Partouche Poker Tour Chastised After Denying €5M GTD Main Event

Heads of France’s Partouche Poker Tour found themselves in hot water a few days ago when registration for its Main Event closed, revealing an overall prize pool of €4.3 million. It’s a tempting amount of money, indeed, but not what participants were expecting. Many poker players were outraged, and quick to reveal their indignation on the social media website, Twitter, as they insist Partouche Poker had previously guaranteed a €5 million prize pool.

Now with the Main Event halfway through, the Partouche Poker Tour website clearly states an €8,500 buy-in, but does not say anything about a guaranteed prize pool. When players on Twitter started arguing that a €5 million prize pool had been previously guaranteed, the PPT was quick to refute the claims, stating that there was never a written guarantee.

Let’s take a look at the evidence, starting with three notable poker pros who made their perplexity and indignation known via Twitter with the following posts:

TristanCre8ive (Tristan Wade): “Wow. Partouche is saying the main event is not a 5mil guarantee now!?!”

JohnnyBaxPoker (Cliff Josephy): “I feel so bad for the Partouche Head of Marketing who will soon be blamed for “proofreading errors” over ads offering a €5mm gty #ManUp”

JustinBonomo (Justin Bonomo): “Everyone at Partouche expected a 5 mil guaranteed prize pool. Staff is saying it was never guaranteed. I found proof:

The gambling industry experts at iGaming France were quick to jump on the developing story and contacted the Head of Partouche Poker, Maxime Masquelier, about the confusion. iGaming France informed Masquelier of the mass-chaos surrounding the alleged €5 million guaranteed prize pool at the Partouche Poker Tour Main Event, to which he replied:

“Pour un buy-in à 8,500€ je pense que nous pouvons être fiers de cette finale et franchement un prizepool de 4,3M€ au lieu de 5M€… au niveau du prize pool, à aucun moment nous n’avons écrit que 5M€ était garanti, quand c’est garanti on l’écrit.”

Which roughly translates in English to: “For a buy-in of €8,500 I think we can be proud of the final figure of €4.3 million instead of €5 million… at no time did we say that €5m was secured when it is guaranteed in writing.”

When the story broke, ad banners that had once stated the Partouche Poker Tour Main Event prize pool was guaranteed at €5 million suddenly disappeared, replaced by more ambiguous advertisements. More Twitter posts and a thread on the TwoPlusTwo forums began showing these banners, alongside the previous banners that had, in fact, depicted a €5M guaranteed prize.

At that point, word around the water cooler was that the marketing team had simply used it as a gimmick, and that the prize was not really guaranteed. These speculations were supported by poker pro Peter Jetten when he stated on Twitter that he had spoken to one of the heads of Partouche Poker, who told him “This was not a guarantee but a marketing trick”.

Perhaps the PPT marketing team thought advertising such an enormous prize pool would entice more than enough players to develop the not-so-guaranteed amount? At the least, we can say it was an unethical tactic; one that could easily result in a loss of player participation when Season 6 comes along if they do something to rectify the situation. With the Partouche Poker Tour Main Event still underway, we are all in great anticipation of learning how this story will play out when the final table concludes on September 9th.