Jack Effel on WSOP Cheating Allegations: “We Take Integrity Very Seriously”


Twitter has been busy on Thursday after allegations of cheating were brought against Valeriu Cocain the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Heads-Up event at the World Series of Poker. It’s important to note that Coca has not been found to be in violation of any WSOP rule thus far.

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Connor blanconegroDrinan has been at the forefront of the issue and posted on Two Plus Two, “Our speculation is that he was using some sort of invisible ink in combination with special sunglasses.” Preliminary testing by WSOP officials did not show any issueswith the cards, but further tests were planned.

WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel (pictured) Tweeted on Thursday, “We are aware, monitoring very closely w/all resources at our disposal. Those include surveillance/security, forensic examination of cards, etc… We take integrity very seriously, as evidenced by our lifetime bans, and would enjoy nothing more than catching a cheater in our midst.”

PocketFives contacted WSOP officials for an interview, but our request was declined. WSOP Vice President of Corporate Communications Seth Palansky told us, “There is no scandal. There is an allegation. We will conduct a thorough investigation and won’t comment further until that is complete.”

WSOP Vice President Ty Stewart (pictured) relayed to PocketFives, “We will say we would love to catch cheat(s) + hand out justice… And we were pretty on top of this situation with every measure we have in our bag of tricks, which is not good to disclose.”

According to Kevin Kevmath Mathers, Coca’s payout was withheld pending an investigation.

The name Thang Luu came up repeatedly in discussion on Twitter on Thursday. Luu, a two-time bracelet winner, was hit with a lifetime ban from the WSOP for reportedly breaking a dealer’s hand.

David Diaz was banned in 2013 for causing a ruckus at a nightclub at Harrah’s Las Vegas. Chan Pelton was barred from WSOP events last year after pocketing a chip during a Circuit stop in Florida. Pelton went on to win the tournament, but later forfeited his winnings.

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Effel image courtesy PokerStars