could I be? How can they say that about me? I would never write such a thing about online poker. I would never do anything to hurt the game. You know that.

In addition to all of this, Dalla also makes a few good points after his phone conversation with Tomko:

(1) Nothing written by either Bill Byers or Jim Thackston is credible. Everything they have stated with regards to online poker is now suspect. Both either knowingly or recklessly used Dewey Tomko’s name to establish credibility for themselves and their arguments.

(2) The Press of Atlantic City owes Dewey Tomko an immediate apology and a retraction of the original article.

(6) Someone is lying. Someone is making things up. Someone needs to be exposed a soon as possible and all those who have used any evidence or testimony from the such an individual should be dismissed immediately as sources who are not credible.

Based on Dalla's excellent journalism work, it would appear that Tomko is completely innocent in this matter and Thackston and Byers are the real ones to blame. But hold on...OnlinePokerReport also did some good investigative work on this story too.

Thackston, who owns the online poker-testing company in question, spoke to OnlinePokerReport about Tomko's claims of innocence and has a different version of the story. Here's what Thackston revealed in a couple of different conversations:

Conversation 1
I sat down with Dewey at his office to discuss the op-ed.

He pointed out the changes that should be made and, with the condition that edits were made he agreed to author the piece.

He didn’t want to be the one to pitch it to newspapers so I asked him if he was willing to share the byline with Bill Byers and have him submit it.
He agreed.

Conversation 2
Dewey Tomko is a longtime investor in Concierge Holdings, Inc., a company we formed in the mid-2000’s to address the ipoker security problems, the same problems recently confirmed by McAfee.

Others from the poker industry are also investors. I am seeing stories saying I impersonated Dewey Tomko.

This is false. The facts are as sent you last night (I have included the body of that email below).

I spoke to Dewey several times over the past few days including today and he said he doesn’t know what his lawyer sent to the paper.
I hope the truth is told on this.

Thank You and Regards,
Jim Thackston

Okay, so in the end, Tomko still doesn't come out looking to be as terrible of a guy as he originally did when the article was released. But according to Thackston's claims, he may have at least known of the article and possibly contributed something, contrary to what he told Dalla.

Taking the different angles of this story into account, we'll likely be hearing more and more about Tomko and Thackston in the coming weeks.


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