Cedric Rossi and Jean-Paul Pasqualini were suspended from the rankings of the Global Poker Index amid collusion allegations during the 2009 Partouche Poker Tour Main Event.
Video footage of the final table shows suspicious behavior between the two French players who appear to be using hand signals to indicate the strength of their hole cards. Pasqualini won the tournament and Rossi finished second, collectively winning about $2.3 million in the process.
“We spent a lot of time analyzing the facts, checking the accuracy of the video and its sources,” said GPI CEO Alexandre Dreyfus in an article on the GPI website. “We also solicited the point of view of the GPI’s top 50 players. What we are convinced of is that there wasn’t fairness at the table. Unfair behavior will not be promoted by the Global Poker Index.”
The signals allegedly being used by the pair were touching certain parts of their bodies to reveal their hole cards. A touch to the top of the head or scalp indicated an Ace in the hole, while touching the forehead, eye, or nose were the prearranged signals for a King, Queen and Jack, respectively.
The most damning piece of evidence in the video shows a short-stacked Pasqualini folding A-K after apparently receiving signals from Rossi that his cohort was holding A-A. Experts agree that unless Pasqualini had an incredible read on his fellow countryman or that he knew what Rossi was holding, there is no way that he would be folding A-K in such a situation. Most suspect the latter to be true.
The GPI ranks the best 300 live tourney players worldwide. Dreyfus pointed out that it is the job of the casinos and appropriate regulatory bodies to determine if cheating actually did occur. The GPI is merely taking action that it deems necessary to properly evaluate players.
“The Global Poker Index is meant to rank poker players on their performance,” Dreyfus said. “If the performance is distorted or compromised, then we act.”
Check out the video footage of the alleged cheating incident, available below and at PokerTube.com.