August 31, 2019 Poker News, Live Poker News Petr Černý

Angle Shooting Controversy at PokerStars EPT Barcelona Main Event

Chinese pro Quan Zhou sparked controversy at the PokerStars EPT Barcelona Main Event yesterday after attempting what appeared to be a very clear attempt to angle shoot his opponent, the commentators on the feature table shocked…

Zhou was facing a re-raise from his opponent, Nikolay Ponomarev,when he made as if to push his cards to the dealer. However, he then pulled them back – a big no-no in poker etiquette.

In the commentary booth, Ben Spragg and Joe Stapleton were shocked. “Whoa, whoa, whoa! What?” was the immediate response, disbelief as Zhou then tried to claim he was merely moving his cards from one side of his chip stack to the other.

“There is a big difference between those two motions,” said Stapleton, his colleague adding: “That was some definite forward motion of the cards.”

For it to be a proper angle-shooting effort, Zhou would have to be looking for a response from his opponent, which some said wasn’t obvious, despite Staples claiming so.

However, though hard to see in real time, eagle-eyed poker fans on Twitter were soon on the case and producing damning evidence…

There was very little doubt in most fans’ minds as to Zhou’s intent, a quick Twitter poll offering up a resounding ‘angleshooter’ result…

The rest of the hand passed off without incident. Zhou’s call was accepted by the dealer and the Chinse player folding to the subsequent flop c-bet from Ponomarev.

Since Zhou didn’t release his cards, it’s not technically a fold. Even though some feel it should be treated the same way as forward motion of chips…

Angle-shooting aside for a moment, the two players share a strange coincidence of sorts.

In 2017 Zhou was the WSOP Main Event bubble-boy. Though he didn’t go home empty-handed, receiving a $10k entry to the following year’s tournament as a consolation prize.


The following spring, Ponomarev didn’t bubble the PokerStars Megastacks in London. He actually won it – but he also received a sweet freebie, a $25k PSPC Platinum Pass to the Bahamas.


Poker isn’t exactly short on examples of angle-shooting, those instances where the rules don’t exclude certain behavior. But common decency and etiquette seriously frown upon them.

Two very well-known cases spring to mind:

Ivan Freitez, in the PokerStars EPT Madrid Grand Final back in 2011, performed this horrible act. Not for the first time as you’ll see explained in the video…

More recently, Alec Torelli was involved in the daddy of all angleshoots, given how viral it went after Doug Polk picked up on it.

Torelii was playing on Poker Night in America, a televised cash game when he somehow managed to find his big chips hidden from his opponent’s view.

When Daniel Wolf went all-in, he was shocked to see just how much Torelli had behind, and that sparked all kinds of trouble.

Polk and Torelli had a long and very public argument, several videos worth in fact. But here’s an outsider’s view on whether Torelli deliberately hid his chips or not…

Although angleshooting isn’t cheating, by definition, it’s a surefire way to find yourself hated by the majority of right-thinking poker players.

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