Only a day ago, Canadian poker warrior Mike Leah had a good reason to celebrate. He finally managed to make his dream come true and add the long-coveted World Poker Tour Main Event title under his belt. Yesterday, Casino Reports produced an article covering Leah’s performance at the final table where the big money awaited, along with the title and the trophy. Finally, one of the few things missing from the rich career of Mike Leah has been crossed off the list.
This Tuesday, Leah defeated his final opponent Ryan Yu in a strong field of 517 players to claim his first WPT title at WPT Fallsview Poker Classic, that took place inside Fallsview Casino Resort. Unfortunately, his happiness was marred by the evil comments that he might have actually “bought” the title from his heads-up opponent. Rumors that Leah made an under-the-table deal with Yu have started to swirl around, although no hard evidence has emerged.
The rumors surrounding an under-the-table deal savaged Leah’s happiness in a flash. However, he did not bite his tongue, but responded to the verbal attacks via Facebook comment. According to Leah’s statement, Yu suggested an ICM deal, while the eventual winner “wouldn’t have even considered” such an option. Eventually, Leah agreed to talk if he had the chance to lock up the title. The recent WPT title winner announced that he “would’ve been happy to play for it” if Yu denied him the chance to fight for the trophy.
The player also took the opportunity to remind of his impressive poker career and rich collection of trophies. Leah explained that the pride would not allow him to actually “buy” the win. Leah’s full statement can be found on his Facebook profile. Under his post, the player found many people, who supported and encouraged him.
What Lies Beneath the Surface?
For those wondering what triggered the rumors about Leah “buying” the title, here is the explanation: Yu entered the heads-up battle with a commanding chip lead over Leah. To be more precise, Yu had a stack of 10.8 million in chips, while Leah began the heads-up battle with a modest stack of 4.715 million.
Of course, the big difference in the stack sizes is not a decisive factor, as it is not the first time in which a player with way smaller stack manages to toil their way to victory. But what seemed somehow suspicious to some people is Yu’s betting strategy.
In addition to that, the live updates revealed that Leah and Yu took an unscheduled break just before the heads-up battle started. However, unscheduled breaks are a common phenomenon, especially following exhaustive and long final sessions. It is believed that the ICM deal has been agreed during the break. According to some experts, the whole unpleasant situation could have been avoided, if the two players have agreed on an ICM deal in front of the public eye.