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The Mystery of Ben Tollerene’s Missing Chips - WSOP 2013

It’s every MTT player’s worst nightmare, you leave the table for a break, come back and your stack is missing chips. If that happened at your local casino in a $50 tournament on a Friday night, you would be pretty upset. But imagine if it happened during a World Series Of Poker event. Well that’s exactly what happened to Ben “Bttech86” Tollerene in Event #22: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha in this year’s WSOP.

Here’s what happened: Tollerene and another player from table 33, Jason Morgan, returned to their table late after a dinner break to find that their table had broken down. When this happens the tournament staff move the unattended stack and leave a note for the returning player. Morgan and Tollerene returned and took their new seat and all seemed to be in order. That is until Tollerene discovered his stack had shrunk from 21,000 to 14,000. Tollerene then alerted the staff to the problem, who frantically tried to solve the mystery of the missing chips.

And so the speculation began. Had someone, intentionally or not, taken chips from his stack? Had the two unattended stacks been mixed up? Surely one of the players would have noticed the discrepancy in the chip counts? What added to the confusion was that Morgan had lost a big pot in the hand before the break and wasn’t sure how much he had going into the break. His stack was sitting at around, you guessed it – 14,000.

The staff continued to try and resolve the problem for some time, and after 45 minutes, level 7 came to an end. The staff used this to take an impromptu break to figure things out. By this time half of the room had overheard of the problem and begun to speculate as to the whereabouts of the missing chips.

The staff eventually concluded that Morgan had taken the wrong seat upon returning from the break and as a result, switched the two players seats and deducted the amount Morgan had lost from Tollerene’s stack, 7000 chips from Morgan. They then added that to Tollerene’s stack which brought his total up to 20,400, which they reasoned was his stack at the time of the mistake minus estimated blinds.

A lot of credit here has to go to Ben Tollerene who by all accounts remained calm and collected throughout the whole ordeal, and went straight back to playing after sitting out an entire level due to someone else’s mistake. The guy is a regular in some of the biggest cash games in the world, so it comes as no surprise he can handle a little stress. Did I say a little? I meant a lot of stress.

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