Partypoker DQs WPT500 Champion; confiscates $160,210

Geoff Fisk
Published by:
Posted on 06/08/2021

David Afework’s win taken away in light of account ghosting allegations

One of the biggest tournaments from the 2021 WPT Online Series saw partypoker Team Online pro Jaime Staples score a career-best third-place finish. The WPT500 brought Staples a $74,227 payday from the $1 million guaranteed tournament.

The winner of the WPT500, David Afework, went on to secure a $160,211 payout. That six-figure score was also a career-high moment for Afework, but the glory was short-lived.

Partypoker disqualified Afework and confiscated the $160,211, according to a TwoPlusTwo forum thread started by a player identifying themselves as Afework.

According to the original post, Afework received an email from partypoker Monday, informing him that his WPT500 win would be nullified. Partypoker alleged that Afework turned his account over to a third party during the tournament. The tournament wrapped up on June 1, with partypoker informing Afework of the disqualification a week later.

Afework contends that he alone played on his account through the WPT500 win. He speculates that the partypoker decision might stem from the fact that his roommate is also an online poker player, and they share the same IP address.

Those details from Afework’s TwoPlusTwo post read as follows, without editing:

“Hi, my name is David Afework and I recently won $160 000 on partypoker. It was my biggest win ever and the most amazing moment of my life. However today I received an email from party poker telling me that I have been disqualified because they believe I gave my account to a third party.”

“Which is just complete rubbish. I played on my account, on my Dell Laptop in the room I had been living in for months, my girlfriend (who has no understanding of poker) was the only person that saw me throughout the time of the tournament. I was completely alone for 99% of the time.

“I imagine this third party nonsense comes from the fact that I have been living with another poker player for the best part of 7 months so maybe they see we share the same ip address or whatever but I’m completely transparent about that and don’t want to hide that, no one has ever had access to my account other than myself, that’s a 100% guarantee.”

Staples, Henning Andre move up the payout ladder

With Afework’s win reversed, all other players that finished in the money in the WPT500 move one spot up the payout ladder. That means Staples now takes home a $108,796 payday for second place, making his biggest lifetime score a six-figure win.

Sweden’s Henning Andre becomes the official WPT500 champion, moving up to collect the $160,211 winner’s prize.

Afework’s post is receiving the support of many commenters in the TwoPlusTwo thread. Longtime poker pro and Twitch streamer Gary Blackwood commented that a friend of his is experiencing the same situation with 888poker.

“GL OP, a friend of mine going through a similar situation with 888 (though I shan’t derail your thread). Poker rooms need to be held accountable for **** like this,” wrote Blackwood, under his ‘GazzyB123’ moniker at TwoPlusTwo.

TwoPlusTwo founder Mason Malmuth suggests that Afework hire a gambling law attorney in the thread. Meanwhile, Joey Ingram asks for clarification on what reason partypoker gave Afework for the disqualification.

Later in the thread, Afework writes that partypoker made the decision based on “conclusive evidence,” and that he’ll try to sort out the matter without legal action, for now.

Poker.org will continue to update the situation surrounding the WPT500 as details emerge.

Featured image source: Twitter