High Stakes Poker Controversy!

2 years ago

A very interesting discussion took place in Fedor Holz’s Twitter this week concerning possible cheating by Brazilian high stakes pros Rodrigo Seiji & Rodrigo Seriuan.

Fedor is not known for calling players out on such matters, so he must certainly have had his reasons for believing that the spot was clear-cut, however after an investigation, the host of the $1k event, 888poker, cleared the pair of any wrong-doing, which the 9Tales stable in which both players currently grind was quick to note.

The 888poker Operations Team wrote that …after an in-depth analysis, we found that, apart from the hand we received complaints about, there is no evidence of foul play on your part. Your accounts are being reopened and we hope to see you back at our tables soon. We regret any inconvenience that the imposition of these restrictions may have caused, and we wish you the best of luck at the tables.”

Whilst this email clearly doesn’t specifically note that the hand in question was not collusion, it absolves the players, giving them the benefit of the doubt. It is of course very hard to demonstrate with 100% certainty, collusion from one single hand. 9Tales’ response in a comment within the debate was that “it is far from an “obvious call” as anyone with access to an ICM assessment program will identify”.

While we take no sides in this debate currently, we do love a good ICM analysis, so let’s take a quick look at the hand in question. In this $1k event, 5 players remained at the time of the hand in question, and seiouan1991 3bet shoved 7.1bbs from the BTN with A9♥ into a min-open from seijistar1 in the HJ who held A ♣ J♥ and folded. At the time Seriouan was shortest, Selji had 27bbs and the three other players had 25bb, 10bb and 14bbs.

We don’t have exact payouts for this event to hand but let’s assume a smaller field event with 180 runners, then the top five would pay 30%, 20%, 11.5%, 7.5%, 6% or something of that order. Let’s also assume HJ is raising around the top 20% of hands. Assuming BTN shoves around 8%, so ATs+, 77+ AJo+ and KQs, this makes AJo a +EV call in ICM for Selji, netting him around 0.3% of the the prize pool in profit vs. folding. ATo however, is still a fold.

We’ve doubtless got more to hear from the poker community on this one, in the meantime hop onto our Discord server to give us your thoughts on the matter!

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