Jean-Paul Pasqualini and Cedric Rossi Banned from GPI

Posted By: Date: 02/18/2013 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

Two French poker players, Jean-Paul Pasqualini and Cedric Rossi, have been suspended indefinitely from the Global Poker Index (GPI) rankings for alleged cheating on the 2009 Partouche Poker Tour (PPT). Both players made it to the final table and, as is apparent in a highly publicized video, were using hand signals to relay their starting hands to one another at the table.

There was much talk among other players and railbirds as to the two Frenchman using unethical tactics to gain an advantage at the final table. Now, years later, a video has been compiled depicting 18 hands wherein Pasqualini and Rossi are shown making rather obvious gestures.

The video starts out with the conventional introductions and “good luck”? messages to each contestant. Set to the notorious theme music of ‘The Godfather’, the video then shows the players using various hand placements to reveal their hole cards to one another. The hand placements allegedly correlate with a specific hole card as follows:

  • Touching the Top of the Head = Ace
  • Touching the Front of the Head = King
  • Rubbing or Scratching the Eye = Queen
  • Touching the Nose = Jack
  • Touching the Mouth = 10
  • Touching the Neck= 8 or 9
  • Touching the Arm = Small Pair

The original video, posted by fellow French poker player Nadine Bouya, can be seen here on YouTubeThe video went viral almost immediately and approximately two weeks after it surfaced, Alexandre Dreyfus, CEO of the Global Poker Index, published a lengthy blog post concerning the whole ordeal.  “Recently, some information was made public about a very suspicious incident of cheating, which in poker is equivalent to fraud,”? read the statement from Dreyfus. “We spent a lot of time analyzing the facts, checking the accuracy of the video and its sources. We also solicited the point of view of the GPI’s top 50 players.”?

Dreyfus went on to say that, “the feedback from the industry and the players has been very clear – they were in support of suspending Jean-Paul Pasqualini and Cedric Rossi from inclusion in the Global Poker Index.”?

He did make it very clear that the GPI is not directly accusing Pasqualini and Rossi of cheating. Dreyfus said that such denunciations are the responsibility of the “casinos and the overseeing regulatory bodies to decide”?. However, he did say that the GPI is convinced that the players’ actions made the game unfair, and that “unfair behavior will not be promoted via the Global Poker Index. It goes against everything I’m trying to do to promote poker, players and events,”? said Dreyfus.

Alexandre purchased GPI and re-launched its poker rankings program in June of 2012 to help maintain a premium level of integrity and promote more recognition of the game. The GPI is responsible for determining and posting the rankings of poker players in France, throughout Europe and on a worldwide spectrum, based on their performance in major live poker events locally and around the globe.

As of January 28, 2013, the 53-year-old Jean-Paul Pasqualini was ranked PoY 528th, but his player profile is now tarnished with a large red stamp that reads “SUSPENDED”? right across his photograph. The same goes for Cedric Rossi, whose PoY ranking is simply listed as N/A.

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