As we shake our heads in dismay and pose the question to the universe — "When does it end?" — we must report one more time that poker has received another black eye, this time from a three-time WSOP Circuit Ring Winner. As if the counterfeit chip scandal at the recent Borgata Winter Open wasn't bad enough.
The World Series of Poker Circuit Palm Beach Kennel Club in Florida is the setting for the latest wound that grabs the great game of poker right by the throat and allows skeptics and critics to believe that poker players are less than stand-up kind of guys and gals. The WSOP’s Jess Welman reported that a player was caught trying to remove chips from a tournament.
“Yesterday, after Event 9, the $1,125 No-Limit Hold’em event concluded, tournament staff discovered a player had removed chips from the chip set being used in the event,” Welman stated in a post in the WSOP Blog. “The Palm Beach Kennel Club and local gaming authorities are currently conducting an investigation into the event and the player's eligibility.”
The player who stands accused is Chan Pelton, a three-time gold ring winner, who just outlasted a field of 181 in Event #9 $1,125 No Limit Hold’em and won his third ring and claimed $47,061 in prize money. It's reported that the top prize money has been frozen by the property pending an investigation. A T25,000 chip was heading for Pelton's pocket after the win, but the tournament staff stopped the move.
Pelton's claim? He wanted it for a souvenir. Of course the posters in a dedicated TwoPlusTwo thread had a field day with it and believe he planned to use it in the $1,675 Main Event.
To add to the shame of the chip swipe, Pelton won his second ring last week by taking down Event #2 $365 Pot-Limit Omaha Eight or Better for $12,181. Pelton became an overwhelming favorite to win the stop’s Casino Championship because of the two wins and if he could go on to win the Casino Championship, he would also win a seat into the 2014 National Championship.
“Until this investigation is wrapped, we will be unable to finalize Casino Champion standings for the Palm Beach Kennel Club stop, as this event has bearing on the final points standings in the race,” Welman wrote. “We will announce the Casino Champion winner once we have a resolution, but it will likely be determined after the action wraps here in Palm Beach on Monday.”
Pelton has been playing poker since 2002 and has recorded nine cashes on the WSOP Circuit for $114,784. The really sick side of it is, has he done this before and simply got away with it?
On May 25, 2012, news broke from KBTX Bryan/College Station, TX that Pelton was arrested for possession of a substance and possession of marijuana after police found him asleep in a running car.
The police woke him, and according to a probable cause statement, after searching the car, discovered a pound of packaged marijuana, Xanax pills, and $1,760 in cash. Pelton claimed the cash was part of his online poker winnings and at that time, admitted to police that he intended to sell the marijuana according to the report. Pelton later denied the statement.
Image courtesy of PokerNews.com.