Patrick Leonard Uncovers Tabulating Error, Loses PokerStars SCOOP Leaderboard Crowns

4 min read

Sometimes honesty pays in unusual ways, as British online poker star Patrick Leonard can attest. Leonard stars in a new tale involving an online series tabulation error after spending most of April grinding away in one of the highlight series of the year, the 2021 PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP).

Patrick Leonard
Patrick Leonard’s integrity costs him the honor of winning two leaderboard titles in the recently completed 2021 PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker. (Image: partypoker)

While winning any SCOOP event is an achievement, the series also includes several leaderboard bonuses that reward regular participants for multiple high finishes. In the 2021 SCOOP, Leonard — playing as “pads1161” on Stars — ended up in very tight races for the “Overall” and “High” (buy-in) titles. When the series wrapped up on Wednesday, it appeared that Leonard had topped both boards, worth an extra $25,000 and $15,000, respectively.

But things weren’t as they appeared. Leonard had been closely monitoring the results and leaderboard points awarded not only for his own finishes, but also for his closest rivals, including Russia’s Rinat “zapahzamazki” Lyapin and Finland’s Jussi “calvin7v” Nevanlinna.

While his rival’s points seemed correct, Leonard discovered that in one of the last events of the series, SCOOP 101-H (High), $1,050 6+ Hold’em [8-Max], he may have been erroneously credited with 30 leaderboard points. In that event, Leonard bubbled the money, but PokerStars’ leaderboard points calculator automatically credited his 13th-place, out-of-the-money finish with those points.

Leonard goes to Twitter with concerns

Though he could have handled the matter via private emails to PokerStars, Leonard — a sponsored player for rival site partypoker — instead took to Twitter with his potential issue. Leonard posted this:

PokerStars quickly investigated the issue and discovered that Leonard was, unfortunately, correct in his suspicions. It turned out that Stars had made a series-long error, too, affecting not only the $1,050 8-max tourney, but several others as well.

Leonard added this to his string of online updates on the situation: “Very sad update. After tweeting stars realised they didn’t have a box ticked for the leaderboard. I rightfully lose 100 points (from earlier in the series) meaning Zapa (Lyapin) wins both the overall and the high leaderboard. I /we/ everybody played very different based on the standings.”

Leonard learned that he had been mistakenly awarded leaderboard points in three different high-buy-in events, for a total of 100 extra points. With the errors corrected, Leonard finished third in the overall leaderboard chase and second in the high-roller category. As Leonard surmised, Lyapin indeed won both titles following the recalculation.

PokerStars makes good on the snafu

By the following morning, PokerStars had corrected the points errors and apologized to all involved. The site also chose to pay out the differences between original and revised leaderboard finishes for all players negatively impacted by the series-long error.

For Leonard, he reported that Stars would be crediting him with an extra $45,000. And that was worth another update: “@PokerStars get a lot of shit,” Leonard tweeted on his @padspoker account, “but they were on this straight away, and didn’t need to do this. Big respect to them, I’ll be donating all to charity….”

The situation is somewhat reminiscent of the 2019 WSOP Player of the Year chase when Shaun Deeb and Robert Campbell seemingly fell short of apparent winner Daniel Negreanu in a tight three-way race. As happened in the PokerStars SCOOP series, however, the WSOP uncovered its own tabulating error and found the actual winner to be Campbell, an Australian pro. For the WSOP, despite the embarrassment, there was no financial hit: the 2019 POY race was the first such race in numerous years where no extra prizes were awarded.

The repeat episodes illustrate that players need to be diligent regarding their points in such contests. Even the largest operators can, and do, make mistakes. For Leonard, it was a tale of good grace and good fortune, even though he ended up losing his SCOOP titles. Leonard, a widely-respected pro, adds to his overall positive image through this tale and avoids the possible embarrassment of having to ship the leaderboard trophies to their rightful winners had the tabulation problems been uncovered by someone else at a later date.

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