Chop-Skandal bei der WPT Fallsview Poker Classic?


Beim C$5.000 WPT Main Event der Fallsview Poker Classic hat sich Mike Leah im Heads-Up gegen Ryan Yu durchgesetzt und seinen ersten WPT-Sieg verbucht. Ob der Sieg verdient war, darf allerdings bezweifelt werden.

Bei der World Poker Tour sind Deals und Chops nicht erlaubt. Dass die Poker-Pros hinter vorgehaltener Hand ab und an dennoch Preisgeldabsprachen treffen, ist ein offenes Geheimnis.

Dennoch ist die Poker-Community über den dreisten Chip Dump zwischen Ryan Yu und Mike Leah am Final Table der WPT Fallsview Poker Classic erstaunt. Ryan Yu ging mit einem Vorsprung von 10,8 Millionen zu 4,7 Millionen in das Heads-Up.

Beide Spieler verlangten eine kurze Pause. Direkt in der ersten Hand eröffnete Yu auf 4 Millionen (Blinds: 60.000/120.000; 2.000), foldete jedoch als Leah all-in ging. In der darauffolgenden Hand limpte Leah, Yu erhöhte auf 5 Millionen und foldete erneut, als Leah all-in ging.

In der dritten Hand spielte Yu mit 1,7 Millionen an, legte jedoch erneut weg, als Leah all-in ging. „Wenn du geschlagen bist, bist du geschlagen“ kommentierte Yu und hatte in nur drei Händen seinen Stack auf weniger als einen Small Blind heruntergespielt.

Es dauerte weitere fünf Hände, bis Ryan Yu ein Preflop Race verlor und Mike Leah den Sieg ‚errungen‘ hatte. Offiziell kassierte Leah C$451.821 (inklusive $15K ToC Seat) seinen ersten WPT-Titel und Ryan Yu C$301.217.

Nachtrag – Leahs offizielle Stellungnahme: „Well it’s been an interesting day to say the least; can’t say I’ve ever experienced anything like this before. I have no issue whatsoever with people debating POY, TOC, deal making ethics, WPT rules and whatever else they so choose. The one thing that stings me is the words “buy a trophy/title” or something to that effect. I have never or will ever “pay” for a win but I’ll get into more detail about that later.
Not sure why I feel the need to defend myself but I feel my integrity is being attacked which doesn’t feel very good.

I’m extremely sleep deprived and its been about 10 years since I’ve had to form paragraphs so excuse my ramblings and grammatical errors…..

I’m going to focus mainly on my Heads-Up deal at Fallsview WPT Main Event as that’s what has obviously brought these issues into attack errr discussion.
I will post a follow up going back on my previous wins, chops, non-chops as not only does it seem many are curious; I too would like to review to see how I’ve made out over the years.

A quick background: My 1st 6 or 7 years playing poker I was in & out of some sort of backing deal so my deal making decisions weren’t always 100% my own. I’ve been playing exclusively on my own for about 3.5 years with no backing whatsoever since my million dollar score in 2014 (Which I had sold off a good portion of my action). I did not chop HU with Dan Coleman even though we were playing for about 400k – He hinted he would want more than ICM and my pride wasn’t ok with that; so we played for it all (He won).

I almost never sell action with the odd exception like the 50k PPC @WSOP; and just about never swap any %’s. I like to play for as much as possible; I enjoy the competition & like all the pressure being on myself. With that said; how do I feel about chopping – I don’t like it…..Being deep in a tournament; making the FT, playing short handed with huge money on the line; playing HU for a title there is no feeling I can compare to it – nothing I love more.

I’ve turned down more chops than most people; that I am sure – So why did I decide to chop this tournament and how did we go about it????

I wanted to win this tournament more than any other I can remember – I was messaging a friend early day 2 when I had 20 bb’s making plans for them to come back and watch the Final Table – I told them I was going to make it & win – This is not a normal occurrence for me – From 3 tables, to 2 tables, to the Final table I was focused on nothing else…..the word Chop or Deal was never brought up by myself or anyone else – And the way the chip distribution was; often myself with one of the bigger stacks and various short stacks I wouldn’t have even considered a deal as ICM gives more value to shorter stacks then I would ever want to give them in a deal.
After many up and downs I found myself HU with Ryan (We’re Facebook friends, friendly with each other, have a lot of friends in common, both big Toronto sports fans and we’ve ended up playing against each other quite a bit over the last couple years). I respect his game and genuinely like him but don’t know him very well personally. As soon as we were Heads-Up he mentioned something about talking deal(Can’t remember his exact words) I hadn’t considered making a deal until that exact moment; I believe my words were something like: “Well I wouldn’t consider any deal unless I got the win, trophy, etc….” I didn’t know how Ryan would respond and honestly didn’t care I would’ve been happy to play for it – HU for a WPT title; not much more exciting then that. But very quickly he responded that he’d be fine with that if we did even ICM.

Ummm ok so we’re going to do an even ICM deal – Sure I may be giving up some edge but its not like I play HU poker every day, week or even month….Wow I actually get to be responsible and not just “flip” for 150k and I get a WPT title, a spot in the Champions Club, entry into the TOC and my 4th Fallsview title in 5 years…..
How could I not agree to this?? Ryan and I went off the stage to discuss; they did not pause the clock but we didn’t mind as it seemed very likely we would come to an easy agreement of terms. We worked out all the exact details and breakdown – We added the 15k seat to 1st for the ICM breakdown; worked out how much I would have to give him (As I would have to sign for, get paid for 1st and then give him the difference. We even agreed how much we were going to tip to the dealers/staff.

We triple checked stacks, payouts and everything; they said we were going to have to play it out; Ryan & I figured the easiest/quickest way to get it over was just for him to raise fold large portions of his stack. We did this in an extremely obvious way, making a lot of jokes and having fun. We were both extremely happy with the outcome – Now looking back I see how it’s embarrassing/disappointing for the WPT, Reporting staff and even poker players/fans having ridiculous hand histories like that being posted on the website live updates and deciding the tournament that way. There has to be a better way to go about it. We were not trying to disrespect any parties involved but we were celebrating ours “wins” – and made a decision in our own best interests. We’ve both earned almost a million dollars at Fallsview over the last few years – incredible really….

One comment I read a few times is “they shouldn’t have made it so obvious”. In my mind that would be 1000% times worse; if we “schemed up a way for him to dump chips to me without anyone knowing”. That would feel like cheating/collusion and would be embarrassing for Ryan (Having to have to lose HU). The way we did it; we were both winners and we were being as forthcoming as we could.

There have been countless suggestions on how this can be improved in the future and I’m quite confident that from this there will be more discussion amongst the tours and hopefully improvement in the entire system.
I do agree that every “major” title should be played for and if that was the case then we would’ve played – People suggesting why didn’t we chop and leave something to play for or chop and play for the trophy/TOC – Those would not have been my terms – chop fairly and give me the win or we play. The fact that my opponent chooses to give me the win to lock up their equity is their choice. My reputation, my play at the table, my intimidation, my likability….whatever else that goes into their decision to give me more money or to give me the trophy that’s something that I have “earned” over time. Ryan also had his own motivations; some of which he has shared on twitter : @ineedsheet
I won’t speak for him but he seemed more then content & knowledgeable regarding the TOC and that he had put some thought into making a deal.

WPT POY: What should be done in deals: splits points amongst the chopping players whether even or by ICM. Sure this makes sense but WPT doesn’t facilitate deals so they can’t chop POY points either. Should I get somewhere between 1st & 2nd POY points yes but what about all the other deals that have happened already this year; past years and will continue to happen going forward. Penalize me because we didn’t try as hard to hide it? Either way it Ryan & I receive the same total amount of points and its not like either of us are in the running for POY. I have one previous small cash this season, maybe he even had more I’m not really sure but other than a contending player trying to “buy” points late in the season this is prob the least important part of the debate.

TOC: Again like the points, one of us was going to win a TOC entry for this year and the buy-in option for future years. It’s not like we found a way to sneak an extra player in or something……He opted for the cash now while I get the shot to try and win more or lose the 15k value in the TOC. Did I “earn” my way into the club, is the TOC diminished because we made a deal with 2 players left that decided who gets in…..I think this has been overblown – Sure in a perfect world we want every player in the TOC to win an event outright but that’s not a reality. Who knows how many “winners” this season and past seasons have made a deal to decide who “wins”. More than me that is 100% for sure.

It’s not like I’m a billionaire who bought his way into an exclusive club….I had to fight my way through a field of 517 players to the final 2 and earned enough respect from my opponent for them to make a deal that gives me the win and everything that goes with it WITHOUT me giving any extra money….Now I would feel somewhat differently if someone was to actually “buy” the win – If I had offered an extra 2k, 10k, 50k, 100k – where the line is I’m not so sure… Is it negotiating, it is “buying”. But that scenario does not and will never involve me – too much pride.

All of my online titles: 4 Ftops, 2 Wcoops, 2 Scoops, 1 Tcoop, 1 Uboc (lol)
All 5 of my wsop circuit rings,
My Wsop bracelet,
All won without a deal,
Some other wins were chopped,
Some of my “losses” were also chopped over the years,

If you want to pretend my results over the years are tarnished because I made a deal HU ok ; you’re free to your opinion….You have to get there before you can even consider making a deal and I get there more than you.

I’ve had numerous requests to do a podcast or interview to discuss the situation so will likely follow up with that in the coming days if anyone still cares; Happy Valentines Day


2018 WPT Fallsview Poker Classic

Buy-In: C$4.700 + C$300
Entries: 517
Preisgeld: C$2.337.803

Die Payouts:

Platz Spieler Preisgeld
1 Mike Leah Canada C$451.821
2 Ryan Yu Canada C$301.217
3 Timothy Rutherford Canada C$222.315
4 Carlos Chadha Villamarin United States C$165.847
5 Daniel Wagner United States C$125.069
6 Joe Ferrier Canada C$95.355
7 David Eldridge United States C$73.509
8 Said Michailidis Canada C$57.306
9 Peter Muraca Canada C$45.183
10 Gregory Below Canada C$45.183
11 Dan Coupal Canada C$36.034
12 Jarret Flood Canada C$36.034
13 Brett Feder United States C$29.072
14 Maxime Heroux Canada C$29.072
15 Erik Lemarquand Canada C$23.732
16 Anthony Dalpra Canada C$23.732
17 Igor Tregoubov Canada C$19.604
18 Griffin Benger Canada C$19.604
19 Jeffery Hobrecker United States C$19.604
20 Arunullah Jamasi Canada C$19.604
21 Omid Shahbazian Canada C$16.389
22 Behnam Esfahanizadeh Canada C$16.389
23 Joshua Platz Canada C$16.389
24 Yuri Siniak Canada C$16.389
25 Shane Matyias Canada C$13.869
26 Annand Ramdin United States C$13.869
27 Matthew Shafman United States C$13.869
28 Vincenzo Isoldi Canada C$13.869
29 George Lagos Canada C$13.869
30 Emanuele Carpignano Canada C$13.869
31 Thomas Smolinski United States C$13.869
32 Christopher Bell United States C$13.869
33 Spiro Mikragianakis United States C$11.881
34 William Blais Canada C$11.881
35 Vince Sessa Canada C$11.881
36 Dominic Staniscia Canada C$11.881
37 Fredrick Mowatt Canada C$11.881
38 Zuhair Pachachi United States C$11.881
39 Tamer Alkamli Canada C$11.881
40 Mike MacAdam Canada C$11.881
41 Tam Ho Canada C$10.306
42 Frank Stepuchin United States C$10.306
43 Cassidy Battikha Canada C$10.306
44 Andy Huynh Canada C$10.306
45 Matthew Nichol United States C$10.306
46 Alex Molnar Canada C$10.306
47 Pascal Lefrancois Canada C$10.306
48 Dylan Wilkerson United States C$10.306
49 Blake Napierala United States C$9.052
50 Mohamed Mobeen Canada C$9.052
51 Tony Wong Canada C$9.052
52 Joseph Monaco Canada C$9.052
53 Vincenzo Leonardo Canada C$9.052
54 Santiago Plante Canada C$9.052
55 Jiachen Gong Canada C$9.052
56 Matthew Sherman Canada C$9.052
57 Paolo Zambito Canada C$8.054
58 Pinkesh Mehta United States C$8.054
59 Derek Verrian Canada C$8.054
60 Homer Kamali Canada C$8.054
61 Martin Lillakas Canada C$8.054
62 Carl Martel Canada C$8.054
63 Michael Benko Canada C$8.054
64 David Guay Canada C$8.054
65 Blair Hinkle United States C$2.685
66 Nabil Odisho Canada C$2.685
67 Alexander Macnab Canada C$2.684