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Venetian CANCELS $1.1 Million GTD Stairway to Millions, Players Lash Out Poker
Donna Amo
Posted on 19 Sep, 2022
By Donna Amo
On 19 Sep, 2022
By Donna Amo
On 19 Sep, 2022

Venetian CANCELS $1.1 Million GTD Stairway to Millions, Players Lash Out

Two of PokerGO’s Stairway to Millions tournaments which had guarantees totalling to $1.1 million were cancelled at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas. On Sunday, a $25,000 buy-in tournament with a $500,000 guarantee was scheduled to take place. Players who finished in the money would then get a free ticket to the $51,000 buy-in event on Monday which would have been worth $600,000 minimum.

Despite some players winning a free entry to the Sunday tournament, both the events were called off. It was reportedly done due to expected overlays. The news of the events getting cancelled was further confirmed by PokerNews who couldn’t get a reply from Venetian at the time of publishing.

The guarantees for the first eight events in the series were surpassed, however, on Friday the $10,400 buy-in tournament had only 18 players in the game. This meant that the $200,000 guarantee event was only $20,000 short of hitting the advertised prize pool. On Saturday, in the $15,000 tournament with a $300,000 guarantee, there was a $30,000 overlay which meant that the event was two players short.

After the Saturday live updates, PokerGO announced, “The Stairway To Millions originally had 12 events on the schedule, but due to decisions made by The Venetian Resort Poker Room, the final two events were cancelled.”

Series Ends Strangely

PokerGO’s Stairway to Millions has a format in which every player that cashes in a series of tournaments will automatically advance into the next event. The entire series was set to wrap up on Monday with the $50,000 buy-in Event #12.

Event #10 was shipped by Paul Zappulla who took home $125,500 in prize money. After the abrupt cancellation, this turned out to be the final event in the series. This meant that the Stairway to Millions series was now over, albeit on a very awkward note.

Unhappy Players

Poker players affected by cancellation of the tournaments were upset with the news and took to social media to call out the unfair decision.

Adam Hendrix, who was a runner-up in Event #9 for $37,050 had earned a seat to Event #10 which eventually became the series finale. After busting in the the $15,000 Event #10, Hendrix was then informed that the guarantee of the $25,000 and the $50,000 tournaments will be removed. He took to Twitter to share his displeasure about the situation.

The player then revealed that he was offered cash instead of a seat he won but he responded saying, “Cancelling a guarantee to a tournament you won a satellite into already is unacceptable.” His opinion matched many other players who were affected.

A user called @nogoodlogan replied, “Venetian is horrible for poker and this isn’t their first time doing something like this yet all of you degenerates still go there to play.”

Dan Colpoys then tweeted saying, “There won’t even be a 50k hopefully lesson learned, and they just stop running PGT stuff there.”

Ryan Laplante went on to further point out the strangeness of cancelling two events with $1.1 million in guarantees while the series already had $2.15 million in overall guarantee.

Here are some other tweets from the angry players:


Other Similar Cases

It is unusual that a guaranteed event is cancelled in the middle of a series and many poker players even consider it as a bad decision. But believe it or not this is not the first time it has happened. Back in April of this year, Hustler Casino did a similar thing when they cancelled multiple remaining Day 1 flights in the middle of a $250,000 guarantee tournament. The prize pool was then re-calculated after the poker room felt that the guarantee of the event would not be met.

Even though these situations can be frustrating for tournament players, it is unlikely that it will be the last time when something like this has happened. Operators tend to stop tournaments if they believe that the prize pool of the events won’t be reached and expect overlays. However, there have also been instances in the past where poker rooms who expect overlays decide on continuing the tournaments despite the shortfall.

It seems like for now, the Stairway to Millions series has come to an end after 10 thrilling events. For more news and updates, keep reading Gutshot Magazine. Follow us on our social handles FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Telegram.

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