Online poker room PokerStars has once again banned access to one of the game’s most high-profile players. The site suspended Sorel “Imper1um” Mizzi for three months last week after the online star had been red flagged for previous cheating allegations. Several established online poker players have confirmed the three month ban from PokerStars to Poker News Daily. Mizzi has not played on the online poker site since October 5th.
According to Mizzi, who plays on PokerStars under the handle “zangbezan24”, he was in an airport in Barcelona preparing for a flight to London for the WSOP Europe when he realized that he was registered for a WCOOP (World Championship of Online Poker) event that began later that day. Mizzi had a friend log into his account and play under his name until he arrived at his hotel in London, at which point his friend logged out and Mizzi played the rest of the tournament. This is a violation of the PokerStars Terms of Service, which states that any instance in a tournament in which a player hands off his seat to a different player will be disqualified.
While most would likely receive a warning for such action, Mizzi’s troubled past resulted in a suspension. He has been linked to Josh “JJProdigy” Field, a verified multi-accounter on PokerStars who was banned from the site in 2006. Mizzi has credited Field in the past for the enormous improvements in his game, but the 18-year old “Prodigy” is widely regarded as the biggest rogue ever to play on the virtual felt.
Mizzi also received a life ban on Full Tilt Poker late in 2007 following an investigation regarding an incident in the Sunday $1 Million Guaranteed Tournament. Chris “BluffMagCV” Vaughn sold his account to Mizzi with three tables left and Sorel won the event under Chris’ name. This violated the rules of Full Tilt; Vaughn was disqualified from the tournament (and had his winnings seized) and both players were banned for life from the site.
Sorel’s suspension on PokerStars was originally set at six months but after a series of back-and-forth emails between the two parties it was reduced to three.
PokerStars prides itself on its first-class customer service and security. The site’s security team has cracked down on anyone tied to Josh “JJProdigy” Field, recently handing out suspensions to a handful of players that had been sending money to and from Field through the site’s “transfer funds” option.