This past Wednesday, officials of the Partouche Poker Tour announced that 573 players would be competing in the €8,500 Main Event. The prize pool created was just over €4.2 million and this caused uproar amongst players. This was almost three quarters of a million dollars short of the guaranteed €5 million. Today, Patrick Partouche, the CEO of Groupe Partouche, has announced that the tournament will be the final one for the tour.
With so many players in an uproar, Maxime Masquelier, Head of Partouche Poker Tour, tried to do damage control to no avail. Masquelier stated: “For a buy-in of €8,500 I think we can be proud of the final figure. At no time did we say that €5 million was secured when it is guaranteed in writing.”
The PPT stands behind their statement that they never guaranteed the large amount for the main event tournament. However, TwoPlusTwo saw a few posters posting evidence which showed that the company had guaranteed the amount.
An example of the evidence is a cache on Google which stated: “The Partouche Poker Tour and €5 million guaranteed!” several banners and advertisements were found that showed this information and updated versions of these same banners and advertisements were found to have been changed to remove the €5 million guarantee.
Partouche Director of Marketing Jean-Jacques Ichai released a video speaking about the guarantee and just a short time later, after the video was released, Ichai resigned via Facebook. A statement from Ichai read:
“Hello, I am writing following the controversy around the Partouche Poker Tour. I didn’t have the memory of my TV ITW or I announced the guarantee of this tournament. My President, Mr. Patrick Partouche took the floor that day without the knowledge of this video. I would like to apologize especially towards him, which has been consistent in his speech, and the team of the Partouche Poker Tour as well as to all the players. On this issue, I will present my resignation to Mr. Patrick Partouche tomorrow morning.
Good end of tournament,
Then, once Day 3 began, Patrick Partouche, took a microphone and spoke directly to players in the event. Partouche informed players that there would be no more PPT events moving forward. Partouche commented to the crowd:
“I have heard, I have seen and I have been told that what Groupe Partouche was doing was not sufficient, almost dishonest.
The Partouche Poker Tour bears my name and my family’s name. After 40 years in this business, reading ‘Partouche is a liar, Partouche is a cheater,’ this I cannot accept, neither can my teams.
That is why I am announcing to you that you are playing the last edition of Partouche Poker Tour. The Partouche will stop Sunday night. We are sailing toward new horizons, we hope that other operators will put as much energy, as much willpower, and as much love to ensure that this game goes on and remains as much loved and adored from all fanatics which I’m a part of, as I believe a lot of people here know fully well.
I’ve created this tournament by passion, I don’t have to be ashamed of it. Now if some young ego-driven players, craving for recognition, who aren’t even in final tables, allow themselves to say that we have cheated, that we have lied, I cannot accept it.
The €5 million prize pool has never been guaranteed in all publications that you may have seen. There may have been some communication which I would not call clumsy but rather ecstatic last year just as the tournament was ended.
There you have it ladies and gentlemen, I am going to announce the ‘shuffle up and deal’ of what will be the last edition of Partouche Poker Tour and I will tell you in terms of conclusion something I was
told not very long ago. I was told, “When being spat on, you don’t have to say that it’s raining.”
There are things that I accept and things that I don’t. The poker community will find its own. I kiss you all, I wish you a good tournament and I wish you to win the €1 million that has always been guaranteed and is guaranteed.
Partouche then repeated his message in English for those who speak the language and as he left the stage, poker pro Tristan Wade asked about the 5 million. Partouche stated that it was not guaranteed and Wade stated that there is proof it was. Partouche then stated: “I know how to writer, if you don’t know how to read it’s your problem, not mine.”
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