Ex-Cheat Sorel Mizzi Unbanned from Full Tilt Poker
If you’ve been following the online poker world for a few years now, you likely remember a major headline story that ended with professional poker player, Sorel “Imper1um” Mizzi, being banned from the online poker site Full Tilt. It was an unconscionable scandal four years ago, so why is Full Tilt suddenly changing their minds?
If you haven’t heard yet, Sorel Mizzi’s account has been officially unbanned from Full Tilt Poker. In the last week, “Imper1um” has entered over a dozen tournaments, pocketing thousands of dollars at the online poker room. The question arises that, while the online poker room now blocks accounts for much less, why would the company decide it’s now okay for Sorel to return?
Let’s start with a brief overview of Mizzi’s virtual-crimes, then we’ll get into the possible reasons why the online poker site has gone soft on Sorel.
In 2007, Sorel Mizzi did something that would cause today’s online poker community to gasp in horror. He entered an online poker tournament, fell short, then purchased the account of another player who had gone deep into the tournament. The other account, “BluffMagCV”, belonged to Chris Vaughn.
Mizzi purchased the account from Vaughn then went on to win the tournament for about $200k. FTP found out about it, banned Sorel and Chris both from FTP, and discounted the moniker from the event, passing the 1st place prize to the 2nd place finisher, and so on.
In a recent post on 2+2 in September of 2010, Mizzi maintained that such practices were common back then, and had never been punished by a poker site. He feels he was made an example of by FTP, and everyone kind of went with it. The responses to his post were mixed, but for the most part, everyone is still ticked off at his multi-accounting fiasco. Even four years later, forgiveness is not coming easy.
Last week, Full Tilt chose to unban Sorel Mizzi’s account. According to Sorel, he spoke with the online poker site about considering an un-ban of his account. FTP responded saying that his account will be reviewed in 12 months if he does not attempt to login under a different account (which he had admittedly been doing ever since the ban). Mizzi complied and was apparently rewarded as his account is now active once more.
Others question why FTP would unban the account, when other players are perm-banned for much smaller infractions against the online poker community. Could it be that Mizzi finally became a highly successful live tournament player? Maybe because he won Bluff’s live player of the year award in 2010, having cashed five times with 6-figure winnings that year alone?
We all know Full Tilt Poker is very proud of the plethora of professional online poker players that frequent its site. Is this just a test to see how the community responds before possibly pushing an endorsement deal across the virtual felt towards Sorel?
If that’s the case, the heavily negative response from poker forum community members isn’t going to help FTPs cause, or Mr. Mizzi’s, but only time will tell.