Los Angeles’s Hustler Casino has announced a refund of all previously paid player entries and what is being described as a $27,000 “freeroll” for the nine surviving players of the early flights of the main event of the 2022 Larry Flynt’s Grand Slam of Poker, which was originally scheduled to run Day 1 flights through Sunday, August 7, and continue with its Day 2 on Monday, August 8.
In a brief video posted on social media, Hustler Casino’s general manager, Shaun Yaple, took responsibility for the heavy backlash that Hustler encountered after canceling the event. Accompanied by Ryan Feldman and Nick Vertucci, the hosts of the popular live-streamed cash game hosted by Hustler, Yaple said, “I made the decision… and it’s been pretty apparent by the backlash on social media that it was the wrong decision.”
Through the four starting flights that ran as scheduled, there were 123 total entries. Each of those entrants, which may include multiple entries for a given player, will see each of their $350 entry fees refunded.
The $27,000 that had been generated toward the prize pool will be used as the payouts for what Yaple termed a freeroll for the nine players from the 123 initial entries who survived into Monday’s Day 2. As originally announced, the eight remaining Day 1 flights were called off, meaning that only those nine players get to battle for the remaining $27,000.
In addition, Yaple said, with the assistance of Vertucci and Feldman, Hustler Casino will run a special tournament in which $50,000 will be added to the prize pool. “We’re going to work on a tournament with Ryan and Nick, and add $50K to the prize pool,” Yaple added. “Probably in September.”
The two-and-a-half-minute video in which Yaple apologized and announced the updated plans for handling the event’s cancellation can be viewed here:
Hustler Casino will absorb a financial hit somewhere in the area of $80,000 when all announced corrective measures are complete, and that’s in addition to the loss of goodwill with players caused by the cancelled guarantee. The solution appears to be a very sincere gesture in response to a bad decision to cancel, even though it’s imperfect in several ways, but as Yaple said, it was the best the casino could do as a second take on a bad situation in immediate response to a public outcry. And having already canceled the rest of the event, there was no way to attempt to restart it without causing even more situations.
The wisest solution, of course, would have been to just accept the hit of the missed guarantee. Rob Yong of London, England’s Dusk Till Dawn offered this advice: “ Just pay. Plus amazing how many times everyone turns up on last day expecting added value so you’re never dead if you have enuf tables.”
Meanwhile, DJ Villegas, the TD at Los Angeles’s Commerce Casino, a direct rival to Hustler, pointed out that running a special tourney in September wouldn’t necessarily solve the conflict with other venues anyway:
Featured image source: Hustler Casino