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Chan Pelton Banned From All World Series of Poker Events and Properties After Taking Single Tournament Chip

Pelton Will File Lawsuit Against WSOP

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Chan Pelton, After Winning A CPPT Event In July of 2013On Feb. 16, during a World Series of Poker Circuit stop at the Palm Beach Kennel Club in South Florida, Chan Pelton took a single 25,000 denomination chip from his stack during heads-up play at the final table of event no. 9, a $1,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament.

Pelton, a tournament regular from College Station, Texas with over $300,000 in career earnings, then went on to win the tournament, the $47,061 first-place prize and a WSOP Circuit ring.

After video surveillance confirmed tournament staff suspicions that a chip had been taken, Pelton returned the chip, claiming he had taken it as a souvenir. However, PBKC staff believed that Pelton had taken the chip with the intention of adding it to a stack in a future tournament.

This week, the PBKC and the WSOP have taken swift action, banning Pelton from all PBKC events, as well as all Caesars Entertainment properties and WSOP events. That includes the summer series in Las Vegas.

Additionally, Pelton was forced to forfeit his prize money, his ring and points used to qualify him for the WSOP National Championship this summer. The event’s runner-up, Chris Bolek, was then awarded the first-place prize, with the second-place prize of $29,070 being distributed among the rest of the tournament players who finished in the money.

“I’m literally shell-shocked,” Pelton told SouthFlorida.com. “This is my livelihood, and this is the first time I’ve even been close to any sort of infraction.”

The PBKC made its decision based on the act of theft of poker room property.

“The integrity of our games is of upmost importance and regardless of the intent in question from this incident, we cannot sit idle and risk the stolen chips being re-introduced in the future,” said PBKC Card Room Director Noah Carbone. “We take great pride in providing a fair and secure environment for our valued patrons and this unfortunate incident, while discovered and handled swiftly, should serve as a reminder to players that tournament chips are the property of the poker room and must remain on the table at all times.”

The poker world appears to be split on whether Pelton knowingly broke the rules. On the one hand, Pelton is a tournament regular with years of experience. Surely he should know better. On the other hand, taking one high denomination chip is essentially worthless in future tournaments. The chip was too big to use early on in a tournament when it would be valuable and by the time it could be slipped into a stack, it would only represent a small fraction of the chips in play.

The incident on the WSOP Circuit comes just weeks after Christian Lusardi was accused of introducing counterfeit tournament chips into the World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open. Lusardi was later caught after 2.7 million in counterfeit chips were discovered flushed down an Atlantic City hotel room toilet. The Borgata is now facing a class action lawsuit over the frozen tournament funds.

Earlier this week, Rosa Nguyen and her husband Vuong Trong were arrested for their part in a counterfeit chip operation at the Maryland Live! casino.

 
 
 
 

Comments

Baywolfe
over 3 years ago

Agree with the ban, but forfeiting his prize money when he won the tournament with $25K less than he had seems a bit excessive. Casinos have far too many, "Sorry, you didn't really win." rules. He didn't add a chip to his stack he took one out. Even if he did it with intention to cheat later, he still won.

 
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notCIA
over 3 years ago

Only a complete noobie to live tournament play could have any excuse of ignorance.
This guy knew exactly that what he was doing was wrong and why, and for him to profess surprise over the consequences is even more telling as to what a scumbag he is. IMHO, they can't penalize him enough.

 
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sportznut1000
over 3 years ago

i agree with baywolfe. he wasnt cheating. he was breaking the pokerrooms rules and so i agree with the ban but because there was no cheating that involved the tournament there is no way they should determine to take away his winnings. wouldnt be surprised to see a counter suit taken up.

 
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TheFly
over 3 years ago

Just another degen lowlife angle shooter planning for his next tourney....souvenir my ass.....he knew what he was doing and deserve what he got.

 
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TheFly
over 3 years ago

“This is my livelihood, and this is the first time I’ve even been close to any sort of infraction.”

Let me fix his statement:

“This is my livelihood, and this is the first time I’ve even been close to getting caught red handed on my angle shoots.”

 
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jspencer612
over 3 years ago

Are you guys serious? Angle shooting? By the time he could even bring that chip into play without it being noticed, it would be a tiny fraction of his stack. In no way is that going to make or break anything. He won this tourney with skill and if you think anything else, then most likely you are a hater that cannot win tourneys.

 
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TheFly
over 3 years ago

Not noticeable you say? and you know this how?

If he was knocked down to ~50K and his table breaks and during his walk to his new table he slips in a 25K chip to go from 50K to 75K, I'd say that is pretty significant. There are many scenarios like that where an extra 25K chip could be a big difference.

Regardless, any rank newbie learns pretty quickly you do not take tourny chips off the table for any reason, or put them in your pocket, etc, etc. He knew better and got caught.

 
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notCIA
over 3 years ago

For anyone who plays live tournaments, this is simple and you learn it right away if you didn't know it before you sat down. The chips in your stack are not yours. You only possess them temporarily, you can't give them to another player, you can't take them off the table, if you win the tournament, you don't keep them.
This guy has been playing live tournaments for at least 5 years, you want to tell me he doesn't understand that? If you do, it can only be because you don't.
I don't care what stupid reason he comes up with, he knew it was wrong. He cheated, I don't care why he cheated, or if it made sense, or how many times he did it, etc. He cheated, that's it, he loses everything and gets banned. The poker community is only better off.

 
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jspencer612
over 3 years ago

I'm mostly referring to the stage of the tourney when the incident happened. 25K was prolly the price of the antes at that point. Like it says in the article "The chip was too big to use early on in a tournament when it would be valuable and by the time it could be slipped into a stack, it would only represent a small fraction of the chips in play." And it doesn't even sound like he cheated at all in this tournament, it sounds like they are saying he allegedly was taking the chip for a future tournament. He was actually giving himself a disadvantage by taking chips off the table. Again, 25K at that stage is like one ante. I agree, cheating is cheating but it sounds like he was winning this tournament no matter what, if he brought chips in from a previous tournament, that would be a different argument.

 
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notCIA
over 3 years ago

Evidently you didn't understand my point the first time. I'll try again.
If you asked this guy if he knew it was wrong to take a chip out of play, what do you think he would say?
There is no live tournament player in the world with 5 years of experience that doesn't understand you don't even put a chip in your pocket to carry it to another table when you're being moved.
This guy did more than that, he took a chip out of play. He has no right to do that.
It makes no difference if you think he was only hurting himself.
You have no way of knowing what this guy was up to other than he was caught doing something dishonest. You don't need to know his reason. It doesn't matter if it made sense.

 
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notCIA
over 3 years ago

Here's another way to look at it:
Your position seems to be he was only hurting himself and it is not clear how he could be possibly helping himself now or in the future.
I happen to live in Southern California and with our freeway system we are the cream of police car chases. Did you ever see one that made sense? Did you ever see one where the perp got away? With at least one police helicopter and about 5 news helicopters, countless squad cars and motorcycle police, there is no chance one of these guys is going to get away in Southern California, and everyone knows it, they are all televised. So, every single time, the perp is increasing the charges against him, risking his life and the lives of others, with no chance of being successful.
And yet they occur all the time.
How do you explain that? And what difference would it make if you could?

 
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maxima191
over 3 years ago

Who cares-The bonehead messed up lost his title and money plus has a lifetime ban-Life isn't good.

 
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