“Never lie, never cheat, never steal” said record-breaking basketball coach John Wooden, but the poker world doesn’t seem to follow those rules – and one of poker’s biggest alleged cheats, Jake Schindler, is currently leading the WSOP Player of the Year race.
Schindler was named recently in what became a mass outing of alleged highstakes cheats, but it doesn’t seem to have affected his poker form at all.
With more than $2.2million in cashes at this year’s World Series of Poker already, the 32-year-old Pennsylvanian pro has 1,842 points in the leaderboard race.
That puts him 60 points ahead of David Peters and 250 clear of Chad Eveslage, the top 10 currently including Scott Seiver and last year’s Main Event winner, Koray Aldemir.
Previous winners of the prestigious title, Shaun Deeb and Daniel Negreanu, are nowhere to be seen for now, while Josh Arieh will have to pick up the pace if he wants to defend the title he won last year.
2022 WSOP Player of the Year standings
Schindler was alleged to have cheated on GGPoker, with RTA (Real-Time Assistance) use top of the list of infringements, something he has yet to deny. His close friend, Ali Imsirovic, is another of the alleged cheats, with Bryn Kenney also accused of various misdeeds.
It hasn’t stopped any of them from playing at this year’s Series, however, and Schindler not only bagged a runner-up spot in event 8, the $25k NLH High Roller, but even went on to take down event 12, the $50k version of the same 8-handed event.
That victory, his first bracelet win, looked rather hollow when he had only his girlfriend on the rail to congratulate him, along with a random fan who had to ask his name. Schindler refused to give an interview afterwards, clearly concerned that the recent cheating allegations would come up.
The trio of Schindler, Imsirovic and Kenney had turned up for the opening $100k SHR, but they didn’t have an easy time, thanks to Shaun Deeb...
I got moved to Bryn’s table made a comment within 3min after hand was completed me and bryn argued for 5min dan shak asked us to do it in a smaller buyin like 25k I respected his wishes and backed off I also made some comments to Ali then he put headphones on— shaun deeb (@shaundeeb) June 1, 2022
Another of Imsirovic’s close friends and fellow alleged cheats, Rok Gostisa, was picked on by whistleblower Alex Foxen when he bust out with a bizarre play. “That’s what happens when you don’t have a computer,” said Foxen.
On 2plus2 the forum was lit with cheating and WSOP discussions: “I read a Pokernews update yesterday that Ali got eliminated in the $1500 O8 and Deeb started clapping loudly and cheering, wrote EastCoastBalla.
He added: “Glad he’s 1 of the few trying to embarrass those scumbags. Wish more would do the same.”
Others named in recent weeks include David “Cocksucker” Miscikowksi, who was called out and nicknamed by Bryn Kenney’s accuser, Martin Zamani.
Miscikowksi’s live-streamed final table run in event 16 (finishing 4th for $180,795) was accompanied by numerous chat messages wishing him the worst, rather than the usual best from fans.
The WSOP hasn’t seen such scenes since Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson reappeared on the poker scene back in 2016, with Daniel Negreanu unhappy about the latter...
Chris Ferguson returns to WSOP issuing no apologies, no remorse, as if nothing happened. Feels like a giant slap in the face to players.— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) June 7, 2016
With a long way still to go at this year’s WSOP, it seems unlikely we’ve heard or seen the last of the cheats and their accusers. The biggest question will be who and how many will celebrate a Jake Schindler Player of the Year win?