Former poker pro Tony G might not have time to poke fun at people at the poker table like he used to, but that hasn’t stopped him from causing a scene in the political sphere.
Following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union (EU) on June 23, G has been using the media buzz to promote himself while trolling other politicians at the same time.
Being a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), G has close ties to the EU. So when he heard that fellow MEP Nigel Farage was stepping down as leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), he wanted to help out.
For those that don’t know, G and Farage already had some back-and-forth prior to the UK’s June 23 vote. After the latter bet £1,000 that UK voters would elect to leave the EU, G offered to up the ante to a million that they wouldn’t.
Fortunately for G, Farage didn’t accept the bet, but G isn’t giving up that easily. Just as he did during his poker career, the Lithuanian politician decided to needle Farage by stating that he wants to become the next UKIP leader.
Detailed in a mock press release on his website, G said he believes he has the necessary credentials to take over where Farage left off.
“I reviewed the leadership credentials and the Party Constitution and see no reason why a man of my standing cannot apply,” wrote G.
With his intentions clearly stated, G posed for pictures with various satirical messages and even managed a brief encounter with Farage and asked if he would back him (see video).
Although the ribbing could have been taken badly by some politicians, Farage was able to see the lighter side of the situation as G intended.
Of course, for those of us in the poker community, this sort of trolling from G is nothing new. At the poker table he was constantly finding ways to get under his opponent’s skin and nothing appears to have changed now he’s an MEP.
In fact, it’s G willingness to pull off stunts like this and break from convention that’s made him a hit with political commentators.
Indeed, back in June G was noted as one of the “40 MEPs Who Actually Matter” by Politio.eu thanks to his willingness to tackle sensitive issues with determination and personality.
“This Lithuanian MEP brings something often missing from Parliament: charisma. The closest thing the Parliament has to a Donald Trump,” wrote the article’s author, Ryan Heath.
While we suspect G will unsuccessful in his UKIP leadership bid, it’s certainly added a touch of levity to the current political situation in the UK and shown us that former poker pro hasn’t lost any of the confidence he had at the felt.