It's been a turbulent time for the Partouche Poker Tour after prize pool guarantees were not met, and the World Championship Of Online Poker is underway.
Partouche Poker Tour main event
Having gone a good four or five days without some sort of scandal, the pressure had been building for somebody to pick up the slack and do something new to tarnish the name of poker. With nobody else seemingly willing to put themselves forward, the folks over at the Partouche Poker Tour decided enough was enough and took to fiddling with the prize pool at their €8500 main event in Cannes.
After a prolonged marketing campaign which promised a guaranteed prize pool of €5 million, once registration had ended Partouche announced to players that the pool would in fact be only €4.3 million. Unsurprisingly, significant disgruntlement ensued amongst the players, leading to Patrick Partouche addressing the card room personally. Partouche took to the microphone in an attempt to play down the whole incident, all the while managing to slip in a commanding performance as a Colonel Sanders lookalike. At no point had a prize pool of 5 million ever been guaranteed in any official communication by the company, he claimed, much to the disbelief of numerous players who had seen exactly such guarantees made in writing. Despite a concerted effort to delete all mention of the guarantee from internet pages, significant evidence remains showing that Partouche’s words simply cannot be true.
Having already taken the indignant line, the colonel then went on to fire a second barrel, saying that the Partouche Poker Tour would have to be cancelled as he could not have the family name sullied by accusations of dishonesty. His cause was not exactly helped that at about this time somebody managed to dig up a clip from French television in which PPT marketing director JJ Ichai proudly announced the €5 million guarantee, even going as far as explaining to the show’s presenter that this meant the money would be there for the taking regardless of how many people entered the tournament.
Their reputation battered, without a leg to stand on, it may have been time to make a clean breast of it but instead Partouche have decided to wing it and stick to their original claim of innocence, so it looks like €4.3 million is all players will be getting.
Update September 7th: Partouche have caved in and agreed to pay the full prize pool. Link to statement.
Meanwhile the World Championship Of Online Poker is well underway at Pokerstars, where there are no such problems with guaranteed prize pools. The popularity of the WCOOP events has meant that the advertised guarantees have become largely irrelevant as thousands take their seats hoping to win an online bracelet.
Highlights so far have included the first $1050 event in which beardo1981 from the UK took home $262,936 for his NLHE victory over two long days of play. Team Pokerstars pro George Danzer from Germany also had a grueling two day tournament, including a heads up match lasting over two and a half hours, for his first place in the $320 ante up tournament. The second WCOOP title of his career was good for an extra $69,717.
The first $10,000 buy in tournament of the series is due to start on 9th September and Danzer is already signed up for that event along with some of the biggest names in poker such as Bertrand Grospellier aka ElkY and Viktor Blom aka Isildur1. Further reports will be brought to you here once we have them.