MGM Grand Face Backlash in Prizepool Guarantee Controversy

2 weeks ago
MGM Grand Face Backlash in Prizepool Guarantee Controversy
08:56
04 Aug

The MGM Grand has been slammed by players for failing to pay out the full advertised prizepool in their $173k guaranteed "Tournament of Champions" last week...

Players were shocked when the casino pulled $60k out of the advertised prizepool after the event started and put it towards the leaderboard race prizemoney.

A poster on the 2plus2 forum wrote:

“Players report that while the tournament already was running, with half the field eliminated, the floor just changed the prizepool from 173k down to 113k... taking 60,000$ out of the guaranteed prize pool. The floor explained it needs this 60k to pay the leaderboard of the series, but this was never announced like this.”

The MGM responded to Witteles’ tweet by stating:

“The TOC prize pool was posted incorrectly because the supervisor running it thought we had allocated 30k to the leaderboard. We paid out 30k to EACH leaderboard: No Limit Hold’em and Mix. So we had to adjust.”

That didn’t cut much ice with players and poker fans, however, with one tweeting:

"Each of the 15 players also qualify for the July 17 $173,000 Guarantee Grand Tournament of Champions" I could give you 100 examples where it is announced as 173k guaranteed this tournament and 0 examples where it says 113k, this need consequences.”

That led to MGM Grand Pokerroom’s Tournament Supervisor Justin Hammer making this response...

Hammer added:

“I really am sorry that people felt slowrollled, and even admit it could have been worded better. The idea that we changed it last minute or intentionally mislead is just absurd though.”
It comes on the back of another “miscommunication” from the MGM Grand poker-room, where a $3k guarantee was chopped in half...

That, says Hammer and MGM, was because it hadn’t reached a minimum entry of 10 players, the small print explaining the guarantee, and players notified of the change before the tournament began.

“Before starting every player was notified that the guarantee WAS canceled and if they wished to play anyway we would still give them a guarantee but for less than was originally posted or they can get a full refund. They all agreed to the terms. Any subsequent entry also agreed.”

The Gardens Guarantee Controversy

Cardrooms and players are often at loggerheads when it comes to such decisions, with casinos trying to attract as much custom as possible but pay out as little as they can, and tournament players always looking for an edge with overlays.

That scenario caused controversy in 2017 when the Gardens Casino in Los Angeles, seeing they were not going to make their $1million guarantee in entries, made massive changes to their events.

They cancelled several other tournaments in the hope of funnelling players to their $1million biggie, and not only added more day 1 flights but also changed the final day of the event to accommodate them.

This should have been a huge no-no given the $565 buy-in was likely to attract a large number of recreational players, who, unlike pros, would likely be unable to reschedule due to work and other commitments.


Partouche Pulling a Fast One?

In 2012, an even bigger scandal erupted when the €5million GTD Partouche Poker Tour Grand final in Cannes, France, was mysteriously chopped down to €4.3million.

Justin Bonomo was among the players incensed by the move...

...and although the money was eventually added back to the prizepool, it not only led to the Director of Marketing resigning but the whole tour shutting down.


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Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more

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