WSOP ME Chip Counts Wrong

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mischman

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Found this on a poker website. i think there are 4 parts but i could only find 3. When copy and pasting there were a bunch of affiliate banners. I deleted most but didnt get em all, srry mods.

As Poker seeks and gains more respectability with each successful tournament, each new television program and each lucrative advertising deal, the 'powers that be' within the growing poker community have more responsibility to ensure the integrity and fairness of the game. Poker has emerged from the dark, smoke-filled back room and has entered the mainstream of world culture and popular sports enthusiasm. Much of poker's growth is coincident with gambling's new consolidated company structures which bring more marketing resources and corporate respectability to the game. But just as poker has outgrown Benny's Bullpen, the former setting of the wsop, it also appears to have outpaced the control processes and security measures once designed to
ensure a fair and honest game.

It appears there may have been a major breach during the play and execution of 2006 world series of poker Championship Event. In this series of articles, we will put forth the data and arguments that support the claim that, through a significant but inadvertent error, two million chips were added to the main event during a chip color-up. We will also examine and refute other plausible explanations for the chip increase during the Main Event. In and of itself, this breach bodes ill for the largest sporting event in history. But the bigger issue has to be addressing the problems that allowed this breach and others like it, to occur. Arguably, Poker's new corporate custodians, because of their management culture and deeper resources, may be best positioned to design, standardize, and implement better security and control procedures. With these articles, it is our hope that they will step up to the plate and constructively foster poker's continued growth.

Taking a Page from Football's Folly:

On October 6, 1990 the Colorado Buffalos scored a touchdown on the last play of the game to defeat the Missouri Tigers. The University of Colorado went on to secure the national championship, edging out undefeated Georgia Tech. There was only one problem. Colorado scored their last minute victory against Missouri on an illegal extra down; the fifth down.

The 1990 College Football Championship became one of the most contentious sports debates of the era, so much so that the terminology "the fifth down" has come to represent one of the most egregious scenarios in sports; where the officials not only fail their responsibilities to maintain the integrity and credibility of the sport, they unwittingly become the perpetrators of the infraction.

Poker's Fifth Down:

It appears that the 2006 WSOP Championship was played with an "officials" fifth down. By the time the final table had been set for the largest poker tournament in history, with $37.8 million of the total $82.6 million prize pool yet to be decided, Harrah's was already aware that the number of chips in play was far greater than the number suggested by the starting field. According to Harrah's records, there were 8,773 paid players in the record field of the 2006 WSOP Championship. The WSOP Championship Event is a one chip per one dollar event. In other words, all players received 10,000 chips at the start of play, resulting in a total starting chip count of 87,730,000. But at the conclusion of the last day of play before the final table, Harrah's own official chip count totaled 90,140,000. Starting two days prior to the final table, there were a number of inquiries made by the poker media relative to the sudden chip increase. Harrah's simply had no answer.

Because of an unscheduled day off between Day Seven and the Final Table on Day Nine, there was ample time to investigate and potentially mitigate the unwarranted introduction of such a large number of chips into play. The chip count could be verified, surveillance tapes (required by Nevada statutes to be maintained for seven days) could have been reviewed, the Nevada Gaming Commission could have been notified, employees and staff could have been questioned. But when the final day arrived, the chip counts were not revised and play continued on.

When Jeffery Pollack, Harrah's appointed WSOP Commissioner, held his pre-final table press conference, it had all the look and feel of a stock holder relations meeting; the WSOP will continue to grow under Harrah's corporate care, poker will be the new NASCAR and thrive with deep pocket corporate sponsorships, and Harrah's is taking care of all the details, no matter how small. As far as the details of how approximately two million extra chips were introduced into the richest sporting event in history, the mostly late-to-the-dance media didn't ask and Pollack didn't offer.

In almost every respect, Pollack has been an overachiever during his short tenure as WSOP Commissioner; successfully branding the WSOP and attracting high dollar sponsorships and endorsement deals. But even Pollack acknowledges that his ability to effectively market the WSOP is contingent on the product he represents; there can be no disconnect between message and quality. Perhaps in prophetic irony, in an earlier interview with PokerNews.com, Pollack is quoted saying, "If you get what happens on the playing field right, then you are in a position to go attract media partners."

The mainstream media may have been satisfied that all was running according to the corporate well-oiled machine that Pollack's press conference represented. After all, they were going to get their standard story of a millionaires' final table and the richest Cinderella in sports history. Players, poker media, tournament staffers, and enthusiasts watching the event via the internet, were not as easily placated. If Harrah's wasn't going to bring it out in the open, the internet was.

Possible Explanations:

Starting on August 8th, the last day of play before August 10th's final table, forums and blogs noted the chip count discrepancy. Speculations ran from normal chip accretion through chip races and dead stacks, to player cheating, and finally to staff errors.

While the normal chip accretion argument is intuitively appealing and satisfied some, in our next article we will discuss why the math and chip counts throughout the tournament don't lend much credence to its explanatory power. As far as cheating goes, there was certainly opportunity and motive. We'll discuss the many examples of lax chip security procedures. And with the richest prize pool in sports history at stake, it would be hard to say that players, backers, and/or sponsors lacked incentive to consider chicanery. But as we shall see, the timing, logistics, and scale of the chip increase cripples both the motive and opportunity for cheating. Could this be, as many speculated, a simple, but preventable, mistake with significant consequences? If so; how, when, and where did it occur?

Chip Count Caveat and Disclosure:

In part, many of our arguments are supported by chip count data. It should be noted that the accuracy of chip count data is always problematic during a major tournament. Official casino counts are an end-of day compilation of each individual player's chip count, recorded on their sealed chip bag. Individual player counts are supposed to be verified by the dealers, but the verification process sometimes gets short shrift in large fields or at the end of a fourteen hour playing day. It is also not unheard of to come across an occasional typo/data entry error in official count data.

Chip counts provided by other media outlets during the day have some logistical challenges that impact accuracy. The media is not allowed to physically count the chips and therefore must do a visual count. Chip counts taken while play is in progress become inaccurate as hands progress and chips change hands during the tally. For this reason, chip counts performed during breaks tend to be more accurate.

While we feel that we have relied on the most supportable chip count numbers, the inherent flaws and variation in chip count data has to be acknowledged.

The Questions:

Our title implies that there are as many questions as extra chips introduced into the Main Event. In actuality there are far fewer. In our third article, we will deal with the age old question of treachery versus incompetence; was the chip increase due to a cheating player or a preventable and unfortunate administrative mistake? As important as that question is, the few questions that remain may be more important for poker to address. Although this was only one incident (albeit during the largest poker tournament in history), it was borne from issues that have become prevalent in the industry. The lax security and outdated control procedures that were in evidence during the 2006 WSOP are not uncommon. They are a legacy from poker's earlier days; when events were more than an order of magnitude smaller and tournament personnel wasn't stretched out over double digit hour shifts, managing multiple events over more than half a dozen weeks.

That players are now paying premium prices for tournament administration is not lost on them. The players paid over $5 million for the administration of this year's Main Event, alone. Tournaments now represent player-supplied prize pools totaling millions of dollars. As poker's rewards have grown, so has the potential liability to both casinos and participants should something "go wrong." Will hosting casinos bring their corporate resources to bear on tournament security and control issues? Will the Tournament Directors Association once again be yoked with the heavy lifting required to insure poker's level playing field? Will the so far absent Nevada Gaming Commission realize the financial liability and credibility issues poker now faces? Will the consuming public, the players, demand more? We don't know the answers to the big questions. We can only examine the incident itself in the hopes that doing so will put more significant questions out there.

In our next two articles, we will take on each of the explanations of the added 2 million chips. We will mathematically demonstrate that even in the most extreme scenario, the chip race-off argument can account for only a miniscule increase in the original chip pool. We will argue that even with the lax control of chips in earlier events and during the main event, the reality of adding two million chips through direct player cheating is unsupportable. Dead stacks blinded off, double registrations and all of the other smoke screens will also be cleared away. In the end, we will postulate that the massive infusion of chips into the Main Event was the result of a mathematical error made by Harrah's floor staff who inadvertently introduced two million extra chips during a chip color-up.

In the fourth article, we will turn over the discussion to the reactions and responses from players, tournament officials and other industry participants. In our final installment, an open letter to the industry, we will outline some basic recommendations and procedures that we hope will be considered. For more, read "Two Million Questions. Will Poker Answer?: part 2."
 
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mischman

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PART 2- to long to fit in 1 post


In our first article Two Million Questions, Part One, we discussed that approximately two million extra chips found their way into the 2006 World Series of Poker Championship Event. As the "extra chips" revelation swirled through the poker media and the internet, there were two schools of thought. One of the explanations was that the increase was due to normal chip accretion via chip race offs and dead stacks. The other school theorized that chips were introduced through either player treachery or staff error. In the next article, we will tackle the more nefarious arguments, examining the potential for organized cheating and supporting our own postulation that a serious staff error was
made during the last chip color up in the Main Event.

For today, we will examine the plausibility of the "normal" explanations for the excess chips.

Was This "Normal"?

Could over two million extra chips have come from normal chip accretion? Knowing that this was a tournament of mammoth proportion, in both numbers and duration, many people feel intuitively comfortable with that explanation. We have even had Harrah's officials tell us recently that they too assumed normal tournament chip accretion was a reasonable explanation for the chip overage. But as we will see, this explanation doesn't hold water when simple math, the procedures, and chip count data are examined.

Dead Stacks:

In your local card room tournament, starting chip stacks are placed at available seats. If seats remain unoccupied, the "dead" stacks are blinded off and eventually removed from play, usually at the first break. There were no dead stacks in the Main Event of the WSOP. In fact, there were alternates seated each of the four Day Ones, which is how a room that seats only 2,080 players was able to accommodate 8,773 starters. No stack was blinded off unless the floor staff had verified with the registration desk that the seat had been paid for and assigned to a player. We witnessed this verification process on Day 1B and know this procedure was followed on all four Day Ones.

That being said, there was some evidence that a few stacks may have been blinded off in error. At least one player changed his starting day from Day 1A to Day 1C and through a clerical error he was still given a seat on Day 1A and his stack was completely blinded off. There are rumors that this may have happened more than once and that not all emergency cancellations and refunds were reflected in Harrah's registration database. But media who were in the tournament room did not report more than one empty seat in any of the four Day Ones and one of those players, Jennifer Leigh, actually showed up 5 ½ hours late and played her stack. If we factor in this mostly anecdotal evidence and err on the conservative side, we could be persuaded that 50,000 extra chips may have been introduced in error via the registration process.

Race-Offs:

As the blinds and antes move up, lower denomination chips become obsolete and are removed from play. Most of these are "colored-up" or exchanged for an equal value of larger denomination chips. Since the color-up involves an equal exchange of value, no additional chips would be or, at least, should be introduced through the normal color-up process. During the course of play, however, many players end up with an odd number of lower denomination chips that don't equal the next largest chip denomination. These odd chips are "raced off" through a system whereby a random deal of one card to one chip is performed; in contention are the number of larger denomination chips equal in value to the total number of odd chips. The high cards receive the larger denomination chips. For a detailed explanation of the color-up and race-off process, go to the bottom of this article, or click (Color-Up And Race-Off Procedures) to go there now.

As tables break and players are moved, the distribution of lower denomination chips no longer adds up to a tidy sum, equally divisible by the next larger denomination chip. In cases of where there is not an equally divisible total of smaller denomination chips, sometimes the number of larger denomination chips is rounded up to the next highest number. In these cases, the table can exit a chip race off with a total chip count slightly higher than when they started. If this happened consistently throughout the tournament, across all the tables and all of the race-offs, could this account for two million extra chips?

Our first question was: Is it possible to reconstruct the entire twelve playing days of the Main Event from the various media reports to determine what would have been the maximum number of chips that could have been introduced via the race-off process? We determined with some simple math and a fair amount of reconstruction this was possible, so, we did.

The Math:

There are simple formulas for calculating the maximum value of chips added to a tournament during a race-off.

The maximum added chip value per table during a race-off is equal to the difference between one single lower denomination chip and the next value higher denomination chip. For instance, in the case of the $25 chip race-off, the maximum chip count added to each table would be the difference between a $100 chip and one single $25 chip; or $75 per table. To get the total chip value added to a tournament during a race-off, you multiply the maximum value added per table during a chip race-off times the number of tables remaining, which gives you the maximum number of total chips added to the tournament for each race-off.

The math is not difficult, but it is admittedly tedious. We encourage you to go through the detailed example of the Main Event $25 chip race off, as well as the step-by-step calculations for all five of the Main Event race-offs, by clicking (The Details and Math Behind the 2006 WSOP Main Event Race-Offs).

This Wasn't "Normal":

Our mathematical conclusion, detailed in the link above, is: the maximum chips that could possibly have been added to the 87,730,000 chip WSOP Main Event due to all of the race-offs was 84,850 chips.

Remember we have used the worst case, maximum increase that could have happened at any single table and applied that to each and every table at each and every race-off for the entire twelve playing days of the Main Event. And still, the absolute maximum increase that could have been introduced through the race-off system is 84,850 chips.

If we combine the potential blinding off of stacks in error and the maximum race-off chip accretion, we can account for less than a 140,000 chip increase. This is a far cry from two million and a most interesting number, considering the "official" chip overage at the beginning of the final table was 2,410,000 when compared to the suggested starting count of 87,730,000. By comparison, at the 2005 WSOP Main Event the final chip count was over its starting count by 0.16%. If we apply that same standard to the 2006 Championship, the overage would have been approximately, and coincidently, 140,500 chips.

We are confident that our analysis demonstrates that chip accumulation due to normal blinding off of dead stacks and chip race-offs can not explain the extra two million chips in play. But the "normal" argument loses even more explanatory power when you consider "when" the increase occurred. Using Harrah's unverified end-of day chip counts, there were 2.36 million more chips at the end of Day Seven than there were at the end of Day Five. The vast majority of chips were added sometime during Day Six and Day Seven. Dead stacks would have obviously all been blinded off at this point. There was only one chip color-up and race-off during this two day period: the color-up and race-off of the $5,000 chips on Day Seven. The most chips that could have been introduced normally in Day Seven's race-off was 15,000 see (math page below) for details. Something abnormal happened and all media coverage of the Main Event indicates that it happened within this two day window of play.

Not only have we narrowed the search for the "how" of the added chips, we have also narrowed the search for "when" the bulk of those chips had to have been introduced to the tournament. Read "Two Million Questions. Will Poker Answer?: Part Three" where player treachery and staff error at the WSOP Championship get their due diligence and we explain how and when the overwhelming majority of the extra chips were added to the Main Event.



Appendix A
Color-Up And Race-Off Procedures

This is an explanation of the chip color-up and race-off general procedure. As you will see there are no consistent standards in the poker industry and therefore often local rules or floor decisions influence the actual process.

The Tournament Directors Association has the following rule #2:

When it is time to color-up chips, they will be raced off with a maximum of one chip going to any player. The chip race will always start in the No.1 seat. A player cannot be raced out of a tournament. In the event that a player has only one chip left, the regular race procedure will take place. If that player loses the race, he will be given one chip of the smallest denomination still in play.

Now this TDA rule presupposes that we know how to run a race-off and when and why.

From Roberts Rules of Poker, we have more but not complete information:

The lowest denomination of chip in play will be removed from the table when it is no longer needed in the blind or ante structure. All lower-denomination chips that are of sufficient quantity for a new chip will be changed up directly. The method for removal of odd chips is to deal one card to a player for each odd chip possessed. Cards are dealt clockwise starting with the 1-seat, with each player receiving all cards before any cards are dealt to the next player. The player with the highest card by suit gets enough odd chips to exchange for one new chip, the second-highest card gets to exchange for the next chip, and so forth, until all the lower-denomination chips are exchanged. A player may not be eliminated from the event by the chip-change process. If a player has no chips after the race has been held, he will be given a chip of the higher denomination before anyone else is awarded a chip. If an odd number of lower-denomination chips are left after this process, the player with the highest card remaining will receive a new chip if he has half or more of the quantity of lower-denomination chips needed, otherwise nothing.

There are a number of details that are not uniformly defined in the race-off process. For instance, technically a player cannot be raced-off out of a tournament, but usually that player is not given the first chip in a race-off. What does happen is if the player does not directly win a chip in the race-off, another chip is added and given to that player. Also, while it is a good rule to only add the final chip if the player "has half or more of the quantity of lower-denomination chips needed," more often than not the odd numbered chips are just rounded up and one extra chip is given at each table with a odd number of chips.

So, you see we are dealing with a process that is not uniformly codified or enforced. Tournament poker's popularity has resulted in the dramatic increase of player field size, the number of required tournament personnel, and the number of participating venues. An ambiguious or uncodified tournament process now translates to a higher potential and frequency of mistakes and misunderstandings, resulting in an uneven playing field for all participants.

For those who would like a complete example of a chip-up and race-off process, the following example covers a color-up (same as chip-up) and race-off for taking the $100 chips off of a table and replacing them with the $500 chip. Remember this process is done at each and every table in a tournament, usually at a break but as we will see below sometimes during live play.

There are ten players remaining. Each player stacks their black $100 chips out in front of them in stacks of five. Each stack is exchanged by the floor for a single $500 chip or two stacks for a $1,000 chip etc. Seats 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 each had black chips in multiples of 5 and therefore they are done with their chip-up and since they have no extra chips they are not involved in the race-off. Seat Two has 4 Black (100) chips, Seat Four has 2 Black chips, Seat Six has 1, Seat Eight has 3 chips, and Seat Ten has 3 Black chips. Notice there are a total of 13 Black $100 chips involved in the race-off. The dealer deals 4 cards face-up to Seat Two. The dealer then deals 2 cards to Seat Four, 1 card to Seat Six, 3 cards to Seat Eight, and 3 cards to Seat Ten.

The dealer then collects all Black chips and exchanges these (either from the table bank or more often from the floor person running the race-off) for 3 Red $500 chips. One chip for each 5 Black chips and an additional chip for the odd 3 chips. The highest card gets the first chip and that player's cards are mucked, as you may only win one chip in any race-off. Second and third chips go to the next two highest cards and the race-off is done and all of the $100 chips are off the table.

To facilitate the tournament as far as time goes, color-ups are generally done on a break. In fact, in larger tournaments the color-up is done after a round has ended but before the clock starts for the break. This allows players to stay and watch the process and assure its accuracy and then get a full break. Also, often 10 or 15 minutes before the color-up break, the floor staff will come around to each table and give the biggest stack a couple of racks and ask them to: "start buying up" the lowest denomination chips. This can usually be done without interfering with the final hands of a round and it facilitates the color-up by having most of the chips consolidated into the hands of one player, who can then have the chips color-up into large denomination chips. This is a convention that has developed in most tournaments but does lead to potential for large exchanges of chips between the floor staff and a single player at each table. Such a concentration of chips could mean that inadvertent mistakes would be magnified.



Appendix B
The Details and Math Behind the 2006 WSOP Main Event Race-Offs

What follows is a detailed review of the chip "Color-Up and Race-Off" (Cu&Ro) process for the 2006 WSOP Championship Event, specifically focusing on the maximum number of chips this process could have introduced throughout the event.

Why Color-Up and Race-Off?:

The basic reason for the Cu&Ro procedure is to remove small denomination chips from the tables when they are no longer needed for the minimum blinds and antes; and also to place larger denomination chips on the tables as the tournament structure increases. This was an especially important process for this year's Maine Event. Each of the 8,773 starters received a starting stack (20) of $25 chips, a stack (20) of $100, five $500 chips and five $1,000 chips (this was the make-up of each and every starting stack of $10,000.)

20 X $25 = $ 500
20 X $100 = $2000
5 X $500 = $2500
5 X $1000 = $5000

If all of those starting chips remained in play, the nine players at final table would have had over 438,000 chips of varying denominations, nearly 50,000 individual chips on average for each player, over 2400 stacks or 480 racks per player.

8,773 X 50 chips = 438,650 total chips in play
438,650/9 = 48,738 average chips per player
48,738/20 = 2,437 average stacks per player
2,437 stacks/5 = 480 average racks per player


You could cover the entire playing surface of a poker table with 480 racks stacked five high. Just the exercise of posting the $30K/$60K blinds using chips valued at $25, $100, $500 and $1,000 would have been a painstaking and slow exercise. The CU&RO procedure just simply makes the betting aspects of the game manageable.

The WSOP Chip Color-Up and Race-Offs:

Below is the blind and ante structure for the first nine rounds of the WSOP Main Event. From this structure, most players will recognize that the smallest chip on the tables at the beginning of this event would be the $25 denomination. Those $25 chips are needed through the first 8 rounds of play to pay the blinds ($25, $50, $150, $250) and the antes ($25, $50, $75).

ROUND BLINDS ANTE
1 $25 / $50
2 $50 / $100
3 $100 / $200
4 $100 / $200 $25
5 $150 / $300 $25
6 $200 / $400 $50
7 $250 / $500 $50
8 $300 / $600 $75
Chip Color-Up and Race-Off $25 chips
9 $400 / $800 $100

The first color-up and race-off occurred on Day Two, removing the $25 chips from play. Because there were two Day Twos and each day had staggered breaks with half of the field breaking at different times, the floor conducted four distinct color-up and race-offs of the $25 chips; one associated with each break period. Both Day Twos went through their color-up and race-offs of the $25 chips at approximately 5 PM.

Below is a detailed explanation of race-off process and calculation using the $25 chip race-off as an example. We have done the calculations for each of the five chip race-offs during the Main Event below..

$25 Race-Off Example:

In the case of the $25 chips, since four chips would be exchanged for a $100 chip, the race-off would involve only individual players with one, two or three chips remaining after they had exchanged all chips they held in multiples of four. The number of $100 chips a table would be competing for would be determined by the total value of chips in the race-off. For instance, if a table had twelve $25 chips in the race-off, or $300 total value in chips, they would ultimately be substituted for three $100 chips. In this case all the $25 chips are exchanged for an equal value of $100 chips and the total table chip count remains the same as it was before the race-off. But there are cases where a table can end up with a higher total chip count at the end of a race-off.

If the table had a total value of chips not equally divisible by $100 chips, they would race-off for the next highest number of $100 chips. For instance, tables that had thirteen, fourteen, or fifteen total $25 chips would be competing for four $100 chips. This rounding up procedure results in a table having a higher chip count at the end of a race-off than it did at the beginning. For instance, if a table had fifteen $25 chips in the race-off for a total value of $375, they would be substituted with four $100 chips at a value of $400; adding an extra $25 in chip count to the table. In the case of a table having thirteen $25 chips, or a value of $325, they would end up with $75 more in total table chip count at the end of the race-off. On each subsequent race-off of the $100, $500, $1,000 and $5,000 chips throughout the Main Event, additions to the total chip count could likewise occur.

The simple formula for calculating the maximum value of chips added to a tournament during a race-off is:

N= Value of Chip being raced off.
M= Value of next highest denomination Chip in play.
D= Difference in Value between M and N.
T= Tables in play.

M-N=D DxT= maximum chip increase during N race-off.

The maximum added chip value per table during a race-off is equal to the difference between one single lower denomination chip and the next value higher denomination chip. In the case of the $25 chip race-off, the maximum chip count added to each table would be the difference between a $100 chip and one single $25 chip; or $75 per table.

To get the total chip value added to a tournament during a race-off, you multiply the maximum value per table added per chip-race times the number of tables remaining, which gives you the maximum added chips for each race-off. In the case of the $25 chip, we would multiply $75 by the total number of tables remaining at the $25 race-off to get the maximum possible chip count introduced during that race-off. Using various media reports, we were able to determine that 210 tables were involved in the $25 race-off, including all four flights of Day One. Multiplying 210 by $75 results in a maximum of 15,750 chips introduced by $25 race off.

One $25 replaced by $100 = $75 increase X 210 tables = $15,750 maximum increase

Subsequent Race-Offs:

The next color-up and race-off was the substitution of the $100 chip with the next highest denomination chip, the $500 chip. Using the same logic as above, the maximum number of additional chips that could be introduced at each table would be 400 chips, or the difference between one single $100 chip and the larger denomination $500 chip. By the time this race-off took place there were 481 players remaining at 49 tables. Therefore, 49 X $400 = 19,600, or the maximum possible chip addition as a result of the $100 race-off.

One $100 replaced by $500 = $400 increase X 49 tables = $19,600 max. increase

At the $500 chip race-off, because there were $1,000 chips in play, the value of one $500 chip per table was the maximum that could be added. There were 288 players at 29 tables. So the math here is 29 X $500 = 14,500 possible chips.

One $500 replaced by $1000 = $500 increase X 29 tables = $14,500 max. increase

The $1,000 chip race-off could have resulted in a 4,000 chip increase per table. With 49 players remaining at 5 tables that means a 20,000 maximum chip increase was possible during the $1000 race-off.

One $1000 replaced by $5000 = $4000 increase X 5 tables = $20,000 max. increase

Finally we come to the $5,000 race-off. Since there were $10,000 chips in play, only the value of one extra $5K chip could be given per table and there were only 3 tables remaining for a worst case $15,000 chip increase.
 
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mischman

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Part 2 was 500 characters to long. I didnt read all of part 2 because it was so long. But all of part 1 i read

One $5000 replaced by $10000 = $5000 increase X 3 tables = $15,000 max. increase

For the total maximum number of chips added to the 2006 WSOP Main Event, the simple math then is:

$15,750 + $19,600 + $14,500 + $20,000 + $15,000 = $84,850

No more then 84,850 chips maximum could have been added to the total 87,730,000 chips in play by way of the race-off procedure. And exactly and precisely zero chips should have been added through the chip-up process, which is an exact chip for chip exchange
 
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Part 3

September 08, 2006
by Amy Calistri & Tim Lavalli
In our second article we dismissed the possibility that two million extra chips found their way into the 2006 WSOP Championship Event through the normal processes of blinding off dead stacks and chip race-offs. We also noted that the vast majority of the chip increase occurred between the end of Day Five and the end of Day Seven. Before we investigate the two remaining explanations of cheating or an error, we wanted to narrow down the time frame when the increase occurred. If we could better determine "when" the increase took place, it might help us determine "how." Examining available media reports we honed in on a specific time period during Day Seven.

Twenty Two Minutes:

Day Seven of the 2006 WSOP Championship began at noon with twenty-seven players. At approximately 1:14 PM, Eric Lynch was eliminated in 24th place. At 1:36 PM, twenty-one remaining players started their first break of the day. We believe, with the supporting data, that the increase in chip count can be attributed to this twenty-two minute period. It was during this time period that the $5K chips were colored up. Day Seven would play on until approximately 2:00 AM, when Fred Goldberg became the final table bubble boy. It would be sometime after that when the official end-of-day chip count confirmed the increase. Here's some of the reported data from Harrah's and Pokerwire from Day Seven that support this claim:

Time Reported

12:00 PM Starting chip count by Harrah/s (27 players) 88,256,000

12:29 PM Chip count by Pokerwire (25 players) 88,011,000

12:33 PM Chip count by Pokerwire (24 players) 88,011,000

1:14 PM Eric Lynch is eliminated in 24th place

1:14 PM Chip count by Pokerwire (23 players) 88,061,000

1:23 PM Rob Roseman is eliminated in 23rd place

1:35 PM Lee Kort is eliminated in 22nd place

1:36 PM First Break

1:36 PM Chip count by Pokerwire (21 players) 90,200,000

2:06 AM End of Day Seven chip count by Harrah's 90,140,000

NOTES:

- The End of Day Five chip count by Harrah's was 87,775,000
- The End of Day Seven chip count was verified by WSOP tournament officials with a physical count at the start of the final table.
- The total chip count reported by ESPN when Jamie Gold and Paul Wasicka started their heads-up play was 90,150,000 chips.

Chip Count Data Discussion:

In our first article we already discussed some of the problems with chip count data accuracy. As Day Seven progressed past the first break, there was a lot of variation in the reported chip count data. Performing a rough mathematical analysis, this variation straddled a mean approaching the 90,000,000 chip mark; well above the day's official starting chip count and approximating the officially verified end-of-day count.

It also should be noted that the 500K increase reflected in the official end of Day Six count didn't raise too many eyebrows, even when compared to the "near perfect" count of at the end of Day Five. The media had become used to the over and under variation of the end-of-day counts, commonly plagued by self-reporting and recording errors. For instance, the official end of Day Four chip count was $86,752,600; almost a million chips too low. But Day Seven's end-of-day chip count, verified before final table play, raised more than eyebrows.

However, on site at the Rio in the tournament room, media did not have the luxury of the careful examination of the multiple tournament reports and chip counts we have analyzed over the past several weeks. Once we had honed in on the critical 22 minutes, then the only other plausible explanation for the huge chip increase became easy to dismiss. Let's dismantle the cheating explanation right now and then we will explain what exactly did happen during those 22 minutes.

Cheating

When playing for a total prize pool of $82 million dollars people are motivated to cheat.

When we heard of the extra chips in the Main Event, we certainly considered cheating by one or more players. Perhaps some of the chips in excess of the two million did make their way into the Main Event via illegal means. But the fact stands that the majority of the excess chips came into the event on Day Seven, which means that most of the chips used during the WSOP could not have been used to contribute to the two million chip increase. Here's why.

The same chips were used in each of the 46 WSOP events this year; the same $25, $100, $500, $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000 denomination chips. If you could get your 1500 chips from a $1500 buy-in event off the table and sneak them into the Main Event, those chips would play. However, at the beginning of a 1500 starting chip event you only received $25, $100 and $500 chips. These denominations were simply not in play on Day Seven of the Main Event when the two million extra chips were introduced. The lowest denomination on the tables at that time was the $5,000 chip.

Larger denomination chips did eventually come into play in other events as the result of chip color-ups. However, one has to wonder if you were deep enough in an event and had a big enough stack to actually see a $5K or $10K chip, if you would be willing to pull it out of play from an event where you were either in the money, or very close, in order to have that chip in the Main Event. You'd also have to assume that you would make it deep enough into the Main Event to introduce that larger denomination chip. And, of course, we are not talking about accounting for a single chip but rather hundreds of chips.

So the question is were two hundred $10K chips slipped into the Main Event or were four hundred $5K chips pocketed from other events and reintroduced? A player would have to go very deep in many other events to be able to pilfer two million chips from their stacks without notice. Removing two million chips without detection and those same chips not being missed in the earlier events borders on the realm of the absurd.

Furthermore, those chips would have had to be introduced during the 22 minute window and not be detected. Those final three tables on Day Seven were being filmed by ESPN and watched by dozens of media and hundreds of spectators. Is it really feasible to think someone actually slipped two, three, or four hundred chips onto the table undetected?

What Happened:

What happened in those twenty-two minutes? The color-up and race-off of the $5000 chips occurred at the first break of Day Seven; the period when the chip increase is first detected. We postulate that in that 22 minute period, an inadvertent, but large mistake was made; a two million chip mistake. In those 22 minutes, the $5000 chips were removed from play and a simple case of bad math, working without the safety net of basic accounting procedures, was to blame for the introduction of approximately two million chips into the main event. Day Seven would play on until approximately 2:00 AM. By this time, it was arguably an irreversible error; aided and abetted by hours of play, busted players and aggregated chip stacks.

The Color-Up:

To understand what happened in those 22 minutes, it helps to understand the color-up process as it was being practiced at earlier points in the WSOP Championship event.

Color-up was not one single process. Sometimes it was preformed periodically during play to consolidate the growing chip stacks in the field. For instance, on Day Five, Card Player reported "The tournament staff has just brought out the $25,000 chips and they will now be in play. This isn't an official color up, but they will be periodically switched out for smaller chip denominations."

Most often, color ups were conducted in a period prior to a break, pending a chip race-off as occurred for the color up of the $1000 chips: "The players are taking a 20 minute break following the color up of the yellow $1,000 chips." In pre-race-off color-ups, the tournament floor personnel would go from table to table, exchanging higher denomination chips for an equal value of lower denomination chips. Often times, to facilitate the process, they would ask one or two players to buy up all the lower denomination chips from the other players at the table so that a smaller number of floor transactions had to be made. It was a "rolling" process that could start during play, but could also extend beyond the official period of play.

The Day Seven Color-Up:

By the time Day Seven started, the following denominations chips were in play: $5,000, $10,000, $25,000, $100,000. The race-off for the $5000 chips was scheduled to take place at the first break.

Tournament staff can color-up to any higher denomination chip in play. The prudent decision at this chip-up was to exchange the 5K chips for 25K chips, whenever possible. While 100K chips were in play, the blinds were still below the 100,000 threshold; moving to 30K/60K with a 10K ante after the break. With adequate $10K chips already in play for the blinds and antes, coloring-up to $10K chips would have been inefficient.

A stack (20) of 5K chips equals 100,000, which is exchanged for four 25K chips. A rack of 5K chips equals 500,000 (5 X 20 X 5K), which should be exchanged for twenty 25K chips (a full stack). Here is the critical error. A five stack rack of 5K chips should swap for a single stack of 25K chips but, in fact, the color-up was made at the rate of two stacks for one rack. So anyone with a rack of 5K chips worth 500K in fact got 1 million in chips; a half million more chips than the value they should have received. One player with two racks may have received not 1 million, but 2 million. We believe that an excess of approximately 2 million chips were added at this color-up by incorrectly exchanging the $5,000 chips for double their worth.

Chip Revelations:

While this was an easy enough error to make, it deserves some discussion as to why it wasn't detected. Or if it was detected, why it wasn't identified and rectified.

The color-up and race-up were conducted prior to the break. The clock for the break does not officially start until the color-up is completed, but players often leave the tables to begin their break and are not present during the color-up. If there was consolidation of lower denomination chips among one or two players at a table, the other players might not have felt the need to monitor the completion of the color-up. The majority of players may not have been directly involved with the tournament staff's exchange as they had already been colored-up by another player. Even if a player's stack was specifically involved in a floor transacted color-up, the player may have failed to notice the error. In a color-up, a player's stack is physically reduced; even factoring in the mistake, stacks were being reduced at a ratio of 5 for 2. After hours of play the participants may not have noticed the mistake. And of course, the count is being executed by tournament officials, the very people entrusted with maintaining the accuracy and integrity of the event.

One or more players may have noticed, but not come forward. If so, was it a case where the potential whistle blower worried that they might be the only one penalized for their honesty; reducing their stack while other beneficiaries of the error remained silent? Or could there have been someone that remained silent, knowing the huge edge they were being given in the race for the twelve million dollar first prize? If either case was true, it represents a gross ethical breach. However, there is no written rule that requires a player to report this kind of error to tournament officials. There should be.

We do not know how many, if any, players watched this color-up, nor do we know how many, if any, players saw the mistake being made and did not report it. And because there was no hand for hand reporting at this point and chip counts were sporadic and mostly estimated, we do not know, definitively, who or how many players benefited by the error

Closing Thoughts:

While we were supplied with a tip that motivated us to investigate this explanation, the available data supports the hypothesis that approximately two million chips were erroneously introduced during the color up of the $5K chips. The color-up error was an innocent mistake, but that does not make it excusable. This is a common and preventable error. The fact that it has not been sufficiently addressed, knowing both the frequency of occurrence and potential for it to occur, speaks badly for officials entrusted with safeguarding the players' money and the integrity of play.

We were distressed that it should have occurred at a critical juncture of the Main Event of the World Series of Poker. We were not alone. When the Day Seven chip counts were released nearly every member of the long-term WSOP media pool asked questions. We wished they had been addressed. We wish Harrah's had conducted this inquiry.

We love the game of poker and we are encouraged by the growth and appreciation of this game. We struggled with releasing these articles, knowing the fragility of public sentiment about poker, especially in the current environment. But in the end, we want better poker for everyone.

Please watch for the next article where we will give players and officials a chance to react and respond.
 
Welly

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"WSOP ME Chip Cuunts Wrong " Title Quote

Isnt the word you are looking for 'Counts'

This count be misleading ;)
 
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mischman

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"WSOP ME Chip Cuunts Wrong " Title Quote

Isnt the word you are looking for 'Counts'

This count be misleading ;)

wont let me edit title.

I read article 1 and it was very interesting, when i get a free hour im going to read 2 and 3
 
smd173

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Where's the "OMG, it's rigged" guy?
 
wsorbust

wsorbust

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Where's the "OMG, it's rigged" guy?


lol. ok . I'll play the part..........OMG! I knew it all along! It's a conspiracy! RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGGGGGGGGGGGGGGEEEED! SO RIGGED!






Do anything for ya? eh...I tried.
 
DESSERTLADY

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This is one reason why Harrah's needs to get with it and implement the RFID(radio frequency Identification)chips for the WSOP, to make the chip counts instant and accurate. I know it would cost them a bunch of money up front but may pay off in the long run.

You know you can't Fix stupid!
For CU&RO of chips, if the tournament directors and/or dealers that are stupid could it possibly fix part of the stupidness?
 
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smd173

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This is one reason why Harrah's needs to get with it and implement the RFID(radio frequency Identification)poker chips for the WSOP, to make the chip counts instant and accurate. I know it would cost them a bunch of money up front but may pay off in the long run.

You know you can't Fix stupid!
For CU&RO of chips, if the tournament directors and/or dealers that are stupid could it possibly fix part of the stupidness?

Either that or one of those PokerTek machines they put on the Carnival cruises. Although, I'm not sure if Pros would like the championship decided that way (basically online but in person).
 
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mischman

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they let people play online but in person, people would say the computer deck is juiced.
 
spore

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They need to start testing for performance-enhancing drugs at the WSOP.
 
Welly

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Either that or one of those PokerTek machines they put on the Carnival cruises.
Sacrilege :p

Next we will be.....
Doing away with pens and paper,
Losing our books to electonic screens,
Losing our physical currency,
Always adding up with a calculator
Walking around with robotic arms and legs
Listening to purely cyber rock bands
Spending half our lives at a computer screen
Spending another 51% of our lives at the video game console (or tv)
Eating vitamin pills instead of food
Drinking alcopops instead of beer

;)

Keep the poker chips or we will all be doomed :p ;)
 
joosebuck

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my alcopop recipe is patented. we use only the finest alcopop ingredients
 
MSRedImp

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Great article, so glad no cheating was involved, but it so easily could be done...what security measurements are being taken to stop cheating for the future?
 
titans4ever

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Great article, so glad no cheating was involved, but it so easily could be done...what security measurements are being taken to stop cheating for the future?

There was some misleading that I would call cheating. You would not notice 500k added to your stack after the break? I play alot of live tournaments and I know how much I should be getting back from a color up before I leave the table. I think I would notice 1 million instead of 500k placed in front of my stack. Here are three reasons they should notice.

1) At that color up I would know exactly how much I should get so that I don't get shortchanged. The last thing you would want is to be have 500k in chips that need coloring up and only get 250k or 400k back. I would want to make sure I got back the right amount. You are playing for millions, I would make sure they got it right.

2) When a color up is complete the new chips are placed in front of the players stack so they can add it in to chips in play. They are not just pushed into the players pile. This allows for the player to see the new amount.

3) Almost every player has his own way of stacking his chips so it is easiest for them to count it and for others to see how much they have. They had to notice that they got extra chips when adding it to the pile.

A player had to have noticed and did not say anything. Guess it is not against the rules but hey all is fair when it comes to winning millions, right?
 
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4Aces

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Read the first part then seen how long part 2 was so didnt read it. lol
Ill read the rest later.
 
smd173

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You guys are both way behind on your posts if you are reading stuff from last year. ;)
 
reglardave

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Performance enhancing drugs are RIGGED. I can see it now, CGH (chip growth hormone) testing at the WSOP.
 
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