VSO Exclusive: Poker Pros Have Say on Pierre Kauert’s Chop Pot Bust in WSOP Circuit King

  • Pierre Kauert finished fifth in the WSOP Circuit King after a mistake saw him bust on a chop pot
  • Lappin says compensation would be good publicity, but the onus is not on the organizer or casino
  • O’Kearney has seen a few similar situations, including one at the Irish Open ten years ago
Kauert
Poker pros David Lappin and Dara O’Kearney have given their thoughts on a mistake that saw Pierre Kauert (right) bust on a chop pot.

German poker pro Pierre Kauert more than doubled his career live earnings this week when he exited the World Series of Poker Circuit King Main Event in fifth place, securing €58,350 ($63,093) in the process. However, he could have left with plenty more had it not been for a mistake that saw him busted on a heads-up chop pot:

No one caught the fact that the pot should have been split even though the moment was live streamed. Even Kauert immediately stood up, shook hands with his opponent, and made his way to pick up his winnings. By the time it was discovered that the German actually didn’t bust, the game had already moved on past the point of return.

The moment has generated a lot of buzz on social media, so much so that World Poker Tour executive director Matt Savage had to address the issue. Acknowledging that mistakes like this do happen, he said that the Tour “cannot really do anything about It at this point.”

To get some additional insight, VegasSlotsOnline News reached out to poker phenom Vanessa Kade, and also caught up with resident poker pros David Lappin and Dara O’Kearney for their thoughts.

Vanessa Kade:

Dealer mistakes are going to happen, and it’s a really bad situation for the player, so I certainly have a lot of empathy for everyone involved.

The part that rubs me the wrong way is the deletion of the video afterwards.”

Any company dealing with large amounts of customer money should strive to be as transparent as possible even (or especially) when mistakes are made. In this case, I hope they decide to at least pay the player the icm value of the stack he would have had plus a bit more to make it right.

David Lappin:

This is a very unfortunate situation which clearly should have been spotted by someone. Mistakes do happen from time to time and all you can do is try to react well in the aftermath.

A similar thing happened at the Unibet IPO in Dublin in 2021 with a player being eliminated on the livestream when he actually had the best hand in a three-way pot. He shoved his short stack and was called in two spots. The other players checked it down and on that occasion, he didn’t spot his own turn-rivered flush. Feeling that he was beaten, the player tossed in his cards in a defeated fashion. The dealer flipped them over, briefly flashing them but given the player’s body language, she presumed she was doing so only for protocol’s sake. Unfortunately, his flush did not register in the moment and he walked away only to discover what happened to his horror 30 minutes later when the hand was watched by friends on the coverage.

A triple-up would have got him back to starting stack in the tournament so, in a nice gesture, the player was comped a buy-in to the next Day 1 by Unibet. The situation with Pierre Kauert, however, is:

considerably more expensive and harder to rectify.”

If we do a bit of gorilla math on the situation, it looks as though half that pot was worth 3% of the remaining ~$226,000 being played for so it is an approximately $7,000 in chip value error, a little more when you factor in ICM. I would like to emphasize here that I believe that there is no onus on the organizer or sponsor or host casino to make the player whole but it would certainly be good publicity should they make a gesture.

Dara O’Kearney:

These thing’s unfortunately happen, I’ve seen a few of them.

The most memorable one was at the Irish Open about ten years ago. It was early Day 2. Two players got all in on A-J-J flop with K-Q and K-J. Once I saw they were all in, I  wasn’t paying close attention any more and as the dealer ran out the board I was checking my phone. Turn was an Ace and thinking he was dead the K-Q walked away. I looked up as the dealer pushed the pot, then glanced at the board to see A-J-J-A-A. It took me a few seconds to confirm it was a chop in my own mind and as the dealer went to retrieve the board cards I said:

Stop it’s a chop.”

It took another minute or so for me to convince everyone, with other players arguing it wasn’t a chop. The floor was then called and they confirmed the chop and reinstated the K-Q player but by now they were long gone, nobody knew them personally. The organizers tried unsuccessfully to find them and their stack blinded out.

That’s just one example and wouldn’t have been picked up if I hadn’t looked at the board. The situation is most likely to arise where one player is drawing dead but can chop in some weird way and it made me wonder how many unnoticed examples must happen every year.