A number of people have sent me dutch boyd's blog entry about me and it looks like a good excuse to author a reciprocal entry.
In reality I'm not quite as down on dutch as some might think. I don't think he is irredeemable.
I consider him personally responsible for pokerspot's debts because by his own admission, he lied to customers about the status of their cashouts while trying to sort out his financial problems. Even if he hadn't done that, it's simply not right to use customer deposits as working capital in a gambling business. People with money on deposit are not investors. They may implicitly be risking that money, but they aren't reaping any of the rewards of investment and they should not be subject to the risks. It should never have happened.
But it happened anyway, OK. Then, as I read the accounts including his, he had opportunities to sell the pokerspot assets for a sum of money sufficient to pay off the depositors, but he passed on those opportunities because he didn't think the deal was good enough. And when all was said and done time had passed them by and the assets had no value. Now he had proceeded into gambling with other peoples' money -- betting on getting a better deal for himself -- and the wheel came up zero.
Then with that history under his belt, he tried (and perhaps is still trying) to start another new poker-related business. By itself that doesn't necessarily pull his standing any lower but it's such a huge error in judgment that it doesn't bode well for the quality of his other decisions.
Then there was an old livejournal entry (user havoj) of his that it appears he has since deleted. I commented on it on rgp but unfortunately didn't repost it, so I can't find the precise text that led me to say "frightening misogynistic objectification of half the human species". Suffice to say that it betrayed a very scary attitude about women.
All of that adds up to plenty of reason to dislike the guy without ever having met him. I have met him though, and he's probably right that we'd get along, at least superficially, if I were willing to associate with him. He has some positive qualities and we do have some similarities. However, to me the most essential quality in a human being is honesty. To me dishonesty is intolerable, unlivable, and when someone else doesn't feel the same way it makes them into undesirable company.
If dutch provided restitution for pokerspot I'd be willing to give him something of a fresh start, but as I told him, making up for pokerspot doesn't mean continuing to live as he lives and hoping to hit a big score someday. It means making visible, personal sacrifices while devoting every dollar he can spare to paying everyone back, with interest. Nothing can be done to alter some of the unfortunate tales from back when it happened, such as the guy who claimed to have lost his girlfriend and house over it, but he can worry about additional penance after he takes the unavoidable first step: paying the debt.
I know it's a lot of money but the point isn't whether he can pay it all off, the point is whether he is genuinely trying. Talking about wanting to do it is not trying. Sending some money every month, enough money that he misses it: that is trying.
Also, I suspect his image as conveyed by television is much lamer than he himself is, but perhaps I have an unusually large amount of sympathy for that one.