Friday, April 27, 2012

Someone Figured Out Two Plus Two

Two Plus Two has been down over 24 hours?!?Like most of you, I’ve noticed the popular Two Plus Two forums went offline yesterday afternoon, having fallen victim to a hacker who “has displayed the ability to access e-mail addresses and encrypted passwords” as well as “the ability to decrypt passwords” (to quote from 2+2’s statement on the matter).

The site was taken offline as a precaution, with 2+2 advising users that if they happened to use their password for the forums for other accounts, they should change them as the hacker potentially has that info. NoahSD published a helpful post on his blog yesterday afternoon discussing the situation and providing advice.

The forums have been down for over 24 hours now, which means just about everybody who frequents them has become aware. The situation reminds me of that little brouhaha that erupted just about a year ago -- in late March, just before Black Friday -- which inspired a lot of talk about 2+2’s true significance to the poker community.

2+2At issue was the revelation of still more questionable information regarding the insider cheating scandal (and subsequent cover-up) at UltimateBet. You might recall how during the first weeks of 2011, Joe Sebok -- at the time still a sponsored pro as well as UB Media and Operations Consultant -- was stirring things up a bit with interviews as well as some wars over Twitter. Coupled with some other new revelations about UB, the clamoring for answers was starting to become louder, with some wanting in particular to hear what UB’s COO Paul Leggett had to say about it all.

That’s when 2+2 “Grand Poobah” Mason Malmuth suggested in a thread that if Leggett were to come forward to address any questions, “He should answer them here,” since “2+2 is where the poker community is.”

That suggestion of 2+2’s centrality to the poker community -- or, perhaps even that 2+2 was “the poker community” -- got a lot of response, including many pointing out that the poker community includes a lot of people who have little or nothing to do with the forums, among other rejoinders.

I wrote a post here at the time in which I noted that in poker we really have multiple, overlapping communities (plural). I also got a little abstract and talked about how the whole idea of “community” in sometimes hard to imagine in poker given how the game necessarily pits us all against one other.

Phil Hellmuth riding a giant hot dog on waterI suppose the longer 2+2 stays offline, the more its significance within the poker community will be clarified to us. It isn’t hard to imagine us all congregating somewhere else to share news, spread rumors, discuss strategy, insult and troll, earn warnings and bans, and imagine different scenarios in which Phil Hellmuth would ride a giant hot dog on water.

Then again, since Black Friday a lot of us have been wandering around somewhat detached from “the” poker community for many months now. Could make it that harder to get back together....

I expect 2+2 will be back soon enough, though. Which is good, ’cause I don’t have time to keep making my own photoshops.

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