An issue arose during the World Series of Poker Main Event that has the poker world abuzz. Over the weekend, with 11 players left in the event, poker player Dario Sammartino raised with pocket 10s to 1.7 million chips. Nick Marchington decided to go all-in for 22.2 million, holding pocket queens. Sammartino asked for a chip count and was told 17.2 million by the dealer, which was a mistake and caused the player to make his decision to call on misinformation.
Sammartino called the bet and put in chips to match. The dealer then realized that Marchington had raised more with his all-in the dealer called officials over to talk about what happened. The hand moved ahead and Sammartino stated that it was not fair to do so as he might have decided differently if he had know that 5 million more was in the pot.
At one point, Jack Effel, the Vice President of the WSOP, came over and noted a rule that forced Sammartino to match the amount. The rule states that poker is a game of being alert and observant. It is the caller’s responsibility to ensure the correct amount of the bet of an opponent before making the call, no matter the amount stated by the participants in the hand or the dealer.
Because of this rule, the player who calls is subject to the correct wager or all-in amount. Sammartino would end up losing the hand, but he remains in the event going into today in 5th place, holding 23.1 million chips.
Everyone is talking about what happened and there is no doubt that the remaining players will be vigilant as the tournament concludes on calling and just how much is in a pot going forward. The outcome for Sammartino could have been much worse and his tournament life come to an end because of the call.