In a stunning announcement to the poker world Mason Malmuth, the owner of the popular 2+2 Forum and its relative entities, informed the members that the popular forum outlet has been sold. No information was given as to the sale price, nor was there any information on just how much of the company – which encompassed publishing outlets and other departments – was sold to the new owners.
24 Years of Service to the Poker World
In a posting on the forum’s popular “News, Views and Gossip” subcategory, Malmuth told the members of the new ownership. “It’s hard to believe that it was 24 years ago when twoplustwo.com was launched,” Malmuth begins his post by writing, “and at that time when we started with just one forum, we thought it was only fifty-fifty we would get a post. But here we are, many years and over 60 million posts later, and it’s time for new, younger people to take over and make this site better than it has ever been.”
Malmuth saluted many of the people who have been with him from the start of the site in his post. “I want to give special thanks to those who helped with the launching of this site: David Sklansky, Chuck Weinstock, Mat Sklansky and Ray Zee,” Malmuth writes. “I also want to thank Mike Johnson and Adam Schwartz, who hosted our Two Plus Two PokerCast for many years; to Bryan ‘Dynasty’ Clark, who has been our magazine editor for the past fifteen years.” Malmuth also pays tribute to Steve McLoughlin (marketing), Bob Holmes (advertising), Kiera Goetz (computer programming), Mike Minkoff (“helped with so many things I couldn’t list them all”). Malmuth also thanks the moderators of the site, both past and present, who “worked tirelessly to make this site as good as it could possibly be,” and to Jessica Vecchione for “suggesting that we create this web site way back in 1997.”
As to a reason for the sale, Malmuth points to a simple fact – he and many of those who founded the site are getting old. “I’ll be 70 this fall…when the offer came in to sell the site to new, younger people who are on top of all the latest programming technology and who should have the ability to make the site better…we felt that the time was right and would be best for everyone.” The new owners were the creators of the Hand2Note HUD, but they have as of yet not posted anything on the site as to their intentions. There was also no announcement as to how much – or just what portions of the company – had been sold, other than the forum.
Long History of Impact on Poker World
It is difficult to think back to a time in poker that DIDN’T have 2+2, its publishing house or the forum in the mix. Back in 1997 when it started, the forum existed in a time when the internet was in its infancy. Online poker was but a gleam in many eyes at the time (Planet Poker, which many consider the first online poker site, was not live until 1998) and there was little if any outlet for people to discuss the game of poker and the “lifestyle” (rec.gambling.poker was around at that time, but it was an unmoderated format and quite unruly) of those involved.
As the poker world exploded, so did the popularity of 2+2 and its forum outlets. The reason “outlets” is used is that the forum became more than just a conversation spot about poker. It also drew in a decent sized crowd; according to statistics on the site today, there are over 500,000 members on the site, which have generated over 55 million posts that run the gamut from strategy commentary about poker to sports betting to a general marketplace where people can offer backing packages, among other poker “stuff.”
The company also contributed to the field of poker literature. Arguably the jewel of the 2+2 Publishing House was the trilogy of books from former World Champion Dan Harrington on tournament poker. The Harrington on Hold’em series is still a viable approach to tournament poker today, alongside Sklansky’s The Theory of Poker and a trio of essay books from Malmuth.
The site was sometimes victim to a light touch on moderation, causing issues and conflict between members of the poker world. But with those moments also came open discussion of many of the controversies that were a part of the poker world, including the (alleged) “Superuser” scandal that was (allegedly) perpetrated by Russ Hamilton, the “Black Friday” issues from 2011 and other historical occurrences in poker’s colorful history.
Malmuth states that he and the staff will be around for a bit to ensure that there will be a smooth transition, but that there will come a point when Malmuth states “we will just become posters.” Kudos to Malmuth and the 2+2 staff, who have provided for poker’s growth into the 21st century. Their efforts have been well appreciated and should be immortalized into poker’s history.