Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Partouche Poker Cheats Show Up at Big Holland Poker Tournament

Source: Poker News Daily

The European poker community once again was shaken by the appearance of one of the alleged conspirators of a cheating scandal that rocked the tournament world last year.

Over the weekend at the Holland Casino Dom Classic, the Main Event was in full swing. According to reports from PokerCity.nl, the €1,500 buy-in event was late into action on Saturday night when top pro Pieter de Korver noticed another player, Kadir Karabulut, seated at his table. After a bit of action on the felt, de Korver allegedly determined that Karabulut was up to some shenanigans not only on, but also around the table.

de Korver noted that there was a photographer who moved around the table in a suspicious manner and, when they did so, their actions were allegedly noted by Karabulut. After noticing this type of activity for several hands, de Korver discussed the situation with the tournament director. Then, the situation began to get a bit out of hand.

The 30 or so remaining players in the event created such an uproar that Holland Casino personnel took the unusual action of stopping the tournament. Several players, including de Korver, stated that they would not play on unless Karabulut were disqualified. According to reports, tournament officials disqualified Karabulut and a few other railbirds were denied entry into the casino.

The PokerCity.nl piece quotes Holland Casino spokesman Mark Woldberg as saying, “(Entrance by) the three persons to Holland Casino (has been) immediately denied. The stack of the player remaining in the tournament (Karabulut) was taken out of the tournament. We particularly regret that this occurred and it goes without saying that this is totally unacceptable for Holland Casino.”

Woldberg continued, “To avoid such problems in future, we will see if we – in addition to the press regulations (that) currently have to be signed (by media personnel) – can have even stricter regulations for bloggers and journalists.” Apparently this action appeased the remaining players, who went on to finish the tournament.

This type of situation occurred last year and Karabulut was allegedly a part of that scandal as well. During a stop of the Partouche Poker Tour last September, Ali Tekintamgac was disqualified from the event at the final table because he allegedly enlisted the aid of either bloggers or tournament reporters – which allegedly included Karabulut – to signal him information about his opponents’ hole cards. While he was able to make the final table of the tournament, he was disqualified from the event when officials determined the accusations to be true.

Tekintamgac, who was the champion of the World Poker Tour stop in Barcelona last May, was also accused of cheating in a similar manner during the European Poker Tour stop in Tallinn, Estonia in August.

The uproar over the tournament – and the alleged continuation of this form of cheating – has made its way to the forums. At TwoPlusTwo, poster “loosefoot” commented, “He should be blacklisted and banned in every casino like they do with known card counters.” Another poster, “Stranger123,” noted that this has been done, writing, “Yeah, he is banned from a lot of casinos in Europe.”

Where the issue becomes problematic is how it will impact poker tournament reporting. Although many in the poker journalism industry have strong ethics when it comes to the information they see when working, it could lead to many top tours putting further restrictions on the media and their movement around the tables. This, in turn, would hurt poker fans, as they would not perhaps get as much information about tournaments when they are in action.