A few months ago Valeriu Coca was making headlines at the 2015 World Series of Poker (WSOP) tournament in Las Vegas for all the right and wrong reasons. The Moldavian poker player was not very well known on the poker circuit and had so far won just a little over $300k on the circuit. So when he made it to the final table at the $10,000 heads-up no-limit event at the WSOP, he created quite a lot of attention as he had done better than some of the top poker players in the world and eventually finished in 5th place.
Some of the players Coca beat included Connor Drinan, Pratyush Buddiga, Byron Kaverman, Aaron Mermelstein and Matt Marafioti. Coca made headlines for the wrong reasons after he was accused of cheating by some of these poker players who believed that he used invisible and special sunglasses to gain an unfair advantage. It was Drinan who was most critical of Coca posting his thoughts and views on the popular Two Plus Two Poker forum which we reported on the 8th June.
Drinan stated that it was one of the most frustrating matches that he had played in his career and it baffled him how a guy from Eastern Europe who had never participated in the WSOP, could turn out and grind 300 euro mtts and play like such a beast.
Coca denied all allegations but the WSOP decided to take the accusations seriously and launched an investigation into the matter. The WSOP also decided to hold Coca’s 5th place tournament winnings until the investigation was completed and he was cleared of all charges. The WSOP worked along with the Nevada Gaming Control Board and conducted a 5 month long investigation into the matter and finally concluded that there were no cheating or unfair practices used by Coca.
In a statement, Seth Palansky, a spokesperson for the WSOP said
Once issues were brought to our attention, we immediately commenced an investigation and worked cooperatively with the Nevada Gaming Control Board. The investigation that was performed has now been completed by all parties. At this time, the matter is considered closed and the 5th place finisher in Event #10 will now have his funds released for payment.
The WSOP conducted a thorough investigation which included CCTV footage, forensic examination of the cards and reviews by expert investigations who finally concluded there was not wrong committed on Coca’s part. Coca will be happy to get the payout that he deserved but will not be very impressed as how his reputation took a beating by those accusations.