Alleged WSOP $10K Heads-Up Cheater Calls Allegations a “Fantasy”


On Thursday, Twitter erupted over allegations that Valeriu Coca (pictured) may have cheated during the World Series of Poker’s $10,000 Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em event. Connor blanconegroDrinan spoke on behalf of several players charging that Coca was possibly using invisible ink to mark the cards while wearing special sunglasses that would allow him to see it.

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WSOP’s Seth Palansky revealed on Thursday that preliminary testing of the cards found nothing out of the ordinary.

Meanwhile, PokerNewscaught up with Coca, who is apparently still in Las Vegas and playing at the WSOP. Coca told the site, “This is a fantasy. The players who lost are very good, so they just don’t believe they could lose to me for an honest reason.”

Contrary to reports, Coca told PokerNews that he, in fact, has received his $54,000 in prize money. Word on the street was that the payout was withheld pending an investigation.

Coca added, “I don’t even know how they think this is possible. I have no way of marking cards or any other tricks… This is not gentlemanly, to lose and cry foul. They are not gentlemen. They lose and they think they must have been cheated. They are just looking for a way to explain why such strong players would lose to a much weaker one.”

Palansky told PocketFives on Friday, “The investigation is ongoing and it has no timetable attached to it. When we’ve completed the investigation, we’ll update the public/media on the results.”

What really happened, if anything, remains to be seen. WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel(pictured) posted on Twitter on Thursday, “We take integrity very seriously, as evidenced by our lifetime bans, and would enjoy nothing more than catching a cheater in our midst.”

As one poster on Two Plus Two put it, “The guy isn’t a cheat as we know now. Also, enough time has gone by that the WSOP is aware of the decks, has access to the cameras, and nothing has turned up indicating he was cheating. That makes it really look like the ‘young pros’ are just sore losers here.”

Posters on the forum showed close-up pictures of Coca’s sunglasses, which appeared as if they could have had an embedded lens, but the blurriness of the images made them inconclusive.

We shall see. We’ll keep you posted on the latest right here on PocketFives.

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  1. when all the dust settles and if no evidence is found against this guy this will look pretty bad on the players that lost to him claiming he cheated, the old “online poker is rigged theory” o wait but this is live, if this guy really didnt do anything wrong it will be pretty LOL

    • It seems like it would be pretty hard to prove now unless they can fetch the cards from those specific Head’s Up matches, confiscate his “special glasses”, and then inspect everything. Without those 2 items, then they would need to find all manufacturers of such gimmick gadgets and somehow find out if he personally ever purchased anything probably within the past year. I think they should hire CSI….

    • i dont think its as hard as you think, as long as they can locate the decks im sure they have the tools to check for invisible inks that could potentially mark cards, WSOP has been around for a long time , i would think they would be prepared and equipped to deal with cheating tricks, i imagine they have ways to track those decks through dealers cameras etc…i dont think they will take these accusations lightly… the question is , is there anything to find

    • solution if you think its happening during the match. Hide your cards better. Use 4 chips as card protectors. It’s not a full table where you need to make it more obvious that you are still in the hand. I was once warned in a full table to make it obvious if I have folded or not. h2h not really that necessary.

    • i’m sure they have the decks. Coca should allow them to inspect his glasses if there is no wrong doing

    • This guy has already ban in few Casinos in Prague ,because he marked cards. So i think blanconegro is right .