Poker Advisors Troubleshoot Staking Dispute

Poker Advisors Review Arbitration of Unique Staking Dispute

What do Landon Tice’s hair locks, Mike McDonald’s pocket jacks, and vibrant all-or-nothing social media debate have in common? And should a staked tournament player be allowed to claim ownership of funds which are “gifted” by an opponent who eliminated that very same player from a poker event?

That’s the conundrum facing the poker world on Twitter this week as big name poker advisors discuss arbitration of a unique staking dispute.

The issue has been brought forth by partypoker ambassador, Upswing Poker contributor, and experienced tournament backer Patrick Leonard, who was selected by both parties to arbitrate on their behalf.

Poker Advisor Opinions: Staking Dispute Arbitration

The thread has attracted responses from many high profile poker players and personalities.

High stakes pro and three-time WSOP bracelet winner Scott Seiver initially had no reservations in providing a firm declaration on how the issue should be handled. Seiver was quick to opine Tuesday that the funds should be relayed to the staker (to then be administered at the staker/stable’s discretion), and treated as if the player had cashed for that amount in the event.

Furthermore, Seiver clarified that there is an important difference between staking and swapping action in the poker world (a fortunate distinction for poker players who happen to woo amateur punters with their golden locks).

But Seiver — who has accumulated more than $23 million in live tournament cash prize winnings over his career — has since begun to doubt his original take… resulting in an ironic turnaround that is not lost on WPT title holder Daniel Strelitz.

For his part, High Stakes Feud grudge match winner Doug Polk believes that the money should most definitely be handed over to the staker. Polk suggests that players who would decide to keep the money in this scenario might soon find themselves playing for lower stakes and looking for a new sponsor.

Does Anyone Think The Player Should Retain The Money?

Veteran World Poker Tour host and Fox Sports commentator Tony Dunst is decisive in his stance that the funds should be treated as a “gift,” meaning the player should keep the money.

This sentiment is shared by four-time WSOP bracelet winner Shaun Deeb, who argues that the “amateur” player who gifted the buy-in may have done so as a personal gesture… and without foresight that the funds could become embroiled in a cross-party dispute.

If forced to choose, Global Poker GM David Lyons would likewise award the “gift” to the player.

Upswing Poker coach Dan Merrilees agrees that the player should keep the funds… and that the staker should outright refuse to accept a percentage if offered.

Should The Funds Be Divided Between The Two Parties?

PokerShares CEO and Global Poker League Season 1 co-champion Mike McDonald believes that — as played — the funds should be divided between the player and staker… as long as the horse in question didn’t call with pocket jacks.

2009 WSOP Main Event winner Joe Cada is of the same mind due to his own experiences, and thinks the money should be split in some fashion.

Poor Form to Corner Arbitrator into ‘All or Nothing’ Decision?

Unfortunately in this specific case, Patrick Leonard was not afforded an option by the petitioners to allocate a percentage of the funds to each party.

Charity Series of Poker president and five-time WSOP Circuit ring winner Matt Stout would prefer that arbitrators be granted more flexibility to come up with an appropriate determination. Stout agrees with Seiver that it is poor form for both parties to insist on limiting the arbitrator’s options so severely.

Potential For Misuse and Abuse

Tilted “code monkey” Rob Tanniru points out that any decision to award the funds to the player could set a bad precedent. Establishing this policy path would enable horses to potentially abuse the act of receiving “gifts” by using it as a means to unethically extract value from sponsors while financing their own honeydicking side hustle at stakers’ expense (not that there’s anything wrong with that… just that it would be nice to know either way).

Leonard also confirms that the act of “gifting” opponents money once they are eliminated from a tournament is a somewhat common practice.

Would You Decide In Favor of The Player or The Backer?

A Twitter poll published by 2013 WSOP Main Event champion Ryan Riess shows that poker fans are evenly split on how to best handle such a scenario.

What is the correct determination in your opinion?

The Twitter thread remains open for poker players and fans to publish their input.

Read More Poker World Coverage from BestBetUSA

All-Time Live Tournament Money Winner Bryn Kenney Wants A Piece of Phil Hellmuth (Apr 7, 2021)
Live WSOP 2021 Dates Have Been Announced (Apr 2, 2021)
Are Poker Matches Becoming Too Much Like Wrestling? (Apr 3, 2021)
Young Poker Pro Landon Tice Joins Solve For Why Academy (Apr 2, 2021)




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