Was Sam Soverel’s Fold a Mistake or an Angle and Does It Even Matter?

11 months ago
Was Sam Soverel’s Fold a Mistake or an Angle and Does It Even Matter?
05 Jun

Controversy at the final table of the World Series Of Poker $50k High Roller, with only four players remaining.

Sam Soverel opens, Dimitry Yurasov shoves all in, and Andrew Lichtenberger folds. Standard so far, but then Ben Heath exercises a time extension, and Soverel folds out of turn. This new information makes it easier for Heath to make a big call and that’s exactly what happens, eliminating Yurasov in fourth place. 

This sparked an argument online on whether the out-of-turn fold was an honest mistake or an angle. The elimination worked on Soverel’s favor, Yurasov had the same amount of chips as him going into the hand.

There’s an argument that Heath would’ve called regardless, but as far as Soverel knew, his out-of-turn fold multiplied Yurasov’s chances of getting eliminated.

Ike Haxton had a few choice words on the matter. 

Does it even matter if it was an honest mistake or not?

We will never know if Soverel is an angle shooter or not, is up to whoever plays with him in the future to decide how much they will trust him. What we can know, however, is that the action the WSOP took in response was woefully insufficient. 

After Yurasov left the room, Soverel was only given a warning for what officials perceived to be a mistake.

Soverel’s actions shouldn’t be judged solely on the perceived intent behind them, but also on their consequences. Whether he knew what he was doing, his actions resulted in the integrity of the game coming into question and the possible early elimination of a competitor. Maybe a disqualification, like Haxton demands, is too far, but it surely merits some sort of penalty

To his credit, Soverel agrees that the WSOP should have penalized him. In his exit interview he said:

“It’s a really disgusting spot… it encourages a call, and it works on my favor… honestly, I think I should’ve got a penalty even though it was clearly unintentional”.

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