It sounds like a hoax, but it’s true.
Former poker bad boy Antanas “Tony G” Guoga has officially applied to follow up Nigel Farage as leader of the UK Independence Party.
Drawing heavily on his poker-playing roots, it’s his personal 3-bet against the right-wing party.
Will the UK really leave the EU? Nothing’s sure yet, but British politicians have gone into the tank and are now literally stalling the process.
Brexit Turns to Poker
No mercy for Nigel.
Brexit has become a poker game where everyone waits for the other guys to flinch first. But when it comes to poker, no politician matches Tony G.
The Lithuanian-Australian former poker pro and founder of TonyBet made his move into politics years ago and is now an official Member of the European Parliament (MEP), representing Lithuania.
He’s a determined pro-EU campaigner, and although he’s turned from poker pro Tony G. to “serious” politician Antanas Guoga, he still loves to needle his opponents G-style.
His favorite whipping boy these days is Farage, who just resigned as the leader of Britain’s right-wing party after leading the Brexit charge, therewith destroying the rest of his credibility.
Action on G.
Just days before the British referendum on leaving the EU Guoga offered Farage a €1m bet on the vote’s outcome.
If Guoga's previous needles to Farage were like a series of min-raises, this move was a massive river overbet to put Farage in a bad spot.
Farage couldn’t “fold” without admitting this campaign was nothing but a bluff and he couldn’t “call” either because of course he didn’t have anything to call with.
Not quite true.
So Farage did what many politicians do when they sense danger – nothing.
And now, after Boris Johnson stepped down from running for the office of British Prime Minister, Farage has left his position as head of the UKIP.
The two most prominent faces of the Leave campaign have disappeared and it’s dawning on their followers that maybe they cast their votes on false promises and the duo really doesn’t want to go to showdown.
With that, the action moved to Tony G. And he responded by applying to become the new leader of the UK Independence Party. For real.
A Strong Hand without Any Cards
Actually, to stick with this metaphor, the action didn’t *exactly* move to Tony G. It was more like he just walked into the room without knocking, sat down at the table without being asked to and tried to steal the pot on the river without even getting cards dealt.
Not afraid to lose.
Because he doesn’t need cards to outplay a loose-passive-aggressive player like Farage. These are some of the reasons Guoga listed in his official application:
- He says there’s nothing in the leadership credentials that he can’t match and thus his application should be taken seriously.
- What qualifies him to be the new UKIP leader, he says, includes “loss of income due to Romanians” (referring to a couple of big pots he lost to Daniel Negreanu), mocking right-wing xenophobia.
- Being half Australian, half Lithuanian, Guoga claims first-hand “knowledge of the immigration system," particularly the Australian points system the UKIP favored in the past.
- Guoga also points out that poker pros like to leave the table when they win a big hand, which apparently "equals UKIP leadership given the amount of Vote Leave members who have vanished."
The G. Moves In On Farage
As if that wasn’t enough, Guoga adds even more insult to injury.
He also promises to donate his salary to Britain’s National Health Care System (NHS), like he has done in his political past, although “it might not quite amount to the £350 million promised."
During the campaign Boris Johnson used a bus ad to claim Britain pays that amount of money per week to the EU – a blatant lie.
Once again Guoga has successfully exposed the cynicism of pseudo politicians like Nigel Farage who – and this deserves special mention here – is keeping his seat in the EU parliament. “To observe," he says.
Tony G. has moved his chips into the middle and he’s not afraid to lose. Around the table, the other players are now sitting and waiting, thinking “Call, UKIP. Please call.”