A huge scandal hit Partouche Poker Tour earlier this week: the tournament was advertised as a guaranteed €5 million prize pool event. However, after only drawing a field of 580 for the Main Event held in Cannes, France, tournament organizers found themselves with less money in the prize pool then what they guaranteed, meaning they would have to pay around €700,000 from their own pockets. After realizing that, they informed the players that €5mln was never guaranteed and PPT management attempted to erase all proof of the guaranteed prize pool from the internet.
This problem hit 2p2 forums within minutes and became the hottest topic of the week on every poker site within hours.
Players that were still in the tournament quickly started to gather all the possible proof that the tournament was advertised as having a €5mln guaranteed, while PPT tried equally hard to cover up their mistake. However, as players acted quickly it was impossible to do so, as screen shots were made, and copies of a video from 2011, where a Partouche official, Jean-Jacques Ichai says that 2012 event will have a €5mln guaranteed prize pool, were saved.
All this caused the PPT owner, Patrick Partouche to announce the closure of the tour just next day:
“For forty years I have dedicated my life, my name, my family, to gaming, including poker, my passion,” Partouche said at the hastily called press conference. “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 thieves’, ‘Partouche are cheats’. As a result, this week you attended the last edition of the Partouche Poker Tour.”
In the end the leadership of the Partouche Poker Tour has also decided to honor the tournament guarantee made for its Main Even, as they were left obviously with no choice:
“Ever since my somewhat controversial announcement concerning the end of the Partouche Poker Tour, it has come to my attention that there has been a certain amount of disruption in the media which may have led our players to be convinced of the existence of a guaranteed prize pool,” Partouche said in the translated statement.
“While the official rules show clearly that the only guaranteed sum was that of €500,000 to the overall winner, I do acknowledge that there may have been some misunderstanding caused by the way this event was promoted in the media,” Partouche continued. “I have therefore asked the Partouche Group to bear the consequences and make up the difference by adding €736,880 to the prize pool (writer’s note: to bring the total to the €5 million figure).”