Russian poker pro Georgii Belianin was disqualified from the WSOP Main Event, issued a ban from entering Caesars properties and then arrested upon attempting to trespass.
Belianin Gets in Trouble After Being Disqualified from WSOP Main Event
Day 1C of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event was all set to start business as usual, but ten minutes into the event, the first disqualification rolled in. Russian poker players Georgii Belianin was asked to leave his table, leaving his $10,000 buy-in into the bid.
Belianin was accused of “cheating” after he swept a small pot he had just won along with the neighbouring chips of a player, which was immediately clamped down on by WSOP. Without further ceremony, Belianin was asked to leave the table and he was handed a swift ban from attending Caesars property.
With around 10 years of experience playing live games, this had been the first time Belianin had been mentioned in a bad light. Poker contributor Drew Amato caught Belianin as he was being escorted out of the casino later when he tried re-entering the property and being arrested as a result.
Belianin’s case may seem like one of a cheat, but that is far from the truth. Based on Jack Effel’s account, responsible for managing the WSOP Main Event, Belianin had intentionally try to steal chips from his fellow players.
However, Tom Peterson, who was playing next to Belianin at the table, objected to the accusation and he was not alone.
No, Belianin Is Not a Cheat
When the reputation of a poker player is at stake, the poker community doesn’t sit idly by. Apart from Peterson, there have been others who said that Belianin was an exemplary player, bar his proclivity for drink. Here is what Brandon Shack-Harris had to say on the matter:
He was not alone in arguing the case for Belianin. Nearly everyone agreed that WSOP’s decision has gone too far and that Belianin was visibly drunk, but his antics was meant as a joke. Similar opinions were shared by the other players at the table that were playing with him.
Nevertheless, WSOP and Effel argued that the tournament had a “zero-tolerance policy” about cheating – perceived or otherwise. Belianin has made amendments since reaching out to PokerNews and to his fans on social media, apologizing for what he perceived as unethical behavior:
Based on one witness account, though, Belianin swept all chips in front of him, not only the 1,600 in winnings he had just added. Without a hesitation, he took the nearby chips and threw them in, drawing the entire pot towards him.
Belianin antics were out of line, but they could have been overlooked. The arrest however made things grave for a disappointed Belianin who has apologized since. Hopefully, he will be able to appeal the Caesars property ban.