Irish Poker Open tournament director, JP Mccann, has had to apologize after failing to disqualify a man, who repeatedly slapped and aggressively swore at Canadian poker pro Louise Francoeur.
The handling of this situation that occurred at the @Irish_PokerOpen is unacceptable and this player should be banned from further attendance. There is NO place for putting your hands on someone else or treating them in this way. DO BETTER. @loufrancoeur pic.twitter.com/QCrFfuvknX
— EllaElla (@Elanit) April 12, 2023
The incident occurred on the last day of the festival in Dublin, while Francoeur was chatting to the dealer during a tournament.
Louise Francoeur states: “In the middle of a hand the player to my right (who had been chatting away before this) out of nowhere slaps my thigh HARD!”
With the dealer believing this action or sound was a ‘check’, play checked round to the river and the last player to act showed his cards.
Francoeur explains: “First player who slapped me slaps me again even harder and yells that he never checked, blames me for chatting with the dealer and was slapping me to shut me up!”
What followed was a farce of epic proportions as the player repeatedly swore at Francoeur and was warned by the floor that he would be removed from the tournament.
When he followed this up with more aggression and swearing, a female floor told Francoeur that the man was being ejected from the event.
“I was speechless!,” wrote Francoeur, adding: “This was the first time I’ve EVER been physically hit at a table of had f### you yelled to me at a table.”
However, after the break, Francoeur was informed that the player had simply been moved to another table rather than DQ’d.
“NOBODY TOLD ME!!! I call female floor over, she is mad and says ‘the boys had a meeting and JP overruled floor’s decision. I was no at asked to participate in meeting and am very upset about it.’”
Francoeur was also livid, even more so after Mccann explained he felt the player was just on tilt and the dealer shouldn’t have been talking with her.
This incident and Mccann’s decision didn’t go down well when the story hit poker Twitter…
Wow! Wow!! Zero chance I’d ever play at this venue after reading this. He assaulted her, plain and simple. How is that even legal let alone socially acceptable?
— Melissa Smith (@melissaey) April 12, 2023
🙄 of course the abusive guy apologizes to the male TD & suddenly all is okay. No accountability for his abusive actions. Doesn’t even have to apologize to the woman he assaulted. But gets to continue playing as if nothing happened. Why don’t more woman play live poker 🙄
— pokerjane 🇨🇦🏳️🌈 (@Countryjayne) April 13, 2023
You tolerated a player being assaulted. Resign. So it’s not accurate he struck her? Wtf. He admitted it. He’s OUT! You played favorites. Resign.
— Craig Tapscott (@CraigTapscott) April 13, 2023
With news of the incident going viral, McCann initially responded to the furore by claiming: “This is not a fair and accurate account of the conversation I had with Louise.”
Accused of favouritism towards a player he allegedly knew, Mccann explained, “For the record I’ve never played or worked at event with either player before this event.”
Mccann also claimed he “wasn’t told” of the slapping, while the venue didn’t have CCTV to confirm or deny what exactly happened, but Louise Francoeur wasn’t impressed.
We are having good talk. Unfortunately, it is all “he said she said”, cameras could show the entire escalation. In addition to talking to floor, who was in and out, and other player, you should have spoken to me before making your decision. I told floor I did not feel safe.
— louise francoeur (@loufrancoeur) April 13, 2023
Eventually, Mccann caved in to mounting pressure from almost the entire poker community to make a public statement about what happened and how he will deal with future incidents of aggression and violence towards players, especially women.
— Irish Open (@Irish_PokerOpen) April 15, 2023
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