For a company dedicated to making cards, landing the contract to make the official cards for the WSOP must be like a dream come true. You’d be hard put to find a better and more prestigious deal like this one. So why US Playing Card Co. botched their job despite its importance is really beyond me. They have created cards win a very small but very significant error and this error has given an unfair advantage to the players who noticed them.
About the Error
The error was pretty small, almost inconspicuous – almost. Observant players were able to spot the flaw and capitalize upon it. They were then able to identify the low spade cards even if they were lying face down on the poker table. The television lights installed by ESPN were partly responsible too as they made the flaw more visible. Now, all the games can be questioned thanks to this fatal error. It’s impossible to tell if any of the winners or even those who finished in the money chose to use this cheat in order to get their prize. The flaw certainly cast a shadow on the whole tournament, and it’s pretty much irreparable at this point.
It’s impossible to restart the entire WSOP just because of this flaw, so the WSOP had to resort to some emergency measures to prevent further cheating. They had to reuse last year’s decks. US Playing Card Co. had to mass-produce 10,000 new decks in order to cover for the remaining months of the tournament. There hasn’t been any confirmation on this but you can bet that they’re not getting paid for that second bunch. It’s also unlikely that the WSOP will hire them for next year if they can botch a job this important.
Then again, US Playing Card Co. can’t be completely blamed for the situation. How were they to know that the lights would cause an error to be revealed. They could have prepared for the situation a bit more and tested out the paraphernalia for the tournament, of course. Even if they did do that, they obviously didn’t do it well enough. Still, the damage is irreversible. It’s good that the flaw was brought to the attention of WSOP officials, courtesy of Poker Pro Jon “PearlJammer” Turner. If he hadn’t said anything, all the cheating could have gone on and on and WSOP 2011 would have been a total fraud.
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