Contributed by: Falstaff
Updated: 2006/07/21 03:52
A British poker star and WPT final table veteran ejected from the Rio in a dispute over changing tournament formats at the last minute. A former Player of the Year blinded off in a tournament due to an unannounced format change and vowing not to play any more preliminary events unless Harrah’s makes the situation right with him. A well-respected tournament pro assessed a 10-minute penalty for destroying a card when his request for a new setup due to marked cards is declined. Over $100,000 in chips added to the tournament because the floor staff is unable to find a player’s chips.
If these all sound like errors and oversights that could be made in your local pub tournament, you’re right. If they sound like errors that are inexcusable on poker’s greatest stage, you’re also right. If it sounds like there are big problems going on at this year’s World Series of Poker, you’re right again.
Harry Demetriou was ejected from the Rio after loudly protesting the change of the $2,000 shootout to a six-handed format with no advance notice to players.
Daniel Negreanu decided to sleep in through the first level of the same tournament after playing Omaha until 3 AM, arriving to find his table closed and all of his chips blinded off due to the short-handed structure.
Andy Bloch crushed a card to prevent marked cards from coming into play in the largest buy-in event ever at the WSOP, the $50,000 HORSE event, and was assessed a 10-minute penalty for his actions.
Gavin Smith and Negreanu both suffered the effects of having $107,000 in chips added to their table of the $2,500 Short-Handed Tournament when the floor staff couldn’t locate a player’s chips prior to the start of the event (the chips were eventually located at an incorrect seat at the same table).
In an event of such epic proportions that entries to several events have already been capped, with the massive amounts of money being poured into the event from tournament entry fees and corporate sponsorships, these mistakes are inexcusable. The juice from one entry fee to the HORSE event would have bought new decks for every table, leaving plenty of overhead to pay dealers (who are also finding alarming discrepancies in their paychecks) and leave profit for the corporate entities behind the tournament.
In a last-minute snafu, the July 17th, $1500 Pot Limit Omaha freeze out was changed overnight to a $1500 PLO rebuy tournament, forcing many Omaha players who were looking forward to playing this lower buy-in event to withdraw due to the inherent increased cost of a rebuy tournament. In a stunning move, event organizers yielded to protests from players and not only restored the PLO tournament to its freeze out status, but then added a $1500 PLO rebuy tourney for the same afternoon. With less than 24 hours notice, a new bracelet event was added to the World Series of Poker. That level of organization barely befits a free pub tourney, much less the largest gem in the tournament poker circuit.
Hopefully, Jesse Jones and his World Poker Association will be able to gain some forward momentum toward their goal of standardizing tournaments and looking out for players’ rights in these events where we not only put up our own money for the prize pool, but also put up the money for event organizers to run the tournament. You would think that the people who are paying the bills would be treated as such, but that’s obviously not the case this year at the Rio.
Seven of the world’s top poker players huddled with their lawyers Wednesday morning at the Rio for a teleconference announcing their class action suit against WPT Enterprises, Inc, the operator of the World Poker Tour. Plaintiffs Chris Ferguson, Andrew Bloch, Annie Duke, Phil Gordon, Joseph Hachem, Howard Lederer, and Greg Raymer are a collection of tournament champions, including three WSOP Main Event winners in Ferguson, Hachem, and Raymer.The lawsuit is an antitrust complaint, alleging that WPT Enterprises conspire with the casinos used in their broadcasts to prevent competition by agreeing not to televise any other tournaments held at participating casinos except the World Poker Tour tournaments
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The $2k Pot Limit Holdem was in the minority of this year’s World Series. As a two-day event, the winner would not have to wait long to resize the bracelet for his wrist. Fifty-four players cashed by the end of Day 1, including Men “The Master” Nguyen and Daniel Alaei
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