The Mixed Max NL Hold’em Tournament, one of the last preliminary poker events of the World Series of Poker Europe (WSOP) 2012 was so fraught with tensions that it could not be concluded.
The remaining four players of the event continued playing on Saturday to find out which of them would win. On Friday, the four had decided that the semi finals will not be played. Of the four players, Brandon Cantu had the largest stack with 1,067,500 chips. While Cantu and Roger Hairabedian, the player with the second largest stack of chips, decided to play the semi finals, Jonanthan Aguiar and Faraz Jaka decided to play a heads-up match.
Aguiar took slightly more than two hours to eliminate Jaka and head over to the championship match, but Cantu and Hairabedian continued fighting a prolonged poker battler. When they had played for more than five hours, Jack Effel, director of the WSOP tournament, made an announcement that created a great deal of tension between the two players.
Post break, Hairabedian approached Effel and told him that he was not happy with the seating arrangements as he felt that his cards were easily visible to the railbirds. Although Hairabedian wanted a complete change of tables, Effel decided to shift him to a different position on the same table, a move that Cantu objected to.
As the game continued, Cantu began complaining that the change was having an adverse effect on his game and demanded to know why he was not informed about the change well in advance. Effel, however, refused to change his decision. He said, “Look, you guys are playing for a lot of money here,” and immediately Cantu retorted, “I KNOW we are … which is why it’s (the table move) is ridiculous.”
Cantu then felt that Hairabedian had checked out of turn, which turned out to be true after a thorough review of the camera footage, but the poker battle between the two lasted more than 8 hours before Cantu finally defeated Hairabedian.
Cantu, who now had a stack of 1.77 million chips, had to play against Aguiar, who had a stack of 1.11 million chips, before the champion of the event could be determined. The two, however, ended up arguing with each other, which further built up the tension at the poker table. Finally, Hotel Majestic Barrierre announced that it was closing time, and the players had to close their game without completing it.