Note: This article was originally published 8/30/22, but technical issues required it to be re-posted.
Jorstad felt compelled to address the situation publicly
It is quite commonplace for poker players, professionals, in particular, to make all sorts of financial deals with fellow poker players. Problem is, such deals, especially when they are only agreed upon by a simple handshake, can sometimes create issues. Such is the case with 2022 World Series of Poker Main Event champ Espen Jorstad, who has been accused by poker pro Alex Theologis of not making good on a supposed 3% swap of his action in the tournament. Jorstad denies that any deal was made and took to Twitter to make his case.
Jorstad said he would not have made anything public were it not for a “clearly intoxicated” man approaching him at a meet-up game in Cyprus and getting aggressive in telling him to “pay the man his money.” The man eventually left believing Jorstad’s side of things, but after a DM also telling him to pay Alex, Jorstad felt that he should address the situation so rumors don’t spread.
No record of swap from either player
Jorstad presented screenshots of conversations he had with Theologis both during and after the Main Event, who asked about their supposed 3% swap. Jorstad said he had no recollection of any sort of agreement, did not have any record of such communication, and did not have it in his own document where he tracks such things.
Theologis, despite thinking he had a 3% swap with the champ, admitted he did not remember when and where they made the agreement, nor did he have any record of it.
And it is that, combined with Jorstad’s history of keeping complete records of his swaps and stakes, that really make it look like Theologis is mistaken. Not long after the Main Event, Jorstad posted a spreadsheet of his summer wins and losses and explained that he had 14 different swaps ranging from 1% to 7.5%. He had just 56% of his own action in the Main Event, but said he was thrilled to make his friends a lot of money.
As Jorstad said in his defense, whenever he makes a swap, he immediately records it in a text/DM so there is evidence and writes it down in his own document. That he would do neither for this supposed 3% swap with Theologis is unlikely. Plus, as he said, Theologis also has no evidence, nor even a recollection as to when the agreement was made.
Jorstad is so confident that he is in the right that he is willing to have a neutral, trusted, third party arbitrate the situation if the poker community deems it necessary. Though Theologis told Jorstad that he felt “betrayed and disappointed” and that he’s “not sure how you can sleep at night and be happy with yourself,” Jorstad does not believe that Theologis trying to harm his reputation, that he probably really does think he had a swap.