How Could 8 Cards Go Missing at a WSOP table?

One of the strangest events ever recorded at the WSOP

We’re now halfway through the 2013 main event at the World Series of Poker, and it’s shaping up to be one of the best ones ever. So far, it has gathered the largest number of players in WSOP history, and as a direct result, the prizes at stake are also the largest ever recorded at this event. The top 693 players are going to divide almost $192 million among themselves, with $8.7 million being pocketed by the main event winner alone.

So, as you can see, in terms of sheer numbers this year’s WSOP is above and beyond any other edition. And this is saying something, especially considering that poker fans have been assaulted with tons of news from other poker events, like the Full Tilt Poker scandal.

But anyway, onto our story: a peculiar incident happened this week at the World Series of Poker Main Event. After approximately 40 minutes of play at table #261, there were players who thought something was wrong with the deck. But it wasn’t until the dealer was changed that the error was discovered: the deck was missing no less than 8 cards. One of the players at the next table, Jamie Gold, the winner of 2006’s Main Event, gave his two cents when he said that “They can’t just let this go, they should be searching every player at that table to make sure they weren’t taking cards out of the deck the whole time.”

Luckily for the players involved, or unluckily for the conspiracy theory fans out there, there’s one theory as to what happened: earlier in the game, there was reason to believe that several of the cards in the deck at table #261 had been damaged, and requested them to be changed. The cards that were brought to replace the damaged ones were of a different color than the existing ones. Somehow, somebody managed to slip up and the game carried on without the 8 cards.

Even though WSOP officials stated that the game wasn’t crucially altered as a result of this mistake (and it could have been serious if one of the players at the table went all-in), it’s still surprising to see these kinds of situations happen at the highest of levels in poker. Thankfully, though, it was spotted in time and corrected.