Poker has always been a hot topic of debate be it for its legacy or the controversies. Let us have a look at the most popular poker controversies.
- WSOP 2006, Main Event – With only 35 players remaining, the 2006 WSOP Main Event saw an immense debate over Prahlad Friedman’s words when he said that the well-known poker player Jeff Lisandro had intentionally “robbed” other player’s ante. Being hurt by his allegations, Lisandro felt annoyed & threatened him. Soon, Friedman was called up by the TD (Tournament Director) to have a word on the matter. However the visual replay of the game proved that Jeff was playing fairly and the ante actually belonged to him. Later, the two went to a flop, another, and then another. Though friedman showed some wise bluffing skills & kicked Lisandro out of the pot but his words were enough to heat up the atmosphere.
- May 2011, WPT – The $25,000 buy-in WPT Championship was the most prominent event of the WPT 2011 calendar but what made it the “most talked about” event was the presence of the German poker player Ali Tekintamgac, who won the WPT Spanish Championship. In September 2011, Ali made it to the final table of the Partouche Poker Tour, Main Event. When the final nine players joined at the November final table, Tekintamgac was announced as the disqualified player. He was blamed for being unfair & using fake bloggers and media personnel to assist him during the game play. They confirmed the issue with help of video footage evidence. Players showing up for Day 2 of the WPT Championship were stunned at this. Well, the buzz was really shocking for the whole poker community.
- WSOP 2008, Main Event – The Main Events of the World Series of Poker has always been popular for some sorts of controversial bytes. Day 6 of WSOP 2008 was no exception. Two prominent poker professionals – Brandon Cantu and Nicolai Losev were leading the game. With $3,295,000 at stake, the board read Jh-As-8c Ah 4c when Cantu checked the action. Losev grabbed his entire stack; picked out 30 of them and moved them towards the pot. Keeping his hand on the stack, Losev brought them back & bet out for $1,500,000. At this, Cantu called the floor man & claimed that Losev had committed his chips to the pot. However, the TD cleared that the bet is never considered official until a player has removed his/her hand from the chips. Hence, Losev’s second bet would stand.
- LAPT 6, Columbia – Team PokerStars Pro Leo Fernandez finds himself at an outer table after dinner, entrapped in controversy. He played a hand against a similarly-stacked player. On the river of a Q-4-2-2-4 board, the other player bet. Fernandez pondered his call. He moved up his chips forward from his stack, but the chips never passed his cards. According to the dealer, the chips moved right beside Fernandez’s cards – which is a legal “non-calling” trick. Fernandez’s opponent, however, believed that Fernandez had called and opened two 4s in his hand. Fernandez then folded. At this, floor supervisors were called to sort out the matter. Finally they announced that Fernandez’ fold would stand, but each player was given a warning to conduct themselves within the bounds of the rules.
- WSOP 2012, Main event – The WSOP 2012 – main event, saw both confusion and disagreement at the table. On Day 5, one of the tournament’s chip leaders – France’s Gaelle Baumann, opened the pre-flop betting with a min-raise to 60,000. The button folded and then Andras Koroknai of Hungary moved all-in (around 2 million chips). At this, Gavin Smith folded and the action was back to Baumann. As Smith folded, Koroknai mucked up his cards, thinking that the hand was over. But when he realized what he had done, he tried to retrieve his cards from the muck, but was caught. All players reported to the TD about the same. later, the TD announced that Koroknai would lose the 60,000 chips but can keep the rest of his stack. WSOP VP Jack Effel also confirmed the decision. Many people blamed that Koroknai was trying to cheat, while other said that it could be due to fatigue or language barrier etc. Whatever was the truth, but it was one of the most controversial buzz of the poker town.