EPT Barcelona High Roller Event Descends Into Controversy
The 2018 PokerStars EPT Barcelona has just kicked off and the tournament is already making headlines. There was significant controversy surrounding a ruling that was made early on during the €10,300 High Roller and it got a lot of people fired up.
The High Roller event had reached level four when Louis Nyberg came out firing with a raise from under the gun which was called by Enrico Coppola.
Sitting in the button position, Kristen Bicknell upped the stakes with a three-bet. Nyberg decided to fold but Coppola called. Then the trouble started.
For some reason, the dealer dropped the deck and mixed in the mucked cards. The game was temporarily halted an assistance from the floor was requested. The dealer was instructed to shuffle the deck and await further instructions. When he got back to the table, it was ruled that the pot would be split between Bicknell and Coppola who were the only two players left in the hand.
The table didn’t agree with the decision and they asked for a second opinion on the matter. Minutes later, the floor returned to announce that the ruling to split the pot would stand. Bicknell and Coppola split it.
Reactions From The Poker World
Christopher Kruk quickly took to Twitter where he asked for thoughts on the ruling. Kenny Hallaert who is a respected player and the Unibet Open’s tournament director replied by saying that the TDA ruling would be to mix the cards and deal the flop. PokerStars, whose rules are almost the same as TDA, wouldn’t want the board to have mucked cards in it so the decision was somewhat understandable.
TDA ruling (PS has their own rules which are very similar to TDA) would be to mix all cards (trying to discard as much possible cards that would never have been on the board) and deal the flop. PS doesn't want to have mucked cards on the board so there's something to say for this
— Kenny Hallaert (@SpaceyFCB) 22 August 2018
While Ari Engel was mildly critical, Bill Perkins defended the decision stating that it eliminated the remotest possibility of collusion. Mike Dentale was also in favour of the floor’s ruling pointing out that they cannot tell “the muck and the stub” apart.
The Tournament Directors Association’s rules state that a hand cannot be declared a misdeal once there has been a “substantial” amount of action, According to the TDA rules, substantial action is defined as “any two actions in turn” that result in chips going into a pot or three actions in turn such as checks, raises, calls, or folds.
It’s pretty clear that, by TDA rules, there was substantial action and the hand should not have been declared a misdeal. It should be noted that the hand wasn’t a true misdeal because the hand resulted in the exchange of chips.