When the Partouche Poker Tour’s Main Event in Cannes, France only attracted 580 players, the event’s coordinators realized the tournament’s field of participants was too sparse to cover the €5million guarantee that had been advertised on the tour’s website, Partouche.fr. In fact, that’s when they realized that the individuals who had paid €8,500 to participate in the Main Event had generated an actual prize pool of approximately €4.3 million, roughly €700,000 short of the tourney’s guarantee.
Rather than making up the difference, Partouche Poker Tour officials, including the tour’s chief operating officer, Patrick Partouche, first denied that that the Main Event ever had a guarantee at all. Claims that included the following one were quickly removed from the tour’s website, seemingly at around the same time the Main Event’s coordinators calculated the financial shortfall:
“Offering a guaranteed prize pool of 5 MILLION EUROS, the Partouche Poker Tour once again affirms its place as Europe’s top tournament. Secure your seat on Partouche.be or in our Belgian Casinos in 2012.”
Peter Jetten, a professional poker player from Canada, tweeted, “One of the Partouche people told me ‘this was not a guarantee but a marketing trick.'”
When some began playing in the Main Event under protest and others suggested that tour officials were not being honest yesterday, Patrick Partouche held a heated press conference. At least partially in response to various individuals claiming he and others involved with the Partouche Poker Tour demonstrated thievish behavior by denying that the Main Event ever had a guaranteed prize pool of €5 million, Partouche suggested that this year’s Partouche Poker Tour may be the last.
Today, the company behind the Partouche Poker Tour released a statement that unmistakably says it will honor the Main Event’s original €5 million guarantee by contributing more than €730,000 to the tourney’s prize pool.
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