The 2012 World Series of Poker is now officially on its three-month break, with players and fans having to wait until the October Nine return to the Rio to play for the climax of the tournament series. But in the meantime there are still plenty of unfinished business an unanswered questions remaining from the nearly two-month long tournament series, and in this article I’ll take a look at some of the situations and decisions that caused minor to major uproars at the 2012 WSOP.
While some of these incidents are inevitable, and happen from time to time, some others seem completely avoidable, and are simply self-created problems by the WSOP officials.
1. The Retweet heard round the Poker World
Early on at the 2012 WSOP a new rule was met with some serious criticism (#7 on this list, which you’ll find in part 2) and after some complaints by poker pro Jonathan Aguiar via his Twitter account, WSOP Director of Communications Seth Palansky made the short-sighted decision to re-tweet a response from another player calling Aguiar a “bitch”. Of course, the tweets appearance on the official WSOP Twitter set off an even bigger firestorm, leading to Palansky being barred from the WSOP Twitter account, and many players were calling for his firing.
2. The $5,000 Joke
During a cash game at the Rio, a player found out the hard way that the occasional joke can often have some unintended consequences. According to the reports after a flop of three Broadway cards the player tossed his worthless hand (2/4) into the muck face-up and joked “All-In” after the fact. Well apparently the Floor-man didn’t get the joke as he came over and ruled that the player was “All-In” for about $5k! This is quite possibly one of the worst rulings in poker history.
3. Two Nut Flushes
Another bit of cash-game fail at the Rio occurred when two players turned over the Nut Flush at the end of a hand; one player had AQ of Spades while the other held the AK of Spades. And people have the nerve to say online poker is rigged!
4. Money stolen from Cash Game table
Our third Rio cash-game entry on this list happened when a player got up from a high-stakes game leaving his stack of $22,000 on the table. Apparently an onlooker decided to strike and came over to the table saying his friend asked him to get his chips. The dealer quickly called in security, but it was too late and the thief made off into the crowded hallways.
What makes this story controversial is that the Rio is claiming they are not responsible for players’ chips and cash left on the table, even though players are disallowed from removing their money from a poker game without losing their seat!
5. Reentry or Rebuy?
During Event #9 the first reentry tournament in WSOP history there was major kerfuffle as several players were allowed to not only reenter the event on Day 1b after busting Day 1a, but were allowed to rebuy into the tournament on Day 1b after being eliminated on Day 1b!
According to the WSOP only three players were able to rebuy on Day 1b, but reports have varied with up to 12 players unknowingly (maybe knowingly in some cases) taking advantage of the loophole, and in all honesty, even a single oversight of this magnitude is too many.
6. WSOPTD Twitter-Blocks players
Another criticism players have had throughout the WSOP was the quick blocking of people from WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel’s Twitter account. Several people have complained that any complaints leveled against the WSOP or the WSOPTD would result in being blocked from WSOP social media, even simple constructive criticism.
7. The short stint of the Verbalizing Actions Rule
A new rule, known as Rule 88, was enacted this year in an effort to liven-up the live streams and final table telecasts at the WSOP. The rule states that players at the final table must verbalize their actions (“Call”, “Bet 30,000”, etc.). But the rule was very short-lived, as players quickly complained –See Jonathan Aguiar and the Twitter fiasco from the first part of this series—and the WSOP decided to throw the rule into the muck.
8. The $50k Poker Players Championship Hand
One of the craziest hands in poker history occurred at this year’s WSOP in the $50k buy-in Poker Players Championship. The hand involved Abe Mosseri, Shaun Deeb, and Nikolai Yakovenko, and to a lesser extent Viktor “Isildur1” Blom.
Here is what went down during a hand of PLO:
Several players limped, including Viktor Blom and Abe Mosseri, before Nikolai Yakovenko bet the pot from the big blind. Both Viktor Blom and Abe Mosseri called the raise, but when the action got around to Shaun Deeb (who limped from the button) he re-potted it, putting all his chips in the middle. Yakovenko then announced All-In (which is very important as you’ll see) and from here everything went haywire.
Blom folded, but Mosseri tanked for over 15 minutes, announcing his hand (AAxx) and even letting people on the rail see his cards. But even more impactful was that Yakovenko could not be all-in, as it was pot-limit, and when he said so Mosseri stated, “It doesn’t matter”.
Mosseri eventually made the call, and after Deeb won the smaller Main Pot and Mosseri won the larger Side Pot, all hell broke loose again as Yakovenko said, “Wait a minute, he only said call.” The First ruling by the WSOP floor-man was that the Turn and River would have to be re-dealt, but this was eventually overruled, and it was decided that Yakovenko was indeed all-in.
In all the hand took over 30 minutes start to finish.