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The 25 Worst Moments in Poker in 2012: 20-16
As the old saying goes, into each poker year a little rain and some vitriolic Twitter beefs must fall.
Continuing our countdown of the worst moments in poker in 2012, here are a few more lesser lights from the year.
20. ISPT Waffles on $30 million $20 Million Guarantee
A new tournament series to be played at major stadiums around the world featuring up to 30,000 players with a $20 million guarantee?
Sure, we’ll welcome that to the poker circuit any day.
Still, the way the inaugural International Stadiums Poker Tour has come about doesn't give us much confidence it’s going to happen as advertised. Or at all.
The tour first surfaced back in 2011 when a slick promotional video started making the rounds and the Tapie Group was on the verge of saving Full Tilt Poker.
The FTP deal never happened, the guarantee was silently dropped from $30m to $20m and the debut event at Wembley in London was pushed back to May 2013, now with a $20m guarantee across the whole series including side events.
Co-founder Prosper Masquelier also has denied the $30m guarantee ever existed despite obvious evidence to the contrary. Oh, and did we mention players have to bring their own laptops to the stadium?
Despite some well known poker pros signing on as "ambassadors," it’s still hard to believe the Wembley event will be anywhere near what the video - now also removed - suggested.
19. Mosseri, Yakovenko and Deeb in "Craziest Hand"
The sour taste may have faded a little but the three-way “all-in” between Abe Mosseri, Nikolai Yakovenko and Shaun Deeb in the $50k Players Championship at the WSOP is still pretty hard to forget.
Dubbed “the craziest hand of the WSOP” at that point, the above got into a three-way PLO hand that took over 30 minutes to play, somehow got Phil Ivey involved and had half of the poker community offer their opinion on it. From the live updates:
“Deeb had J-J-x-x (suited in spades), Yakovenko had K-K-x-x, and Mosseri had A-A-x-x (suited in clubs). Deeb flopped a jack to triple up his short stack, while Mosseri won the much larger main pot with his aces.
“The only problem is, they weren't actually all in. The preflop action ended when Yakovenko reraised the size of the pot and Mosseri tank-called.
“But then, inexplicably, the players all showed their cards, and the dealer treated it like an all in. But they weren't all in."
Check the full breakdown of the hand here, and keep it in mind if you’re ever in a pot with Mosseri.
18. Players Get Nasty with Dealers at WSOP
We understand. You’re professional poker players. You’re already compromising volume playing live and a bad dealer only makes it worse.
Still, nothing makes you come off like more of an amateur than calling out rookie dealers on Twitter.
The first week of this year’s WSOP was an absolute cavalcade of nasty tweets about dealer incompetence.
Some, of course, were fair comment. You pay a lot in rake and you should expect a certain level of competence provided for by the WSOP.
Saying dealers have "shaky sausage fingers," though, isn't making you - or poker - look like a very inviting field to work in.
The WSOP has to hire and train hundreds of new dealers every year and it takes time for them to get up to speed. More time than they’re given.
Some of them are outright bad. But most are giving it their best shot and a bunch of haughty tweets doesn't help them get better - or encourage them to come back and work next year.
Some players tried to make up for it with more positive tweets about good dealers later, but the damage had been done.
17. Aguiar Pushes WSOP Over the Edge with Pointed Tweets
Speaking of tweeters, perhaps the highest practitioner of the pointed tweet regarding poker injustices, large or small, might be Jon Aguiar.
The pro certainly joined in the chorus of players denouncing the overall organization of the WSOP early this summer – many times - but took it to the next level when he was upset about a rule requiring verbalized actions at a streamed final table.
Unimpressed, Aguiar went on a Twitter tirade ripping the WSOP (fairly, some say) for a number of things including a bias against people with social anxiety disorder.
Yep, it went there.
Continuing his attack on the WSOP for a few more tweets, things got more confrontational when Jack Effel responded with this:
@JonAguiar appreciate your support in helping grow the great game of poker!— Jack Effel (@WSOPTD) June 2, 2012
Then, things got really heated ...
16. WSOP Retweets “Complete Bitch” Tweet
So as things got more heated, poker player Shawn Daniels chipped in with the following tweet which really started the fireworks:
WSOP VP of Corporate Communications Seth Palansky, a self-professed Twitter amateur, re-tweeted it (he said he meant to just “favorite” it) via an official WSOP account and left it up for over 48 hours.
As it sat there, Aguiar got angrier and angrier and fired off tweet after tweet about his concern for the "stewardship" of the WSOP brand and calling for Palanasky’s head.
In the end, Palansky was replaced in his social media role but retained his position.
An unprofessional move in the heat of the moment by Palansky (who later apologized) and altogether one of the summer's true lowlights on all sides of the situation.
WSOP TD Jack Effel goes above and beyond the call of duty to be open and available to players and their concerns and that effort should be treated with respect. The players deserve the same in return.
More of 2012's Worst Moments: