In the category of “Dumb Poker Drama to Which Almost Nobody in the World Can Relate,” Dan Bilzerian and, to a lesser extent, Bill Perkins, apparently accused Jean-Robert Bellande of cheating in a high stakes home game. Bellande hosts what are known as some of the biggest games in Las Vegas, but it sounds like things haven’t been going well lately.
On Sunday, Bellande tweeted that he had a “rough week,” losing more than $400,000 and seeing Bilzerian “turn on me.”
He then posted a screenshot of a text message exchange with Bilzerian. In the conversation, Bilzerian called Bellande a “cheat” and cursed him out for bringing him into the game in question. The screenshot doesn’t show anything about why Bilzerian thinks Bellande was cheating, though it does end with Bilzerian calling him a “fat idiot,” so that’s fun.
Perkins got in on the action on Sunday, tweeting, “More cheat drama Vegas home game…… people playing in games that are cheat games immediately become suspect IMHO.”
He then followed that up on Monday with a poll, saying:
You’re the host of a poker game you get paid time/rake and you also play in the game. You have 50 percent of 2 or more players in a sometimes 8/7/9 player game. As the host should you make non staked players aware of the economics?
Three-quarters of the more than 6,500 voters responded “yes.”
It appears that the concern is that Bellande has an economic stake in multiple people in a game that he hosts, including himself, so there could be an incentive to cheat in some way. Even if he loses, he could still come out on top if his “horses” win.
No evidence of any cheating, however, was ever brought to light publicly. Just accusations and speculation. There wasn’t even any suggestion of a cheating method.
Later on Monday, Perkins said that in a conversation “between the accuser and the accused,” a “full inspection” would be conducted and any backing relationships would be revealed. Then, in an update, Perkins said that after an equipment inspection and interviews, an “expert” determined with high confidence that no cheating occurred.
The backing of multiple players in the same game is the only sketchy issue, which is “what lead to the conclusion of accuser(plus wacky play).”
So that’s cool, always nice to accuse someone of cheating publicly, only to say, “whoops, my bad.”
Both Perkins and Bilzerian have teamed up to accuse poker players of cheating before. In the case of Daniel “Jungleman” Cates, though, they were actually correct. They, along with others, played in some online home games during the COVID pandemic lockdowns. Cates eventually admitted to “ghosting,” or playing for another person.
Cates said he played “very few sessions” and only did so because he thought it was a common practice in those games. He apologized and promised to “behave better in the future.”