Gaetano Preite's Chip Prank Sees Him Disqualified From Tournament

Gaetano Preite's Chip Prank Sees Him Disqualified From TournamentGaetano Preite is a poker pro with $688,357 in tournament winnings, including victory at the 2014 IPT Sanremo for $108,006. The Italian also enjoys playing the odd prank on his fellow pros, but unfortunately for him, organizers at the €990 People’s Poker Tour Main Event in Malta failed to see the funny side of his latest jape, and ended up ejecting him from the tournament.
The incident happened on Sunday, September 6th, at the Portomaso Casino, when on the third day of the competition, and just short of the final table, MinnieBet-sponsored pro Preite hid some of the chips his friend Nicola Luigi Abrusci had just won from an eliminated player. Preite then went to the rail to let some of his supporters in on the prank, but Abrusci failed to see any of his chips were missing and so bagged all his chips for the night. As Preite then explains:
“I immediately try to explain everything to the tournament director, but I had been told that although it was obvious that I did not attempt to steal the chips, my behavior was strongly against the rules.”
As a result, Preite was deemed to have violated the rules of the tournament, and lost his place at the final table, which subsequently consisted of just eight players. While respecting their decision, Preite said he believed the punishment was too strict, but added; “I know I have risked too much for a stupid joke..”
Marco Zuccaro subsequently was awarded the 9th place finish worth €2,600, while Nicola Luigi Abrusci went on to finish the runner-up for a €23,630 payday, with Gianluca Escobar the winner for €41,090.
Lesson learned: Touching other players chips is a violation of etiquette, and shouldn’t be done unless you’ve won them first. Certainly do not hide someone else’s chips, or even your own, for that matter. Last year, for instance, three-time WSOPC winner Chan Pelton removed one of his own chips during a tournament, later claiming he wanted it for a souvenir. When his action was discovered, he was then stripped of the title he had just won, as well as its $47,061 first place prize.

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