Gossip Column: Poker Backing Group Comes Chasing Nick Marchington`s WSOP Main Event Winnings, Doug Polk Targets Charlie Carrel & More

Nick Marchington, Charlie Carrel & The Star Sydney Main Event Bubble Round
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  • Namita Ghosh August 13, 2019
  • 4 Minutes Read

Where there’s poker, there can never be a dearth of spicy, gossip incidents! Or so proved the recent incidents. Starting off this feature, we have British pro Nick Marchington who found himself in the firing line of a legal lawsuit by poker backing group, C Biscuit. The group had bought Marchington’s action for the 2019 WSOP Main Event only to have the pro backtracking on the deal. C Biscuit who had accepted Marchington’s refund for the event is now eyeing a share of the $1,525,000 he won from his seventh-place finish in the Main Event.

Poker YouTuber Doug Polk is another player who has been keeping busy. Polk recently came out with a series of hand-analysis videos and attacked Charlie Carrel in one of them for advocating more sympathy towards child molesters. Carrel has refused to back off and even threatened legal action for defamation. The duo was seen throwing potshots at each other on Twitter.

Moving over to Australia we have the A$3,000 Sydney Star Poker Championship Main Event that recently crowned Hamish Crawshaw as the champion but not without controversy. The tournament created quite a buzz and not just for the excellent turnout it attracted. Apparently, the tournament staff wrongly announced that the bubble was breached on Day 2, even though it wasn’t! Things eventually settled down, and the tournament continued usually, but not before a heated argument between some of the players and the tournament director.

Poker Backing Group Takes Nick Marchington to Court Over WSOP Main Event Winnings

British poker player Nick Marchington enjoyed a breakout summer in Las Vegas this year. Marchington found a spot for himself in the coveted World Series of Poker (WSOP) $10,000 NLHE Main Event final table and finished seventh, banking a hefty $1,525,000. But even before the 21-year-old pro could get down to spending his newfound wealth, he found himself spat in the middle of quite the legal mess.

Nick Marchington
Nick Marchington

Marchington’s troubles began with his deal with a poker backing group, C Biscuit Poker Staking that is run by David Yee and Colin Hartley. C Biscuit had agreed to buy 10% of Marchington’s Main Event action at a 1.2 markup, and 10% of his $5,000 Six-Max NLHE action at a 1.1 markup. For these two events, the group transferred $1,750 to Marchington. At the time of the deal, Marchington had texted the group, “We’re booked. Let’s get rich!” But it seems that the player soon changed his mind. Just a week before the Main Event was to begin, he messaged the group that he was canceling the package and was refunding them the money. Now, that’s not a done thing in poker. In fact, it is still acceptable if a player decides to refund money and cancel a deal over action sold because he’s not playing the event. But it wasn’t the case here since Marchington was evidently looking for a better deal and ended up finding different backers at a 1.7 markup for his Main Event action.

“I am playing the main event but unfortunately your piece is cancelled. I know this is bad practice but I have to do what’s best for myself since I lost on the trip. Will get back to you about your refund,” Marchington texted C Biscuit. Apparently, he also created some confusion since he decided to let the deal be in place for the $5,000 NLHE and by then he was already playing Day 1B of the Main Event. Not happy at all, C Biscuit did agree to the refund, and out of the $1,750 that they had paid him, Marchington refunded the $1,200 towards his Main Event action.

It turns out, Marchington was already running deep in the Main Event at the time the money was refunded. The day he got eliminated, C Biscuit declared that when the money was refunded to them, Marchington had already entered the Main Event effectively meaning that the ball had already started rolling and the deal was still alive.

The group filed a case against Marchington at the Clark County District Court demanding $152,500 of his winnings at the Main Event. Caesars Entertainment held up $152,500 from Marchington’s cash prize, and a furious Marchington took to Twitter over what had happened.

The poker fraternity reacted on the incident, and most of them were shocked at Marchington’s behavior.

Marchington admitted it was bad practice on his part, but pointed out that he had cancelled the deal beforehand, and once he cancelled C Biscuit did not insist that the piece would still be booked.

Marchington continued to draw flak from the poker community with many questioning the ethics of his action.

Marchington’s action clearly hasn’t found favor though most point out that since he backed out of the deal in time, he’s legally safe. In an opinion piece on Cardplayer, WSOP bracelet winner Barry Shulman commented, “Marchington, in my opinion, acted quite immorally, but may have legally canceled the contract when they accepted his amended deal that got them back their money.”

Poker pro Gavin Griffin was scathing in his attack on Marchington but said C Biscuit’s demand of the player’s winnings was ‘predatory’ behavior. “I think C Biscuit is just trying to steal from him. According to all of the events as we know them and as they are currently agreed upon in court documents, Nick canceled the action with them, they accepted, and the two parties began making arrangements to return the money that was originally sent to Marchington, eventually settling on a cash payment that was delivered before play started on day 2 of the main.”

The poker fraternity clearly seems divided on the issue even as the matter is now in the court and the disputed $152,500 are reportedly being held in a trust with Marchington’s legal representation.


Doug Polk Targets Charlie Carrel

We all know avid YouTuber Doug Polk who had announced in September last year that he was not going to play poker anymore. We also know that he can be relentless in his attack on other poker players. So when Polk recently posted a slew of videos on YouTube called ‘Poker Hands’ where he has uploaded and discussed 10 poker hands, it was hardly surprising to hear Polk take potshots at players whose hands he was analyzing.

Charlie Carrel & Doug Polk
Charlie Carrel & Doug Polk

Charlie Carrel, for one, had it coming. Sometime back, Carrel had claimed that people needed to have more empathy towards those who sexually assaulted minors. Now, Polk doesn’t seem to have forgotten this and brought up the subject while analyzing a recent hand where Carrel made a failed attempt to bluff Patrik Antonius at the Triton Super High Roller Series London.

Referring to what Carrel had said about child molesters, Polk said, “What Charlie was trying to do was say something to get people riled up so that he can get attention over it and then act like he’s the victim. I do not have empathy for child molesters. I can’t believe I even have to say that.”

Not stopping at that, Polk also questioned the legitimacy of Carrel’s crypto charity business called Abundance.

In what rolled out to be a furious argument, Carrel threatened to sue Polk for defamation. An unfazed Polk went ahead to make a mockery of the former’s threat, and posted a fake lawsuit document.

Polk also joked that he had removed the video discussing Carrel’s hand out of fear of the latter’s move to take him to court. However, Polk didn’t really remove the video.

A war of words ensued on Twitter.

A majority of Twitter users supported Polk and all the drama eventually saw Carrel declaring that Polk was a bully.

Many in the poker community would agree that it looks like Carrel may be losing the argument this time with his call for more empathy towards child molesters not finding too much support.

Controversy Erupts Around the Money Bubble at Sydney Star Poker Championship Main Event

The A$3,000 Sydney Star Poker Championship Main Event was one of the headline live events last week. The marquee event is now done and dusted, but there was a fair share of controversy at the stop.

The bubble round at The Star Sydney Champs Main Event
The bubble round at The Star Sydney Champs Main Event

An incident that took place on Day 2 of the event ended up becoming the talk of the town. Only 63 players were destined to finish in the money at the event, and as the money bubble approached, the tournament staff miscounted the number of people who were in the field. The crew announced that all the remaining survivors were in the money. According to the live updates, two players were eliminated on the same hand, so there would be no hand-for-hand play.

As it became apparent later, the bubble still hadn’t burst at the time of the announcement! There should have been 63 people still playing, but in reality, there were 64. Play continued for another 10-15 minutes before the tournament director realized the folly and announced that the event was still not in the money!

Salvatore Fazzino who was playing the event posted on a poker forum, “About 20 minutes later he comes back and announces that we aren’t actually in the money yet and that there are still 64 players left and we are NOW on the bubble.”

Now, the bubble round is undoubtedly one of the most stressful stages of a poker tournament, and though hand-for-hand was finally initiated, tempers went flying after the massive goof-up was discovered. A heated argument erupted between a few players and the tournament director. The players demanded that the casino should pay all the 64 remaining players after making such a big mistake. In the end, the tournament director refused to budge.

Fazzino eventually ended up on the rail in 64th place and commented that though he wouldn’t have folded his last hand of the tournament, the casino was hugely responsible for how things panned out, “I have accepted that it was an unfortunate set of circumstances, however I have spoken to some players that think The Star have a lot to answer for with the way this was handled.”


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