Antanas Guoga, affectionately known in the poker world as “Tony G,” was recently added to the list of European Parliament members banned from entering Russia.
According to Politico Europe, Guoga said the potential reason for this ban was his support of Lithuanian energy independence and interests during a hearing in the European Parliament in which he faced off with a Russian diplomat.
Guoga responded to the blacklist on Facebook. He said his crime, according to poker fans, is that he defeated Ralph Perry, the Russian representative, who he “sent back to Russia” after he played poorly.
After continuing to tell Russian players to get on their bikes, Tony G said on Facebook that he believes they’ve had enough.
“The truth is that I always respected and continue respecting Russian poker players and common Russian people,” Guoga said, also stating that one of his best friends is Russian.
He further defended himself.
“After winning the Russian Poker Championship in Moscow in 2007, I donated all my prize money of $250k to a Russian special needs orphanage - I personally supervised the renovations the money was used for.”
Even so, Guoga said there’s another reason he’s been blacklisted and he’s willing to pay the price for it.
Putin's blacklist is getting longer. Another @EPPGroup MEP banned from entering Russia. #Lithuania's @TonyGuoga https://t.co/TksMN2hIMs— EPP Group (@EPPGroup)
“The more obvious reason for being blacklisted is speaking up for freedom and democracy,” he said.
Guoga congratulated partypoker for the great numbers coming into the partypoker Million Sochi event and said that it was a shame he couldn’t participate.
“I would have won and given all the money to a local orphanage because sometimes the oligarchs forget that sharing is caring!” he said.