July 30, 2022 Featured Articles, Poker News Lars Liedtke

MGM Grand Refuses to Pay Out Guaranteed Prize Pool in Poker Tournament

The MGM Grand Casino is under fire for cutting $60,000 out of a $173,000 guaranteed prize pool. It claims this was necessary to pay the prizes for two leaderboards but didn’t declare this beforehand.

There are no suggestions that MGM did anything against the terms and conditions but the general feeling among affected players is that this is sneaky, deliberately deceptive behaviour.

MGM Grand Under Fire for Cutting Tournament Guarantee During Play

MGM Grand Refuses to Pay Out Guaranteed Prize Pool in Poker Tournament

MGM Grand Refuses to Pay Out Guaranteed Prize Pool in Poker Tournament

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A thread on the 2+2 forums showed quite a few unhappy players but it was pointed out that MGM Tournament Advisor Justin Hammer made an apology for the poorly worded event description.

Apparently, two $30,000 chunks were required to be removed from the guarantee to cover a pair of leaderboards but this wasn’t stated clearly, leaving a bad taste for many who made the trip to Las Vegas.

He further explained that the $60,000 wasn’t redirected elsewhere but still went to players in the tournament, keeping within the terms and conditions set out previously.

Not the First Complaint of this Type

It turns out that Justin Hammer has taken flak for this kind of misunderstanding before, but again there is no accusation of any misdeed only that of poor communication.

A few days before the event above, there was another tournament guarantee chopped due to small print that the players had missed.

PokerFraudAlert forum owner Todd Witteles was quick to ask for an explanation over why a $3,000 GTD event became only $1,500.

Hammer responded with:

The structures posted in the room say must have 10 players for GTE to be in effect. It’s a rebuy/add-on tournament which is why the chip avg looks the way it does.”

This led to more complaints about how the tournament should have been cancelled or delayed rather than running with informing players directly that the guarantee was getting chopped in half.

MGM Grand Poker Room denied this was the case and that all players were informed before play began.

“Before starting every player was notified that the guarantee WAS canceled and if they wished to play anyway we would still give them a guarantee but for less than was originally posted or they can get a full refund. They all agreed to the terms. Any subsequent entry also agreed.”

It’s shocking that two decades after the poker boom began, experienced poker rooms still persist in confusing players with unclear instruction for many events.

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