Controversy Erupts in Poker World Over Recent WPT Title Win

Written by:
Guest
Published on:
Feb/15/2018
  • Deal made between two poker players tarnishes title victory as other individual clearly held big lead
  • Fellow poker pro Grant Hinkle: "It disparages the resume of Mike Leah, the prestige of major titles like the WPT, and whatever integrity is left in the game of poker."
  • Fellow poker pro Eric Rodawig chimed in: "I don’t think a title and the benefits it comes with should ever be offered up as part of a deal.

The poker community was abuzz at how Mike Leah won his World Poker Tour (WPT) title in the Fallsview Poker Classic.  Scroll Down for More...


Now accepting most forms of crypto-currencies

PokerNews.com provided a summary of how it all went down:

Leah went into the official final table at WPT Fallsview with one of the bigger stacks and only cemented his advantage early on.

However, fellow Canadian Ryan Yu dominated much of the final stretch of play. He moved into the lead 72 hands in, according to the live updates, and didn't slow down as he eliminated his next two opponents to get heads up with Leah holding a little more than a 2-1 lead.

At that point, the players opted to take an unscheduled break. Often in tournament poker, this means the players are discussing a potential deal, and that's precisely what happened in Fallsview.

When the players returned to the table, they made no pretense of the fact that they'd already come to an agreement and the tournament was essentially over. Yu raise-folded away all but a handful of his chips in a few consecutive hands, and then the two ran out boards until Leah swept up Yu's remaining crumbs.

Leah was declared the champion.

The original payouts called for the winner to bank C$451,821 and a $15,000 seat into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions, while the runner-up would claim C$301,217. A chip value deal that saw each player take home money commensurate with the value of his stack was later arrived at following the initial criticism received.

Many called Leah's title completely farcical, given that he had a far inferior chip count to that of Yu at the time the deal was done, however.  It matters in a world where records and rings count for something. 

Case in point.  Phil Hellmuth is known for having the most World Series of Poker bracelets.  Imagine if you will a situation where a fellow poker pro were to be tied with Hellmuth then make a deal similar to that which Leah made with Yu, thus thrusting that individual to become the WSOP bracelet leader.  How fair would that be to Hellmuth?

"I have no idea how someone goes through the mental gymnastics necessary to value that WPT championship on your resume, but also rationalize to exhaustion to convince themselves that they truly earned it when they cut a deal to rig it," poker pro Grant Hinkle said. "Mike Leah cast a giant skeptical shadow over all of his titles now, and at the same time he cheapened the value of the WPT championship he coveted so much."

Hinkle essentially called the title win a sham.

"It disparages the resume of Mike Leah, the prestige of major titles like the WPT, and whatever integrity is left in the game of poker."

Fellow poker pro Eric Rodawig chimed in: "I don’t think a title and the benefits it comes with should ever be offered up as part of a deal."

Leah later responded to his critics.

"If you want to pretend my results over the years are tarnished because I made a deal heads up, 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."

It remains to be seen whether this goes down as a title with an asterisks.

- Ace King, Gambling911.com

Poker News

Eric Baldwin Wins $1500 No Limit Hold’em, Robert Peacock Wins Double Stack

Eric Baldwin Wins $1500 No Limit Hold’em, Robert Peacock Wins Double Stack

33-year-old Robert Peacock won the $1000 No Limit Hold’em Double Stack, his first bracelet and first bracelet and $644,224.

Virtue Poker News

Virtue Poker News

Gambling911.com has your latest news related to Virtue Poker.  This site has many of the biggest names in poker as site ambassadors.  Using the Ethereum blockchain and smart contracts to build a decentralized poker platform, Virtue Poker has trust and transparency built in, the site claims.

Crypto Hedge Fund Pays Investors' $10,000 WSOP Buy-In Fees

Crypto hedge fund Pantera Capital says it will reward seven existing investors with free tickets it received to the 49th Annual World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. 

Michael Mizrachi Wins 50K Poker Players Championship 2018

On Tuesday evening, Michael Mizrachi made World Series of Poker history in addition to winning $1,239,126.

Michael Mizrachi Leads $50K Poker Players Championship, Matthew Davis Wins WSOP Senior Event

It took roughly three levels for the field in Event #33: $50,000 Poker Players Champion to be cut from 12 to the official final table of six players. Currently leading the pack is Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi who bagged up a total of 8,865,000 chips at the end of play on Monday, 18 June.

Syndicate