Let’s Talk About That Other WSOP Main Event DQ on Day 1C

Over the weekend, I went into great detail about a player who was disqualified from Day 1C of the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event for showing off his no-no zone to his neighbors and tossing a shoe onto the table while going all-in blind and revealing his cards with players still to act in the hand. Pick a rule and he violated it. That same day, there was another man disqualified from the Main Event for doing something that may not have been as offensive to the senses, but was quite offensive to the game of poker.

2017 World Series of PokerThe physical ouster of Georgii Belianin was initially reported by Andrew Barber via Twitter when posted simply, “Just saw Georgii Belianin removed from the main event for what apparently was some form of cheating.”

The short version of the incident was that the player that was supposed to be in the seat to Belianin’s left had not shown up yet, so the chips were just sitting there. For those unfamiliar with live tournaments, this is a normal occurrence – players are often late to tournaments, especially ones with stacks as deep as the Main Event. The missing player’s chips just sit there at his spot; blinds and antes are removed as necessary.

After winning a pot at some point, Belianin not only scooped the chips from the pot over to his own stack, but his missing neighbor’s chips, as well. That action promptly got him disqualified.

A longer version of the story came from Tom Peterson, who was seated to Belianin’s right. Here is what he told PokerNews:

The guy came in and sat down at Seat 6. The dealer told him to get in Seat 5. He didn’t speak a lot of English, he was from another country because he had a passport. He said, “I want to play. Deal.” The dealer said, “No you need to move.” …He finally moves, plays a couple of hands, plays them well, loses both of them. Then like in the seventh hand he wins the pot: 1,600 in the pot – one black chip, one pink chip, one yellow chip. The dealer pushes it to him and he just grabs the other pile and puts it right into his without hesitation. The floor came over and they DQed him.

As mentioned, Belianin, from Russia, is not a native English speaker, so naturally there may have been some communication issues. Peterson and others who witnessed what happened said Belianin was most definitely drinking. Some reported that he was smiling while taking the chips, as well, indicating that he may have thought he was simply being funny.

Peterson added that Belianin was quite obviously drunk; his odor and his behavior left zero question in people’s minds to that fact. His intoxicated state did leave some question as to whether or not he knew what he was doing or whether he was just being a goof because he was drunk.

Either way, Belianin did something that was clearly against the rules and that was that for him. Jack Effel was the one to escort him out of the poker room, handing him off to security officers. He told PokerNews that it was a pretty cut-and-dry situation: you take somebody’s chips, you’re out. He did not know if Belianin would face any punishment beyond being disqualified.

Belianin’s chips were removed from the tournament, but his $10,000 buy-in stayed in the prize pool.

On Twitter, poker pro Brandon Shack-Harris didn’t totally defend Belianin or say he should not have been kicked out, but he did stick up for him a bit, saying, “I’ve played with Georgi [sic] online and off for about ten years, and never had a negative experience. Always trying to have a good time in spite of language barriers. My gut says this is a (dumb) joke gone wrong, and tbh being Russian not doing him any favors.”

With this plus the Day 1C flasher’s DQ, I am genuinely upset that multiple people were disqualified from the tournament because I cannot fathom lighting $10,000 on fire like that. I’m sitting here going back and forth as to whether or not I should spend $100 on a storage system for my retro video game consoles (a piece of furniture that would probably be with me as long as I own my house) while there are people who pay $10,000 to play in a poker tournament like it’s nothing and then proceed to forfeit it all. I wish I had the kind of disposable income that would allow me to literally dispose of large chunks of it, but then again, I would ask you to tie me to my bed if I was about to do so.

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