LA Poker Players Support Boycott of Bike Quantum Events at WSOPC

On Wednesday, the Bike hosts event #27 as part of the WSOP Circuit (WSOPC) series. It’s a No-Limit Hold’em Quantum tournament with buy-ins ranging from $300 to $2,000 and a $300,000 guarantee. However, a group of Los Angeles-based poker players supports a boycott of the events

Bike Quantum “Not Equitable”

The poker players say the event is unfair to recreational players.

LA rounder Heath Mendelson stated, “The Quantum format is probably the worst ‘innovation’ in the history of tournament poker. It hurts recreational players and favors professional players (and the house) significantly more than any other tournament format — both from a money and time standpoint — and will do significant damage to the poker ecosystem in any city.”

The tournament format’s creators disagree, saying that event #3, the first in the series to be boycotted, had a $200,000 guarantee that was more than tripled. Some critics say that is what contributes to the problem.

“It’s the major six-figure guarantee events where the horrific exploitation occurs,” explained Scotty Wayne of the Rounders Facebook group, who was the organizer of the boycott.

Quantum Series Targets All Players

The format of Quantum tournaments is very flexible for the players. They feature a payout structure with various buy-in amounts, multiple start times, and different starting chip stacks. This allows players to put up very little money and still have a chance at a huge payday. The format has grown in popularity since being created ten years ago but is not without critics.

Many argue that the format is a disadvantage to players who buy-in on Day 1, mostly non-pros. If they can advance, they’ll have a much lower chip stack than other players, primarily pros, that buy-in on Day 2. This means they don’t stand much of a chance of taking home a significant portion of the prize pool. 

Nancy Matson, who has made the final table at the WSOP, says that the final tables at these Quantum events are dominated by Day 2 entrants, resulting in “Only one person at the final table is not a Day 2 buy-in.” Creator of the Quantum format and Bike Tournament Director Mo Fathipour disagrees, saying the events were designed so that everyone has the same amount of chips on the final day.

Boycott Call Only Marginally Supported

The call for a boycott hasn’t exactly been overwhelming. Wayne says his biggest concern is these tournaments being introduced in other casinos. It already has been in two others in southern California, Hustler Gardens and Ocean 11. He says that it’s challenging to get support from fellow poker players because they are individually motivated and have no interest in the community. 

It remains to be seen if the boycott will affect the tournaments. It’s known that the Bike Casino has had a lot of negative press recently and has not had one of its best fall seasons. Last month, the casino agreed to pay a $500,000 settlement and submit to an increased review by the U.S. government’s Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Program.

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