Chan Pelton Banned from Participating in WSOP Events

Chan Pelton, who has been banned from taking part in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) tournaments, has announced his decision to sue the WSOP.

On Feb 16, Pelton, who was taking part in a WSOP Palm Beach Kennel Club tournament, took a chip of value 25,000 from his stack. He was playing heads-up at the final table of the ninth tournament, which happened to be an NL Hold’em event with a buy-in of $1,000. After this, Pelton became the champion of the event and won the first-place prize of $47,061 along with a WSOP Circuit ring. Pelton, a resident of College Station in Texas, regularly plays poker tournaments and has won more than $300k in the course of his career.

The WSOP Circuit staff got suspicious and checked the video footage. When confronted, Pelton claimed that he had only taken the chip as a souvenir, but the staff at Palm Beach Kennel Club suspected that he took it because he wanted to use it in another poker tournament.

The WSOP Circuit and the Palm Beach Kennel Club therefore decided to ban Pelton from taking part in any more Palm Beach Kennel Club tournaments and WSOP events, including the mega summer tournament series in Las Vegas. He has also been prohibited from entering casino properties belonging to Caesars Entertainment.

Pelton was also asked to return the prize money he had won as well as the WSOP Circuit ring and the points he had earned to gain qualification for the WSOP National Championship. The runner-up of the tournament, Chris Bolek, was declared as the champion and given the first-place prize forfeited by Pelton. His runner-up prize of $29,070 was distributed among the other tournament players who had finished in the cash.

Pelton said: “I’m literally shell-shocked. This is my livelihood, and this is the first time I’ve even been close to any sort of infraction.”

While admitting that the tournament’s integrity hasn’t suffered, the Palm Beach Kennel Club said that they had decided to ban Pelton because he had stolen property belonging to the poker room.

Noah Carbone, director of Palm Beach Kennel Club Poker Room, said: “The integrity of our games is of upmost importance and regardless of the intent in question from this incident, we cannot sit idle and risk the stolen chips being re-introduced in the future. We take great pride in providing a fair and secure environment for our valued patrons and this unfortunate incident, while discovered and handled swiftly, should serve as a reminder to players that tournament chips are the property of the poker room and must remain on the table at all times.”

The poker gaming world feels that Pelton, an experienced poker tournament player, ought to have known better than taking a chip. On the other hand, the WSOP’s and the Palm Beach Kennel Club’s decision is too harsh as the chip can hardly be used in any future poker tournaments. It is too big to use in the early phase of the tournament and too small to use later.

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