Day 1c of the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event was filled with a number of newsworthy occurrences. Not only was it the largest Main Event attendance in single sitting with its 4,879-entrant field but it also marked some rather unexpected occurrences, that is, an earthquake and some disqualifications.
There was a total of two disqualifications on that day with the first being during the opening gambit of Level 2 when Ken Strauss lowered his pants exposing his genitals after moving all-in blind, preflop, turned over queen-three offsuit before anyone else had acted. He even removed his shoes and threw them at the player who is in Seat 1 and the dealer tray. For this offense, Strauss was disqualified and escorted out of the poker room and his stack removed from the tournament.
The other disqualification incident occurred in the Brasilia Room where Geargii Belianin reportedly reached over and grabbed the chips that belonged to his left-hand neighbor after he had won a small pot. During this, Belianin was reportedly all smiles which perhaps implied that the move was an attempt at humor. This did not stand well with Jack Effel, the vice president of the WSOP who quickly came over to the table and escorted the Russian poker player out of the tournament area before handing him over to security who then escorted him out of the premises.
“The chips that you have in front of you are the ones that belong to you, you shouldn’t be touching chips that don’t belong to you. Plain and simple. Discussing beyond what was seen at the table, everybody saw the exact same thing – he took the chips that were next to him, they didn’t belong to him and you can’t do that when you’re playing the Main Event,” an irritated Effel commented.
While his stack was removed, Belanin’s $10,000 buy-in remained in the prize pool. In addition to being whisked out of one of the biggest poker events of the year, the poker player was also banned from all Caesars properties and future WSOP events.
Fortunately, Beliani did acknowledge that he had indeed made a mistake and has drafted a proper apology to both the WSOP and the global poker community. He took to Twitter to address the issue and began by taking full responsibility for his actions while pointing out that he had been so drunk that he actually could not remember everything he was doing at the poker table.
He further addressed the WSOP in his statement asking them to consider the ban and give him a second chance to continue participating in its events. After all, poker is all he does for a living. Luckily, he had the support of a number of his fellow poker players and this might actually help the scales in his favor.