Earlier today, Patrick “Pads” Leonard tweeted at PokerStars about the possibility that they had given him an extra 30 points on the SCOOP leaderboard. Ten hours later, he tweeted again to say that Stars had checked the math and docked him 100 points. The move was enough to drop him from first place to second in both the overall and high leaderboards.
Russian player “Zapahzamazki,” better known as Zapa, took Pads’ place at the top of the leaderboards.
It was a somewhat anti-climactic end to the thrilling leaderboard race between Pads and Zapa. Much of the meta-drama of SCOOP has been these two fighting for first. That’s been the breakdown more or less ever since the board started to crystallize with them at the top.
It became clear that the rivalry was friendly over time. Pads brought Zapa on to guest star on his streams and shared screen caps of them chatting about the competition in WhatsApp. This change in scores retroactively undercuts the drama of the previous weeks.
Your worst enemy is often yourself. That’s sort of true in this case. Leonard was more or less home-free when he blew the whistle and beat himself. Twice if you count both leaderboards.
A tragedy of errors
The tale began with Leonard tweeting at PokerStars.
“I think there is a chance you added 30 points for my 13th place in $1k, which shouldn’t count because it’s bubble,” he wrote. “I don’t want to win undeserving, even though 2nd is 0. Is ZAPA is rightful winner I want him to win. I could be wrong, but I think this may happened.”
For simplicity apply one big “[sic]” to that whole tweet. PokerStars started digging around and soon found the error: an unticked box. This is not the first time that an error like this has cause Stars some trouble.
The real problem was that once they started looking, they kept finding similar problems. By the time they came back to Pads with an update, the landscape had changed massively. Three tourneys needed adjusting, and the results were not pretty.
“After tweeting stars realised they didn’t have a box ticked for the leaderboard,” reported Pads. “I rightfully lose 100 points (from earlier in the series) meaning Zapa wins both the overall and the high leaderboard.”
While Pads tried to take the error stoically, the fact that some of the point corrections were from three weeks ago stuck in his craw. There is $25,000 and a ton of street cred up top for the winner of the SCOOP leaderboards. The stated rankings had a huge impact on his overall play.
Pads cited a moment where he folded aces pre-flop. This is unthinkable tactically, but — with the leaderboard situation in mind — feasible strategically. He also tweeted a video clip of Zapa checking where Pads was in a given tournament before making big decisions for the same reason.
“Taking points away from 3 weeks ago just changes everything though,” Pads tweeted. “Like we would have played so different strategies.”
There’s not much room for an appeal on this situation. But hopefully Stars will start instituting some double checks behind the scenes.
In the meantime, congrats are in order for Zapa.
Featured image source: Flickr by WPT