Winamax pro Ivan Deyra admitted to cheating after winning $101,000 in a tournament hosted by his sponsor.
The Winamax Series was a big deal in Southern Europe. Its $20 million+ guarantee made it the largest ever online series held in France and Spain.
However, the operator’s achievements have been overshadowed in recent days by Deyra. The brand’s ambassador was caught using multiple accounts en route to winning the series’ super high roller event.
French Poker Community Outs Winamax Cheat
News of the scandal first appeared on the French forum, Club Poker. In a thread titled “[Cheat] Winamax – Deyra Ivan,” a user known as The Chief Inspector’s File said he’d been told by an employee that an incident had occurred.
He received further confirmation from a second person before making the allegations public. Members of the community were skeptical at first, with many asking for proof.
It didn’t take long for proof to surface. Players posted screenshots of the refunds they’d been sent by Winamax.
It appears that the security team spotted the illegal activity before it became public. In turn, Derya was disqualified, and his winnings were redistributed among those who cashed in the $2,400 event.
What’s in a Name?
Things got worse when Winamax players were able to trace the origins of the winner’s account. They found out that the screenname MATIVANAO was made from the names of Deyra and his siblings. It came as no surprise that the account belonged to Deyra’s father.
With evidence that someone had cheated, and Deyra in the firing line, he was forced to respond.
“There was an incident and I suspected that sooner or later the information was going to spread. It’s time for me to talk about reality,” Deyra said in a statement.
He went on to explain that played the Winamax Series super high roller on two accounts: his own (ValueMerguez) and his father’s (MATIVANAO).
Deyra was knocked out on his own account, but went on to win the tournament using his father’s. He also admitted to using the same strategy in other events during the series.
Deyra Offers Multiple Reasons for Multi-Accounting Mistake
The public statement also provides some context as to why someone with $1.3 million in live earnings and a sponsorship deal would cheat.
Realizing that he wasn’t making much profit as a pro, Deyra said he didn’t think about the implications of multi-accounting.
“I quickly busted the ValueMerguez account. By bad luck, I won the tournament on the other account without really considering the possible consequences,” Deyra wrote on Club Poker.
He goes on to question himself and ask how he could be so “naïve” and “oblivious” to the wrongs he committed. That’s a question only he can answer.
Multi-accounting is as old as online poker itself and anyone with even a small amount of experience knows that.
Poker is a tough game and having “pro” status isn’t a guarantee you’re going to make money. Deyra admits that he wasn’t winning as much as his teammates, and that led to his actions.
With his contract terminated and the prize money gone, Deyra now has to rebuild more than his bankroll if he’s going to remain part of the poker industry.