Multi-accounting, or playing on somebody else’s account is a big no-no in the world of online poker. And poker vlogger Matt Vaughan was reminded of that the hard way after playing the Monthly $1 million guaranteed on Ignition Poker and winning the tournament for about $115k in post-deal winnings.
Unfortunately for Vaughan, he was ultimately not paid as it was discovered he was playing on another player’s account.
Vaughan recounted the entire incident, with all its twists an turns, during a vlog posted on his YouTube channel:
On February 21st, Matt Vaughan played the $535 buy-in $1 million guaranteed tournament on Ignition Poker, an offshore online poker room.
As a popular poker personality, Vaughan streamed the tournament to his many fans on his Twitch channel. Once heads-up, he ended up making an off-site deal (Ignition does not facilitate chops) to receive $110,041. The pair then played for the remaining $5k for first place, which Vaughan won to receive a total payout of over $115k.
In the moments after winning the tournament, Vaughan said his win felt similar to his victory in the $100k on Ignition around two years ago. “It was so surreal then. And it’s so much bigger now. Wow, just so nuts to have this happen.”
You can watch highlights of that final table here:
But the euphoria wouldn’t last long.
The problem? He was playing on another player’s account, an action that is strictly forbidden by online poker rooms. While Ignition Poker was doing security checks and verifying identity during the withdrawal process, the poker room figured out that the account owner was not the player who won the tournament.
As a result, Ignition Poker would not be paying Vaughan the prize money for 1st place because he was “technically multi-accounting.”
Instead, 2nd place would receive the first-place money while the other heads-up player honored the heads-up deal. Every other player in the tournament moves up one spot in the paytable — paid as if Vaughn had never entered the tournament.
Why did Vaughan do it?
Ignition Poker is available to players in most states, operating in a grey or illegal manner, depending on who you ask. One restriction that Ignition Poker places on players is that you can’t play on the poker room if you reside in a state which has regulated online poker, which includes states such as Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Matt Vaughan currently resides in one of those states, Nevada. To get around the rules, he played on another player’s dormant Ignition Poker account, something he noted during his vlog that is widely believed to be “pretty common and not a huge deal.”
Multi-accounting is restricted on online poker rooms because it allows players to play under another alias that may not be recognized by other players, giving them an unfair advantage.
Ignition Poker works a bit differently in that the poker room uses an “anonymous” system where there are no player names displayed, so Vaughn was quick to point out that he did not gain any advantage by playing under another player’s account, even though Ignition Poker said he was technically multi-accounting.
A final twist in the saga
After Ignition Poker made its final decision essentially eliminating Vaughan from existence in the tournament, many likely assumed that the issue was over.
However, Vaughan and his opponent, who he referred to as “Tom,” had some discussions about the situation.
When Tom was awarded first place after the disqualification, he was paid $136k by Ignition Poker. This was an amount that was $21k more he would have received had Vaughan not been disqualified, meaning that Vaughan’s disqualification greatly benefited Tom.
than the deal he had worked out with Vaughn — $16k from deal proceeds and $5k that was set aside to play for heads-up.
In a turn of fortune and generosity, Tom ultimately decided that it was most fair to pay Vaughn a portion of the chop amount. Tom would receive the $5k amount that was set aside for heads-up as the official winner of the tournament. However, in Tom’s eyes, Vaughan’s disqualification should not affect the deal that was made — roughly for $35k — and was split based on ICM calculations.
Although some vocal observers on 2+2 felt that Vaughan freerolled Tom, Matt Vaughan was very appreciative of the gesture saying that the action “restored his faith in humanity.”