December 8, 2022 Poker Gossip, Poker News Lars Liedtke

YouTuber akaNemsko rigs $12,000 WPT Championship Ticket to her boyfriend!

YouTuber Qiyu Zhou, known to her 90k+ followers as “akaNemsko”, has been caught rigging a $12,000 WPT package to her boyfriend poker pro Alex “Thallo” Epstein.

akaNemsko, who holds the women’s grandmaster title, ran a competition to give away a $12.4k WPT package she won on “WPT Global”.

The first 10 entries to comment on her competition tweet were eligible, but the TwitchTV streamer – @akaNemsko – caused uproar when she gave the package to Alex “Thallo” Epstein.

Giving away the prize to her coach could be considered bad enough, but it transpires that Zhou and Epstein have been dating – and that was more than enough to spark a well-deserved Twitter backlash when the news emerged. Among the comments:

  • “You feel guilty yet you give it to your boyfriend? Not your coach your boyfriend… Who bent the rules to even get into the contest. Get the fuck outta here with your sad faces lol”
  • “I hope the other contest entrants sue you both and they look into charges for rigging a contest and conspiring to steal.”
  • “Pick a winner from the comments aka *ignore all that and give it to my bf”
  • It’s unbelievable how you rigged this giveaway, I did not expect you would ever do this… what was the point of the whole giveaway if the winner was known even before the start?
  • “So you have a contest for twitter then give it to your bf? Why not just give it to him in the first place. Instead you have people do all kinds of Shit for them to win and then pick him.”

When confronted with the rigged scheme, akaNemsko was unrepentant, her now-deleted tweet showing her “true colours” according to some poker Twitter fans.

Todd Witteles, much in the news this past month, wasn’t slow in picking apart the wavering stories of “Nemo” and “Thallo”

“Clearly she planned to give this seat to Thallo”

Todd Witteles wrote on PokerFraudAlert:

“Clearly she planned to give this seat to Thallo in the first place (who likely either bought it from her or will be giving her a piece of his action), but wanted the excitement, attention, and engagement of a public “contest” on her YouTube channel.

He added: “Being from the YouTube world, full of gullible 12-year-olds, she probably thought that there wouldn’t be much suspicion. She tried to pass off a rigged contest as an exciting giveaway, and now got caught and won’t admit what she did.”

Once the game was up, literally and metaphorically, Nemo, eventually produced an apology:


A new winner of the WPT package has apparently been drawn.

Meanwhile, Epstein – who scooped the $10k Short Deck WSOP bracelet in 2019 – decided Twitter wasn’t the best place to hang around once the torches and pitchforks came out…

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Date (UTC-0)
26th Sep 17:00