Satellite Squeezed: Dirty Chop Dodginess

by , Jul 8, 2009 | 8:20 am

UPDATE: Savvas Zenonos is the bad guy.

Actually, a picture of this ethically challenged poker player is available.

Despite Annie Duke’s assertion that “poker players are the most awesome people in the world!”, we all know the truth: you’ve got some bad apples in the mix. That became very apparent in one of the last $1,060 mega-sats for the main event — where 22 players agreed to a chop, but one of them reneged on the virtual handshake and ran off with more money than he was supposed to keep, effectively ganking $2,400 from the prize pool.

Hey, these are tough times. It’s been a long month+ on the poker frontlines … pressures are high, bankrolls tapped, and casualties have mounted. Character-testing times, to be sure … and save for a few multi-bracelet winners, we’ve all had to re-evaluate not just our play but also our purposes in life at some point during this Series. Thus it’s with little shame that Pokerati has decided to get into the business of morally righteous extortion poker collections.

So here’s the deal, dude: You have until the start of Day 3 — roughly 48 hours — to make good and pay up, or we’re going to out you as a shyster and do our best to make sure that anyone googling your name sees the post revealing you as a poker crook. Cool? It’s not libel when it’s true; and just because you told a few people, allegedly, “I’m going to screw you” prior to doing so, that hardly constitutes “fair” warning.

Click below for the breakdown of how this main event satellite finished up and a good chop went awry — leaving several players, including DonkeyBomber, coming up short when it came time for payouts:

As mentioned, this was a $1,060 mega-satellite played just a couple days ago. Our on-the-felt informant Tom Schneider had already advanced to Day 2 of the main event, but like a few others, still saw good value in the satellite — where the amount of people giving their bankrolls (and/or their backers) one last desperate shot made for a lotta scared money, mixed with inexperienced tourists not ready to invest $10k to take part in the main event, but willing to throw down some blackjack, nightclub, or hooker dough for the chance.

By all means poker is a predatory game …

But there’s also an element of fairness that keeps everything cool, and good sense often comes into play — showing that opponents fighting for the same prize can indeed reach the occasional win-win compromise. Such was the case in this non-bracelet tourney with 22 players left.

The way it was supposed to pay, 19 would win main event seats ($10,200), and 20th place was to receive $5,050. Once they had gotten down to three tables there was talk of a deal, and with a few more players gone, tables getting shorthanded, blinds rising, and chip positions shifting, the remaining players became agreeable to different chop possibilities.

So yeah with 22 players left … Tom, being the controlling accountant good sport and ambassador he is, had taken it upon himself to write out a new pay structure based on chip position, which was shifting by the minute. WSOP tourney staff will allow these sorts of deals, but they won’t help broker them, nor stop play to facilitate negotiations. (By law, they have to payout exactly as they said they would when the tourney started.)

Tom’s proposal:

Top 7 – $10,200
Next 7 – $9,400
Next 7 – $7,800
22nd place – $7,000

All it takes, of course, is one person to object, and tourney staff continue the tournament. But all accepted, and play stopped. Perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not, Tom ended up as the guy in 22nd place, getting the smallest payout.

He was also the guy who would end up collecting the overage from the 8th-19th place finishers, so he could redistribute the wealth (a whole ‘nother issue for later) to the 20th and 21st place finishers … and himself. With about four people left in line to pay, he noticed they were coming up short … and after a brief discussion with Wong to make sure their math wasn’t off … it didn’t take long to realize someone one of the 15th-19th place finishers had run off without paying, and then figure out exactly who it was: He supposedly actually said, “I’m going to screw you!” as he collected his money and disappeared into a crowd. He was the same guy who had earlier complained about wanting to sue Harrah’s because of the blind structures.

This player had agreed to keep $7,800 from his $10,200 payout. All other participants in the chop gave whatever money they owed, but he did not — leaving Tom $2,400 short. There were some brief efforts to track down the rogue prize-sharer, but eventually it was clear that he had gotten out the Rio. Several players agreed it wasn’t fair for Tom to have to absorb the full brunt of the run-off, starting with Steve Wong, who gave Tom $500 from his payout, and then a few other players who finished in the Top 22 gave $300 each … so in the end DonkeyBomber’s personal hit was only $800.

9 Comments to “Satellite Squeezed: Dirty Chop Dodginess”

  1. Pauly

    Dirty scumbags.

  2. ThePokerDaily

    May he be sent to the 6th level of hell which is usually reserved for spammers and people who write computer viruses.

    Oh, and can you give a longtime reader a spot on the blogroll?

  3. DanM

    If you can make it to four months, you’ve got it!

  4. Vinny B.

    Go ahead and out him. No one will care anyway, as they have likely done something like this themselves. I have seen things like this in quite a few tourneys, and since I only play 15-20 a year, I know it goes on a lot more.

  5. Tom Schneider

    Players pitching in to help me with the $2,400 loss:

    Michael Rosa $300
    Steve Wong $500
    Daniel McGrew $500
    Rudy Carson $300

    There are some decent guys still in poker.

  6. Karridy

    Today’s Featured Table would be a great place to out him. OUCH! I love it!

  7. DanM

    Oh, right, I totally forgot!

    Indeed, he should be thankful we have gien him the extra days. I don’t wanna fuck up my karma before the end of today’s tourney … but thanks for the reminder that I have to out the guy!

  8. Zero

    What ever happened with this?

  9. DanM

    Savvas Zenonos, from Australia. Bad guy.