The World Series of Poker says it is conducting an investigation into the final table of the recent WSOP Paradise Main Event in the Bahamas following a significant dealer error that cost Australia’s Daniel Neilson 10 million in chips at a critical stage when play was three-handed.
Neilson eventually finished in third place for US$900,000, however the incident significantly altered the state of play, with the Australian telling PokerMedia Australia the error was worth around US$116,000 in equity based on ICM calculations.
The error occurred moments after Neilson lost a big pot to eventual champion Stanislav Zegal when his A♠K♦ was outflopped by Zegal’s K♣Q♣ on a Q♥K♥5♦9♦10♣ board.
Zegal had 38 million in chips remaining when Neilson put him all-in on the turn, however the dealer mistakenly told Neilson the count was 48 million. A review of video footage shows that Neilson was indeed left with just 5.2 million in chips instead of the 15.2 million he was supposed to have after that hand.
Notably, the WSOP’s on-screen graphics continue to show the amount of chips Neilson should have had, and nobody on the live stream picked up on the Australian’s shorter than displayed chip stack.
The commentators later question Neilson’s decision to get his remaining chips into the middle with only a gutshot on his bust-out hand without realizing he was just about all-in pre-flop.
In response to PMA’s inquiries, the WSOP said an investigation into the incident is ongoing but added any financial reparations to Neilson are unlikely.
“The official position in any tournament is that if action was accepted by all parties there would be no recourse once tournament play has concluded,” said WSOP Executive Director, Ty Stewart.
“Any corrective action would need to take place while the player remains in the event. We do not, nor does any operator in the world that I’m aware, retroactively award ICM value or any monetary compensation in such situations.”
Stewart acknowledged that any significant error would nevertheless be “heart breaking” for the player affected, adding, “We are thoroughly reviewing the matter.”
PMA will provide further updates as they come to hand.
This latest situation is somewhat reminiscent of an incident with 11 players remaining in the 2019 WSOP Main Event when Dario Sammartino called Nick Marchington’s all-in after the dealer told him the count was 17.2 million – only to discover the actual count was 22.2 million. In that instance Sammartino’s call was ruled to stand, although he would still go on to collect US$6 million after finishing runner-up to Hossain Ensan.