Global Poker Index Suspends Two Players From Rankings For Alleged Cheating Incident

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The fallout from a video of the alleged collusion at a major poker tournament continues to be felt as the two players featured in the video have been stripped of their rankings and suspended by the Global Poker Index.

As reported here on Poker News Daily recently, a French poker player and reporter, Nordine Bouya, analyzed the televised video of the 2009 Partouche Poker Main Event. In that video two players, Jean-Paul Pasqualini and Cedric Rossi, are alleged to be relaying card information to each other through usage of hand signals. By touching different segments of their bodies, Pasqualini and Rossi were allegedly giving each other information on what cards they were holding, giving them both an advantage over the field.

The video pointed out one situation in which, arguably, no other player would have been able to get away from. After an opening bet by Pasqualini with Big Slick, he touches his head (the alleged signal for an Ace) and his forehead (the signal for a King). When the action comes to Rossi, he three-bets the play with pocket Aces and then proceeds to scratch his head with both hands when the action comes back around to Pasqualini. The video, which can be seen on the French-language site, then shows a short-stacked Pasqualini smirking as he mucks his cards quickly.

This was but one example of what was considered “flagrant” signaling between the two, with Pasqualini going on to eventually win the 2009 PPT Main Event and Rossi finishing in second place.

As a result of the allegations, the Global Poker Index has decided to take action regarding the history books and their rankings. This morning, the Chief Executive Officer for Zokay Entertainment (the ownership behind the GPI) Alexandre Dreyfus penned an article to poker fans on the GPI website explaining the deliberations about the PPT incident and what actions the GPI would take on the subject.

“Recently, some information was made public about a very suspicious incident of cheating, which in poker is equivalent to fraud,” Dreyfus stated in the article. “We spent a lot of time analyzing the facts, checking the accuracy of the video and its sources…we debated (the issue) internally for the last ten days and (it was) a complicated decision to make.”

After this discussion amongst the GPI staff and some players, the GPI decided to suspend Pasqualini and Rossi from the GPI rankings across the board. “Their names don’t appear anymore in the rankings (the two men were eligible to be ranked on the French, European and international ranking boards),” Dreyfus announced. “By taking this action, we are not claiming that we know they cheated, (but) we are convinced is that there wasn’t fairness at the table. Unfair behavior will not be promoted via the Global Poker Index…it goes against everything I am trying to do to promote poker, players and events.”

Perhaps realizing the last foray into such actions as suspensions (oddly enough, it was by the now-defunct Epic Poker League, the organization that used to use the GPI as its standard) was not viewed very well by the players, Dreyfus addressed that situation. “I realize that it can be a slippery slope, but that is why we have acted very cautiously and in accordance with a set of standards that we are holding ourselves to,” Dreyfus writes. “The first is that, in order to suspend anyone, there must be evidence to support that decision. It cannot be based on rumors – those are easy to come by, evidence isn’t. What we are advocating is fairness at the table, not necessarily off table ‘ethics.’”

Dreyfus finishes his discussion of the situation by encouraging the poker community to sound off to the GPI regarding the situation. He also reports that a large-scale meeting will be held during this year’s World Series of Poker to continue to address this and other issues facing the world of poker.

While some may consider the actions from an event nearly four years ago to be “past news,” the actions by the GPI might give pause to others who conceive of the notion of acting unethically at the tables in the future.

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One Comment


Cheats….They deserve this and more.

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