From the day the WSOP starts and right up until the last day of the tournament, we hear constant updates on who won the biggest prizes. But what we often ignore is what kind of unusual incidents take place at those events, as those moments often take the back seat.
This time around, we are here to provide the online poker community with a short review of the most interesting and unusual WSOP moments so far. Are you ready to find out more? Keep reading if you want to hear the juicy details!
Phil Hellmuth Losses Chips During Break
It's a poker pro's worst nightmare. Imagine working hard to grow your stack until you have thousands of chips in your possession, and they all disappear the moment you turn your back on them. That is what pretty much happened to Phil Hellmuth during the 38th WSOP event this year. But don't worry! The nightmare turned into a dream later on.
The No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw Championship attracted 121 entries, creating a prize pool of $1,128,325. When there were only 21 players left in the game, the staff had to break off one table, leaving only three active tables.
At that time, all players had a chance to take a little break, which is why Hellmuth decided it was a good time to leave the hall to go to the bathroom.
But when he returned, his chips were gone. It turned out they somehow ended up being mixed up with Farzad Bonyadi's chips.
The casino's staff immediately intervened, pulling up security footage to determine how many chips Hellmuth had before he left the table. 20 minutes later, the staff confirmed that the Poker Brat had 135,000 chips, and they were returned to their rightful owner.
The game resumed shortly after that, as all parties agreed that it was an honest mistake, and no harm was done. At the end of the day, neither won the event, as Pedro Bromfman won the coveted bracelet, but Bonyadi finished in 6th place.
Alleged Cheaters Confronted During an Event
Cheating scandals aren't that rare in the poker industry, but they can still surprise and rock the poker community after time. Earlier this year, Bryn Kenney, Ali Imsirovic, and Jake Schindler were accused of being involved in a cheating scheme, but no real evidence was shared with the public.
That didn't stop players from becoming outraged when they spotted the three attending WSOP events. Shaun Deeb, who expressed his thoughts about the alleged cheaters in the past, spotted Kenney and Ali during the second WSOP event.
That's when he decided to approach and confront them. An argument ensued right after that, but it was cut short by Dan Shak, who wanted to get back to the game.
However, Deeb still had a lot to say, but he had to reserve his comments for social media. On June 1st, he tweeted: "… me and Bryn argued for 5min Dan Shak asked us to do it in a smaller buyin like 25k I respected his wishes and backed off I also made some comments to Ali then he put headphones on."
A few days later, he kept posting controversial tweets, making vague accusations regarding a "…scumbag from Bosnia with no name", but it was clear he was referring to Ali Imsirovic. The latter, as expected, refused to engage. Even when he was approached by Dan Smith, Ali declined to address the matter.
Stunt Gone Wrong Gets Employee Fires
Sitting hunched over the tables for hours can be extremely taxing on your body, which is why WSOP participants can get a massage during the event. But when those massages cross a line, they will get everyone involved in trouble!
Frank Stepuchin was involved in a somewhat weird prank, as he got a massage while being topless, and the masseuse was touching his nipples. After posting the video online, Stepuchin made clear that it was a stunt, but it was too late for the masseuse, Cintia Amstalden, who was fired.
Most of the attending players saw the practical joke for what it was, and Dmitriy Strunin even tweeted:" I knew it was a joke. Not sure why others didn't pick up on that. People need to lighten up!"
However, Farah Galfond didn't see it as a joke. Although her tweet has been deleted, she explicitly said that the massage was a "disgusting display," stating that the masseuse shouldn't be fired, and the poker pro should be banned from future WSOP events.
Later on, as she discovered that the stunt – and maybe her own comment – got Amstalden into hot water, she said: "…there were no repercussions for Frank. Only the masseuse. Which is very unfair. With all the recent discussions on how to make more women comfortable at the tables, this video to me was an abomination."
Stepuchin obviously regretted his actions, which led him to plead Amstalden's case on social media, claiming that he was at fault, and she shouldn't have been fired.
One of the best things about the summer season is that all WSOP events provide us with amazing stories that can keep us entertained for hours on end! Which of the stories shocked you the most?