Fedor Holz created a Christmas Day stir on Saturday by accusing two Brazilian highstakes regs of colluding at the final table of an 888poker tournament, claiming the pair “probably weren’t aware it’s live-streamed with cards up.”
A pretty obvious collusion spot including Seijistar on a big 1K FT vs his friend Selouan. They are part of a Brazilian HS group that work together called “9Tales”. Cheating sucks. I think every HS reg that doesn’t cheat should work together to bring up similar situations. pic.twitter.com/TZLT8BoHC7
— Fedor Holz 🐧 (@CrownUpGuy) December 25, 2021
The two players in question – Rodrigo “selouan1991” Selouan and Rodrigo “seijistar1” Seiji – found themselves at the final table of the $1,050 WPT final table on 888Poker.
In the hand tweeted by Holz – the only hand the German has so far offered as proof of collusion – chip leader Seiji saw his 2BB raise from under the gun met by Selouan’s 7BB all-in shove from the button.
To Holz, what happened next was a clear sign that the pair were colluding, the semi-retired pro tweeting…
In case It isn’t clear, AJ folds. They probably weren’t aware it’s live-streamed with cards up.
— Fedor Holz 🐧 (@CrownUpGuy) December 25, 2021
It didn’t take long before some other big names were wading in on the debate, with Justin Bonomo quick to call for sanctions against the Brazilian players.
Thanks for sharing this. I very much agree sharing these is good for the health of the community
I hope money is taken and the appropriate players from the tournament get their payouts bumped up
— Bonologic (@JustinBonomo) December 25, 2021
Discussions as to whether Seiji’s fold was correct or not found Patrick “plenopads” Leonard struggling to find excuses for what looked like a clear case of chip-dumping:
“AJo will very likely still probably be pretty close here, definitely not thrilling/slam dunk, basically never see anybody folding here though, imagine it’s v marginal call and “justifiable” he doesn’t want to double up best player left etc. But yeah, if A9s goes in AJo has to.”
Jens Arends was pressing for a closer look at the duo’s previous play, stating: “Think it would be good to review their shared FTs and satellite play on GG. If they do it on 888 it seems likely you will find some more evidence there that is ban worthy.”
His comment: “This is just a ban right? Lol Brazilians”, didn’t endear him to many, especially in Brazil, where he was described in the poker media as an “enemy of Brazilians”.
Arends defended himself when pulled up for his comment, explaining: “I don’t have a problem with Brazilians, I do have a problem with collusion, soft playing, ghosting etc. If these two were from another country I would call them out just the same.”
Back in the main “collusion or not?” argument, and the player who was in the hijack seat, Panxetillo, piped up on Twitter…
“That hand was very suspicious, I didn’t know they worked together in 9tales, so it makes sense now. Thanks for expose this case, we have to kick out people who cheat and collusion for the sake of poker. I hope @888poker investigate this and take action. Cheers!”
888poker themselves were quickly on the case, promising an investigation…
Any type of collusion is in clear violation of our user agreement.
We are reviewing this hand and others played between these two players. We are contacting the players to better understand their POV. We will be in touch with the players and act upon our investigation results.
— 888poker (@888poker) December 25, 2021
Friends of the Brazilian players were doing their best to defend them, tweeting out Brazilian media reports that saw Seiji refute the allegations of collusion.
“This Christmas morning I woke up to the unfortunate surprise of being accused on Twitter of collusion at a final table I played this week at @888poker. As I don’t have Twitter, I would like to thank Mundo Poker for the possibility of clarifying the case” Seiji to @CrownUpGuy
— MundoPoker (@MundoPokerBr) December 25, 2021
The Brazilian media outlet’s tweets of Seiji’s explanation continued: “First the technical part. In the hand in question we have 5 players and I open mini-raise on HJ with AJo, I have 27.3BBs, Rodrigo Selouan shoves from BTN 7.1BBs. Folded , I was accused of collusion because it was an “obvious call”.
“At the time I considered that the opponent would not shove hands like QJs, KJs, KQs, A9o and maybe not even ATo because of the pressure that the payouts put on the game.”
Seiji added: “It is hard to make these decisions in game and I misjudged the situation… It is far from an “obvious call” as anyone with access to an ICM assessment program will identify.”
The Brazilian was understandably unhappy about being publicly called out:
“Anyone who knows me knows my integrity, which had never been questioned before,” stated Seiji.
He added: “It still seems absurd to think that I, with more than 15 years working in the field, would risk a successful career and an unblemished reputation to earn a handful of dollars at a televised table.”
Despite the accusations, and regardless of social media hype, Seiji was hopeful that the poker community would come to their own conclusions, in his favour.
“Although I’m still amazed by these times of social media where the accusation is already the trial, I can only believe in the discernment capacity of the poker community, which has welcomed me so well today. A great Christmas to all.”
Meanwhile, the following day saw Holz follow up his Christmas Day tweet, describing the situation as a “sketchy spot”…
I think it is a very sketchy spot knowing that they share action. To me it looks like he made that fold because he has action and wouldn’t otherwise, that’s why I posted it.
There is a lot of cheating going on in highstakes and I think we need to raise more awareness in general.
— Fedor Holz 🐧 (@CrownUpGuy) December 26, 2021
Terms and conditions apply. New customer offer and 18+ only. Should you require help regarding your betting pattern, please visit www.begambleaware.org