Believe it or not, poker is one of the most gossipy sports around. There are always crowds of poker fans discussing the latest news and gossip in the poker world. As is the case with any form of celebrities, poker fans like to gossip about which players may or may not be gay. For the sake of this article, gay is referencing males (or females) who are physically attracted to others of the same sex. Now that we have that clear, we can now discuss why some players have been rumored to be gay.
Guys like Tom Dwan are easy targets for the “gay train,” if you will. Sometimes his voice sounds kind of, well, gay, but this does not mean he is actually gay. Plus, Dwan is one of the most successful players in the world, so this just gives people more ways to hate him. Other players have their own unique tendencies that give onlookers reason to label them gay, but as far as I know, these assumptions have been way off base. But then again, a lot of celebrities didn’t announce anything until they were past their prime, so we might never really know the truth.
#1 – Daniel Negreanu
Daniel Negreanu is now one of the top faces in the poker world. As PokerStars‘ primary representative, his name is plastered all over every advertisement and commercial that the site runs. With this undying promotion comes growth in popularity. More people are familiar with Daniel Negreanu now than ever before. In fact, he would compete as one of the most well known all around poker players. If you go into a casino, there is a much better shot of hearing players discussing Negreanu than someone like Phil Galfond. That is just the way it is. With that said, he has never really come off as the typical macho man male. Many players don’t, though, so what is the reason that Negreanu has gained this unflattering reputation?
I guess spotting an actual gay person is a situation where it “takes one to know one.” Keeping that in mind, I am not actually gay, so don’t take my word for it with Negreanu or any other players on this list. Actually, I don’t really agree that any of these players are particularly gay, but hey, the title is “rumored,” and this is based on popular opinion. Negreanu has had gay rumors circulating since he first gained some notoriety. From his earrings, to how he dresses (on occasion), to how he speaks, he was an easy victim for the people who wanted to bring him down. Fear not, though, as Negreanu has had a storied dating past, and always seems to be with one girl or another. For now, Negreanu is a confirmed straight male.
#2 – Dario Minieri
Dario Minieri probably had more gay traits than he did straight traits, and that is something that is tough to say even for some openly gay males. When he first came on the scene, he looked like he was straight out of Harry Potter. From the scarf to the “unique” tone of voice, Minieri just screamed gay with everything that he did.
Since his initial TV appearances, however, Minieri has strayed away from the all out gay look. He actually looks like a pretty standard male at this point, which is quite an accomplishment considering what he looked like just a few years ago. Many jokes have been made about Minieri, in regards to everything from his looks to how he acts, but no one has verified that Minieri is actually gay. The day may come, however, so don’t be surprised if it happens.
#3 – Tom Dwan
Tom Dwan is the absolute icon amongst the online poker generation. He has crushed every limit imaginable when it comes to No Limit Texas Hold’em cash games, and his success has carried over to the live medium. As an online player, he did not gain a whole lot of physical recognition. That is to say, many people knew who Durrrr was, but few would have known Tom Dwan if he dropped in front of them.
After a few years of online play, though, Dwan would make his first appearances in televised events, in both tournaments and cash games. His cash game dominance has landed him squarely in the spotlight on numerous occasions, and his recognition has exploded. With that came a lot of people who instantly identified him as gay. He has been known to have a girlfriend in the past; so the gay rumors seem to be nothing more than gossip, at this point, anyway.
#4 – Vanessa Selbst
Vanessa Selbst is a known gay poker player, so the fact is that she is not only the most likely to be gay player on this list, but also the only confirmed gay player on this list. She couldn’t really be number one here, though, as she is not nearly as famous as the other players listed. Amongst the online poker crowd, Selbst is quite well known, but this is about the extent to which her celebrity reaches.
Perhaps if the lesbian crowd starts taking up poker there will be a massive spurt in popularity for Selbst. Barring this unlikely occurrence, however, Selbst’s fame is quite small. This is subject to change, however, as she is definitely the best gay player out there.
#5 – Allen Cunningham
Allen Cunningham is not gay, and it is a wonder that some people were even able to pin him with this title. Nonetheless, he squeezed his way into the top five, for better or worse. I suppose he does have some gay tendencies that would give some players a reason to suspect that he might actually be gay.
To most, though, Cunningham is quite straight, and this seems to be the more accurate assessment. Cunningham made this list mainly because the other contenders did not have as much gossip, so hey, at least he knows that he is more popular.
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Written by Jonathan Wanchalk on October 6th, 2010