There’s an old saying: “If you don’t cheat, you don’t try.” So I might have to give Brazilian poker pro Rafael Caiaffa some credit for trying. But I probably won’t do that. This week, Caiaffa was banned from the Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) BSOP Millions for attempting to sneak chips into his stack that were not intended for him.
In the R$5,000 Mystery Knockout event, some players who registered late accidentally received two stacks of 100,000 chips: one from a floor employee after registration and one from the dealer after finding their seat. Everyone else told the powers that be that they were getting extra chips, like honest people would, but not Caiaffa.
Caiaffa decided to put the extra stack in his bag, perhaps with a plan in mind, perhaps just to wait and see if an opportunity presented itself. This opportunity arose when he had only 10,000 chips left and was moved to another table. As he went, he added the extra chips to his stack and voilà, he had more than he started with.
Luckily, fellow player Eduardo Silva noticed that Caiaffa had a suspiciously solid stack of chips and notified the tournament director. Staff reviewed the security footage and confirmed that Caiaffa had indeed combined his legitimate chips with the additional ones. He was disqualified from the tournament and banned from the remainder of the poker festival.
In a statement to Portuguese-language website MundoPoker, BSOP tournament director Devanir Campos said the situation would continue to be assessed and officials would decide whether to potentially extend Caiaffa’s ban permanently.
They say that doing the right thing is often difficult, but in this case it would have been incredibly easy. Caiaffa received an extra stack of chips – all he had to do was say, “Oops, I already have a stack, you can have this one back.” Heck, it was harder for me to get back to Target after I’d already gotten to my car than it was for me realized I had forgotten to call for a bottle of marinade at the self-checkout (hint: it wasn’t difficult at all). I had to walk back to the store from the parking lot – Caiaffa just had to refuse the extra batch. But hey, why do the easy and right thing when you can do the wrong thing?
I always found it interesting that cheating in gambling is so common and people often cheer on those who try to cheat the casino. I kind of get it – the casinos make a lot of money, often from people who have problems gambling, so seeing someone bill the casino can seem like justice to some. But even if you think that’s okay (which it isn’t), Caiaffa cheated the other players. I hope it will be a while before anyone welcomes him back to a tournament.