Two prominent Brazilian online poker stars, Rodrigo “seijistar1” Seiji and Rodrigo “selouan1991” Selouan, have had their accounts restored to a full active status after an investigation into alleged collusion between the two failed to turn up any historical suspicious activity.
Seiji and Selouan were accused of colluding at the final table of a $1K partypoker WPT Online final table, with five players remaining, and with Seiji leading and Selouan on the short stack, Seiji opened with AJx from under the gun, then folded to an all-in jam from Selouan for a little over three times Seiji’s raise, which also represented only about a third of Seiji’s own stack.
Holz also added that the two are members of an unofficial collective of high-stakes Brazilian pros called 9Tales, inferring that the group may be colluding or soft-playing one another, as allegedly occurred in the WPT final table incident. A large majority of players agreed with Holz’s take, but it wasn’t unanimous, and a contingent of Brazilian players rushed to support Seiji and Selouan. MundoPoker later described this as a case of social-media “xenophobia”, which in this instance included “curses against all Brazilians.”
888poker immediately announced they would investigate the incident, in addition to looking into the two players’ prior history to search for other possible instances of collusion. The pair’s accounts appeared to have been temporarily suspended while the investigation took place. Meanwhile, Seiji, in speaking through a Brazilian news outlet, acknowledged that he may have miscalculated the odds in the controversial hand but adamantly denied cheating or colluding in any way.
888 clears Seiji and Selouan
888poker’s investigation failed to turn up any other instances of possible collusion between Seiji and Selouan despite the pair’s friendship and long playing history. In an email sent to Selouan, which he then forwarded to Brazil’s MundoPoker, 888 detailed its lack-of-evidence findings.
“Dear Rodrigo,” the email begins, once translated to English. “We are the 888poker Operations Team and we are contacting you regarding your account, whose username is ‘selouan1991’. After an in-depth analysis, we found that, apart from the hand we received complaints about, there is no evidence of foul play on your part. Your accounts are being reopened and we hope to see you back at our tables soon. We regret any inconvenience that the imposition of these restrictions may have caused, and we wish you the best of luck at the tables. Sincerely, Operations Team, 888poker”.
The “apart from the hand we received complaints” about phrase is a tacit acknowledgment that despite the site’s decision not to take any action, the hand in question was curious enough to raise legitimate suspicions. Nonetheless, no single hand is ever absolute proof of cheating, as this episode illustrates. Players can and do make strategic mistakes, as occurred here, and even such a mistake as a simple misclick fold can appear suspicious when seen from a different viewpoint.