Let it known that poker tournaments are not the time to prank buddies! Gaetano Preite found this out the hard way after pranking his friend, Nicola Luigi Abrusci, on Day 3 of the €990 buy-in People’s Poker Tour Main Event in Malta.
Preite wrote about the episode on Facebook after it happened. “After a perfect tournament, I am here to communicate that I will not be allowed to join the final table at the People’s Poker Tour in Malta because of something unfortunate and surreal,” he stated.
It began when the final hand of Day 3 was played and Abrusci had just busted a player. It’s at this point that Preite had some fun with his buddy by hiding the chip stack that he’d just won. Here’s a look at how he describes the rest of the incident:
“When we got to the last hand of the Day 3, I decided to play a prank on Abrusci and I moved away a pile of the chips he just won from the player he eliminated. Then, I went to my supporters to tell them about the trick I played on our friend.
“I have been asked to pose for some photos, and once I got back to the table I noticed that Abrusci had already bagged all his chips. 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.
“I know I have risked too much for a stupid joke, and I respect the decision taken by the event’s management, but I also think they have been too strict. They know me, my personality, and how professional I am as a player, therefore I am sure we could find a ‘lighter’ sanction to punish my behavior.”
A rep for the People’s Poker Tour confirmed the events that happened as Preite described them, adding that his joke during the tourney was unacceptable.
Given that the young Italian was set to make the final table and compete for some major prize money, being eliminated with no cash will definitely be a painful lesson on not making these kinds of jokes in the future.