a pregnant poker player went deep in the first event of the Aussie Millions, only to
Here's a follow up article.
A truly fascinating story emerged this week, as a pregnant poker player went deep in the first event of the Aussie Millions, only to go into labour. Remarkably her husband was allowed to continue her playing stack, eventually cashing for nearly $7,000, while she gave birth to their baby son.
It is almost unheard of to see a player have someone take over for them once a tournament has started. It is sometimes possible to give another player your stack when you haven't started playing and are unable to attend, but this was deep in the money. However there is a ruling for situations just like this:
At the discretion of the Tournament Director, a Tournament entrant may transfer his/her entry to another person, provided that person is entitled to enter the Tournament in accordance with clause 2.2 and he/she has not already entered the Tournament.An exploitable ruling?
While it is in the rule book, this decision has still left a lot of players flabbergasted. There have been plenty of cases where due to unforeseen circumstances, like a bereavement, a player has been awarded an ICM based prize before. However there were a lot of players still in the event at the time and it would have been unfair on them to take the money out of the prizepool in this way before it was won, and likewise the couple obviously didn't want to take a min-cash either. Many players brought up how exploitable such a rule could be. Would the Tournament Directors, for example, allow a friend rather than a husband play on? What if that friend was Phil Ivey? These are the questions being asked on forums and social media.
While certainly worth discussing as a thought experiment, to think that anyone would orchestrate a situation like this really does start to sound like tin foil hat conspiracy theory. This really is just a fluke event. Women still make up a small minority of live poker players, so the percentage of women playing poker while pregnant is miniscule.
A lot of commenters were quick to condemn the couple for playing when the mother was heavily pregnant, however this was an unexpected and premature labour. If it had been late in the pregnancy it wouldn't be unfair to suggest that there might be health implications to playing an event like the Aussie Millions (It would also have been logistically very stupid to buy-in for the event in the first place given the odds
you would have to leave early). Poker tournaments are long grueling affairs, they are stressful and the chairs are not exactly comfortable.
It's a slippery slope for Tournament Directors to dictate 'how' pregnant is 'too' pregnant for a poker tournament. It's not a huge leap of the imagination that we may one day see a situation where someone plays the Main Event unaware they are pregnant and then return to the November Nine about almost ready to give birth. If I was the Father I am not sure whether I would have been able to play on knowing my wife was going into labour, however the money might have meant a lot for their family. It's not for us to judge, better to just let the TD use their discretion in these situations and let the parents decide what is best for their child.
Ultimately you would have to have a heart of stone to deny this couple the chance to play on. It's such a fluke event, the birth of a child is supposed to be a celebration and surely we all want them to start their new life as a family with a financial boost? This is a reasonable exception to the rules and no doubt one day a fantastic trivia question.