Partouche Poker Tour calls it quits amid controversy

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Sep 06, 2012 Posted in Poker Industry News | No Comments »

With a €1,000,000 first-place prize and some of the biggest names in poker in attendance it was supposed to be a magical week in Cannes, France with the Partouche Poker Tour making headlines around the poker world. The tournament is definitely making headlines, but for all the wrong reasons, as a controversy is developing over a purported €5 million guarantee that the Partouche Poker Tour is now claiming wasn’t a guarantee.

Perhaps even more shocking than the hard-line stance the tournament is taking regarding the €700,000 shortfall was the founder and CEO of the PPT, Patrick Partouche, blasting the critics and announcing this would be the last Partouche Poker Tour Main Event according to iGaming France.

The controversy began yesterday when players saw that the advertised €5 million guarantee for the Main Event was not going to be honored (the tournament attracted just 527 players and was short of the guarantee by some €700,000) and that the official stance of the PPT was that there was never a guarantee in place, despite numerous screenshots of the Partouche Poker Tour website showing otherwise. Making matters worse was the sudden changes made to these pages in what appears to be an effort to rewrite history.

On Wednesday Patrick Partouche held a press conference where he announced the Partouche Poker Tour would be calling it a day after the Main Event concludes on Sunday, and was reported to have said the following according to the Winimax blog:

“For 40 years I have dedicated my life, my name, my family, to gaming, all gaming, including poker, a true passion. And now I hear that what we do is not enough, is not honest. The Partouche Poker Tour bears my name, that of my family. I will not accept, my staff will not accept, that people can say ‘Partouche are thiefs’, ‘Partouche are cheats’. As a result, this week you attended the last edition of the Partouche Poker Tour. We hope that others will invest the same energy, the same desire, the same love so that this game continues.

“For the first time this year, more foreign players registered than French players. Over the past five years, we were the only group able to compete with US tournaments. And I can say without a doubt that, outside the Partouche Poker Tour, no French tournament has hosted as many stars (at their tables).”

Partouche went on to chide some of the players who have been actively tweeting about the situation, saying, “young players with a lot of ego and in need of recognition, who have not even made the final table and call us cheats and thieves,” which is a very strange line that seems to imply that unless you have won something you have no right to complain.

The decision to end the Partouche Poker Tour (which lasted five seasons) seems to be playing into the decision not to try to mend fences with the players by honoring the guarantee, as the PPT has nothing to gain by this action.


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