Catherine Valdez Kicked Out of WSOP Circuit Bally’s Event
Social media star Catherine “Catrific” Valdes got kicked out of the World Series of Poker Circuit Bally’s event in Las Vegas. Valdes — who boasts over a million combined followers on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube — was kicked out when it was discovered she entered the wrong event.
On her YouTube channel, Catrific, Catherine Valdes posts videos like “Am I a Professional Poker Player?”, “Why Girls Hate Me”, and “Do I Believe in Marriage?” The videos tend to have about 10,000 views apiece, while she has over 665,000 subscribers.
Catherine Valdes planned to enter the $400 no-limit hold’em event. Each player in the event received 15,000 chips. When she took her registration slip to a poker table, she received 30,000 in chips. Though she found the descrepancy in the chip stack a bit odd, she began playing the WSOP Circuit event anyway.
Unfortunately, Catherine Valdes was at a $1,700 no-limit hold’em event table. The tournament began on the same day of the $400 poker event.
Catherine Valdez YouTube Video
In the days after the event, online rumors circled that tournament officials kicked someone out of the $1700 event and that someone was Valdes. Then Valdez posted a YouTube video called “Why I Was Kicked Out of WSOP”, where she explained what happened. (She later took the video down.)
In the video, Catrific explained that she is not an experienced tournament poker player. When a mixup happened, she was confused at first. Once she learned the truth, she was over an hour into the tournament and was not sure what to do.
She reported, “I was confused because I remember reading earlier that I was supposed to start with 15,000…I thought maybe there was a typo [or] maybe I read something wrong.”
By the time she understood she was in the wrong event, Valdex said she had busted another player and had a lot of chips. Furthermore, she was uncertain of what to do, because her play already was affecting the tournament.
Confronted by Tournament Manager
Valdes explained: “In my head, I’m thinking, ‘Well, I guess I could go tell somebody but if I tell somebody it’s going to cause all this chaos….I don’t really think they can do anything about it; It’ll mess up the integrity of the tournament.'”
She stayed in the tournament for another hour before a floor manager named “Michael” realized the mistake and confronted her. When Valdes admitted she knew she was in the wrong event, she claims that Michael became surly and unprofessional towards her.
The YouTube star said Michael scolded her in a way that “truly upset her”, then removed her chips from active play. Eventually, she spoke to higher-ups in the WSOP management structure, who were “kinder” and who offered to let her enter the $400 tournament. By that time, the $400 event was deep into its later stages (as a smaller tournament with fewer beginning chip stacks).
All in all, Catherine Valdes said she could have handled the situation better. If she had it to do over again, she would have informed tournament officials sooner. She also said her experience would not discourage her from playing in a WSOP event in the future. At the same time, she added that a brand new player might be discouraged by the treatment she received.
Brandon Meyers: Don’t Play the Victim Card
Reaction to the incident was mixed. Catrific fans with little understanding of the poker world took her side and believed she had been mistreated. Poker players were less sympathetic. For instance, Brandon Meyers (“oncommand”) criticized Valdez for portraying herself as a victim of Michael the Tournament Official.
Meyers tweeted, “Once you realized you were in the wrong tournament you should immediately tell staff. Don’t act like a victim. You knowingly continued to play in a tournament you didn’t pay for.”
Fergal Brophy: You Harmed Other Players
Meyer’s reaction was similar to a group of other professional card players. Fergal Brophy (@fergrberger) tweeted, “There is definitely some blame on the staff for the initial error, [but the] majority of the blame for sure falls on you after you realized the error though.”
He added, “You ran an angle that would benefit you and harm other players. Regardless of your rationale for this, it was the wrong thing to do.”
Ryan Laplante Blasts Catrific
Ryan Laplante, who won a bracelet at the 2016 WSOP, posted to Twitter, “[The] moment you realize you are in wrong tourney it’s on you to notify some1 and to have it fixed.”
Laplante used an analogy to explain his criticism. He said, “Staying in after that fact is taking equity from any1 you win pots from, as you weren’t supposed to be in the tourney. How would you feel busting to some1 who paid 40$ to play a $400? Being new to industry can excuse it to small degree, but should be clear by now how bad it is to stay in after you found out you weren’t supposed to be in.”
Ralph Massey: “Pure Scum”
Ralph Massey had the most visceral reaction. In a possible overreaction, Massey tweeted, “She got the wrong stack at the wrong starting time of the wrong tournament. She was well aware of this and tried to get $1300 discount based on pure scum, not confusion.”
Etiquette is important in poker. While the comments might seem harsh to those outside the poker community, it comes from people who value consideration of other card players. Busting out another player with chips that do not belong to you breaks both written and unwritten rules.