What's done is done
A few days after the conclusion of the first WSOP Paradise, there was some disappointing news from the Main Event final table. Shortly before his fall to third place, Australian pro Daniel Neilson lost over 10 million chips in a crucial all-in hand, which likely played a major role in his eventual exit.
Here's how our own Earl Burton described the hand between Neilson and eventual winner Stanislav Zegal:
With the tournament now down to three players, it took a stunning turn that became the defining point of the tournament. Neilson's elimination of Glantz put him in the lead, but another push didn't work out so well for the Australian. After Zegal opened, Neilson bet three and Zegal called to see a QK-5 flop. Neilson made a continuation bet, which Zegal also called, and a nine came on the turn. Neilson decided he was done playing and moved all in, which was immediately answered with a call from Zegal. Why? Zegal had flopped two pair with his KQ while Neilson's AK was outflopped. Needing an ace to win the hand, Neilson saw a gap on the river ten when he doubled Zegal to 110 million. He would be eliminated in third place on the next hand and Sklenicka would get the remaining chips.
Now for some additional details: The dealer counted 48 million chips in Zegal's stack, but he only had 38 million. The miscount was never corrected before the pot was cleared, leaving Neilson with just 5.2 million chips left after losing the hand, instead of 15.2 million.
Unfortunately nothing can be done at the moment as the tournament has ended.
“The official position in every tournament is that if all parties agreed to the action, there would be no recourse once tournament play was completed,” WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart told PokerMedia Australia.
Neilson is clearly not happy
While 15.2 million chips isn't a lot when the blinds are at 500,000/1,000,000, it's still a lot better than 5.2 million. Neilson might still have been eliminated in 3rd place, but those extra 10 million chips might have changed everything too.
Poker news contacted Neilson about the matter and of course expressed his disappointment. He said he questioned the count, but the dealer assured him that Zegal had 48 million, so Neilson took her word and assumed it was at such a big tournament with only three players left , other safeguards were in place to ensure that the count was accurate.
“For all the other all-ins, a supervisor double-checked the counts,” Neilson said. “I have no idea why they didn't do it for this, the biggest pot of the entire tournament. In general, the dealers were great and I didn’t notice any other mistakes made by this dealer.”
He added that another dealer at the final table was inexperienced and should not have been in such an important position. Neilson didn't blame the dealer, but also said the dealer “made a lot of mistakes and announced the wrong bet size almost every time.”
Additionally, the live stream reflected the post-hand chip count as it should have been, not as it was. As a result, Neilson said that from then on his game looked terrible to everyone watching, including the announcers and his friends.