CEO Cancels Future Partouche Poker Tour Stops After Guarantee Debacle
Tournament Advertised As €5 Million Guarantee, But Only Has €4.3 Million Prize Pool
The Partouche Poker Tour guaranteed an ambitious €5 million prize pool for its annual main event in Cannes, France, but after only drawing a field of 580, tournament organizers found themselves on the hook for an additional €700,000.
Instead of providing the players with an overlay, it appears that tournament officials have backpedaled, claiming they never offered such a guarantee. One floor man even told a player that the guarantee was nothing more than a “marketing trick.”
According to iGamingFrance, Maxime Masquelier, head of the tour, denied the guarantee entirely.
“For a buy-in of €8,500, I think we can be proud of the final figure,” Masquelier said. “At no time did we say that €5 million was secured when it is guaranteed in writing.”
Players in the event took to Twitter to voice their concerns after the payouts were announced. After getting the runaround from the floor, many started playing the tournament under protest and resorted to calling the tour crooked and run by thieves.
Trying to decide if I should stay in Cannes and play 25k tomorrow, or just go to London and play wcoops. Wish PPT didn’t suck ass right now
— Jason Mercier (@JasonMercier) September 6, 2012
“It’s like when athletes guarantee wins in the playoffs. Of course they try hard, but nobody takes it literally. Am I right?” – #Partouche
— Dan O’Brien (@DanOBrienPoker) September 5, 2012
If the prize pool is not fixed, the final 18 players should share contact information and work together to get a lawsuit going.
— Justin Bonomo (@JustinBonomo) September 5, 2012
One of the head Partouche people told me “this was not a guarentee but a marketing trick”
— Peter Jetten (@PeterJetten) September 5, 2012
The outcry greatly upset Patrick Partouche, CEO of the tour, who referred to the players as “young players with a lot of ego and in need of recognition, who have not even made the final table and call us cheats and thieves.”
Partouche continued his press conference by completely denying that a €5 million guarantee ever existed. However, screenshots shown below, taken from the company’s website clearly refute that claim.
Partouche ended his temper tantrum by canceling the tour entirely.
“For 40 years I have dedicated my life, my name, my family, to gaming, all gaming, including poker, a true passion,” he said. “And now I hear that what we do is not enough, is not honest. The Partouche Poker Tour bears my name, that of my family. I will not accept, my staff will not accept, that people can say ‘Partouche are thiefs’, ‘Partouche are cheats’. As a result, this week you [have] attended the last edition of the Partouche Poker Tour. We hope that others will invest the same energy, the same desire, the same love so that this game continues.”
Watch Partouche’s press conference below. Skip ahead to the 4:30 mark to hear it in English.
There were rumors circulating various social media sites that the tour would reluctantly do the right thing and put up the overlay, but as of 9 a.m. PT, the prize pool remains unchanged. By all accounts, it appears the tour has taken its ball and gone home.
Below, find some screenshots from the tour website that have since been altered or taken down entirely.
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