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WPT Championship Interview: Ali Tekintamgac

Alleged Partouche Poker Tour Cheater Talks


Update: At the start of day 2, Daniel Negreanu walked over to Ali Tekintamgac’s table, with the WPT camera crew by his side, and said “This is the cheater from Partouche!”

Ali Tekintamgac on Saturday in the WPT ChampionshipOne of the faces in the crowd here at the Bellagio in the $25,000 World Poker Tour Championship is accused Partouche Poker Tour cheater Ali Tekintamgac. In September of 2010 the German allegedly enlisted the help of phony poker media personnel to stand behind opponents and signal information about their hole cards.

As a result of alleged video evidence, Tekintamgac was disqualified hours before the final table, which was delayed by a month and held in November, and his chips were removed from play. Poker pro Vanessa Selbst went on to win the event for €1,300,000 ($1.8 million).

As a result of his disqualification after making the final table of the $10,000 buy-in event, Tekintamgac, who vehemently denies the accusations, decided to sue the tour for €1,500,000 (the first place prize plus €200,000 for damages to his reputation). He has thus far only been able to collect about $70,000 of the $132,000 awarded for ninth.

The case is still being looked at in the courts over in France, and according to Tekintamgac the next hearing on the issue will be on June 24. He said that it might take a year before the case is resolved, and he “wants to go till the end” for the court to make a decision. “I don’t want a deal,” he said. French authorities had previously decided not to charge Tekintamgac with any crime.

Card Player spoke with the German (through Moritz Kranich as an interpreter), who received an automatic qualifier for the WPT Championship after winning the 2010 WPT Spanish Championship last May for $343,000.

Brian Pempus: What were your first reactions when you heard the allegations against you?

Ali Tekintamgac: It was really shocking and I was really disappointed. Everyone started with 30,000 in chips. I want the Partouche Poker Tour to show on video how I went from 30,000 to 3 million in chips. I played for six days and I want them to show how I got so many chips.

BP: Why do you think they waited until the final table to bring forth the allegations?

AT: I think that the Partouche didn’t want to give me any chance to fight the decision.
That’s why they told me right before the final table, so I couldn’t do anything about it. Partouche got a letter one month before the final table, with allegations from Austrian and German players. I think they reacted at that point and not because of any videos they had. They then got more emails and reactions, and they busted me.

BP: How has the incident affected you while playing poker? Specifically right now in this event at the Bellagio.

AT: I can’t really concentrate. I am feeling pretty nervous right now. A guy at my table recognized me and wrote it online and told his friends about it. The casino staff here were talking about me. I realize everyone talks about me. A lot of bloggers and media come over and watch me. I am feeling pretty nervous about [the attention].



11 years ago

boo hoo


11 years ago

"They then got more emails and reactions, and they busted me."

I wonder if this is a Freudian slip or a bad choice of words due to a language barrier...


11 years ago

if you're going to interview the guy, why not ask him about his other incidents with cheating, instead of just giving him softball questions? what a waste of an opportunity...

"Ali is also reported to have been banned from a casino in the Czech Republic for pocketing tournament chips and reintroducing them in higher buy-in tournaments, and was recently banned from Holland Casino, also for suspected cheating."