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Poker News | World Poker News

Mizzi and Vaughn Apologize for Full Tilt Cheating Incident

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PokerWorks' report yesterday gave some of the highlights – or lowlights, depending on how one looks at it – from the PokerNews.com interview by John Caldwell with Bluff Magazine Managing Editor Chris Vaughn and poker pro Sorel Mizzi. The second part of the interview has been published on the PokerNews website, complete with apologies from the players.

On his way to a victory in the October 21st $1 Million Guarantee tournament on Full Tilt Poker , Chris “BluffMagCV” Vaughn sold his account to Sorel “Imper1um” Mizzi, who played the final three tables and won the tournament under Chris’ name. This violated the rules of Full Tilt, Chris was disqualified from the tournament, and both players were banned from the site. More details were reported here.

In the second part of this interview with Vaughn and Mizzi, it is now known that Vaughn’s account was frozen very shortly after the end of the tournament when Full Tilt began an investigation, which Vaughn believes began at the request of someone who contacted the site. Thus, he never cashed out his winnings, which were eventually awarded to the second place finisher when Vaughn was officially disqualified from the tournament.

Vaughn and Mizzi have both been banned from playing at Full Tilt Poker, and neither are welcome to open new accounts on the site in the future. For Mizzi, who makes much of his living as an online pro, career priorities will need to change.

“My primary focus, like I said, was to be a contender for the online player of the year and because of all these things that have happened, my resource from Full Tilt has been cut off and I can no longer play on there, so I think I’m more inclined to focus on the live tournament arena and sort of move more away from online as the year ends,” Mizzi said.

Both players admit that the experience has been tough, and they’ve learned some difficult lessons over the past month and a half. And both apologized for their actions.

Mizzi: “I have lost good friends and my credibility… I’d like to come out with an apology, because I know that what I did was wrong. The more I think about it, the more I believe what I did was wrong and it’s something that I want the poker community to know that I would never do again.”

Vaughn: “I don’t think there’s any real response that I can give anyone at this point that’s really going to change anything that we did. I can apologize, I apologize on behalf of myself, and on behalf of the magazine I work for. You know, it’s embarrassing – I’m embarrassed of myself.”

There was also a statement released by Bluff Media regarding their Managing Editor involved in this situation, as he used the Bluff name in his screen name on Full Tilt and met Sorel through his work at the magazine. Eric Morris, Publisher and Co-President, has been fairly supportive of him thus far, and this statement reiterates that Vaughn’s job is safe.

“Bluff Media in no way, shape, or form condones the actions of Chris Vaughn. We were extremely unhappy, and disappointed. However we feel that Chris has always acted in a professional manner at BLUFF in the past, and we have no plans for terminating his employment with the company. He has been given a warning, and is on probation. We hope that we can all move past this, and learn from it.”

As the poker community reels from one online scandal after another – the WCOOP main event disqualification of the winner for multi-accounting, the ongoing Absolute Poker saga that still awaits resolution – many in poker would like to move past this. But this cannot happen unless the online poker players truly do learn from these mistakes and until the online poker sites all begin enforcing the same policies.

The last word on the Full Tilt cheating matter seems to have been spoken. And possibly the best way to wrap it up is with Mizzi’s own words: “I want them to think of a young, naïve 21-year-old who made a mistake and is trying to put it all behind him and move forward.”

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