The CEO of the Partouche Poker Tour (PPT) has announced that the tour will make no more stops following the conclusion of this year’s Main Event after an embarrassing debacle in which the tour ended up reneging on its €5 million guaranteed prize pool.
A total of 580 players paid the €8,500 buy-in based on documented evidence that the Main Event in Cannes, France would pay out €5 million–guaranteed. However, the prize pool total turned out to be €700,000 short. Instead of taking responsibility for the overlay, Partouche representatives are claiming there never was a guarantee. Understandably, players were incensed that the guarantee would not be honored and made their disappointment known through various tweets and posts in online poker forums.
The PPT website did indeed guarantee the €5 million. Further proof was a TV appearance on French television by Partouche Poker Group marketing director Jean-Jacques Ichai, who said, “we are the only tournament in Europe and the world where the prize pool is guaranteed. We started the first year with 2 million guaranteed, the second with 3 million, 4 million, and now we are in the fifth year with 5 million Euros guaranteed.” Ichai has agreed to resign following the discrepancy and wrote in his letter of resignation that “I have no memory of being on ITW TV or that I announced a guarantee for this tournament.”
PPT CEO Patrick Partouche held a press conference to explain his side of the story and was irate that the poker community would call him dishonest in any way and felt that those making accusations of unethical behavior were “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.”
Partouche continued to deny that a guarantee existed, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. He ended the press conference by canceling the tour, saying, “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.”