World Series of Poker 2019: Dealer's error sparks debate at Day 7 of Main Event

It doesn't matter what the dealer says. If you place a wrong bet, that's on you.

Strict as those rules may be, they apply even to the World Series of Poker, and tournament executives were forced to defend them over the weekend thanks to a controversial hand during Day 7 of 2019 Main Event action.

With 11 players remaining at a final table that's since been cut all the way down to three, Italy's Dario Sammartino raised to 1.7 million chips with pocket 10s before Nick Marchington, a British university dropout, went all in for 22.2 million with pocket Queens. Sammartino then asked the Day 7 dealer to count Marchington's chips ahead of a potential call, and the dealer incorrectly announced 17.2 million, prompting a call and match.

The dealer soon realized the error, as seen on the broadcast, and summoned officials to review the hand, with Sammartino arguing that it was unfair to carry on with play considering he could've proceeded differently knowing there were 5 million more chips in the pot. WSOP vice president Jack Effel ultimately cited a matching rule, however, that pinned all responsibility on the players.

The rule is as follows, per Poker News:

Poker is a game of alert, continuous observation. It is the caller's responsibility to determine the correct amount of an opponent's bet before calling, regardless of what is stated by the dealer or participants. If a caller requests a count but receives incorrect information from the dealer or participants, then places that amount in the pot, the caller is assumed to accept the full correct action & is subject to the correct wager or all-in amount.

Sammartino went on to advance and remains among the final three at the Main Event, with more than $8 million in career earnings under his belt. But his Day 7 tumult did not go unnoticed. Fellow Main Event contender Alex Livingston, who's also still at the final table, tweeted after the dealer mishap that he understood the ruling and felt "badly" for the "great dealer" but suggested Effel was "completely out of line" to tell Sammartino, "If you're calling 17, you're calling 22."

CBS Sports Writer

Cody Benjamin joined CBS Sports in 2017 after time spent with SB Nation, various newspapers and his own Eagles outlet. Raised around the Philly sports scene, he now lives in Minnesota with his wife and... Full Bio

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