The scandal on the Deaf Poker Australia Championship

Harry Mason

There have been many different programs and NGOs established for the disables people. This is crucial, as society needs to realize how important it is to have a proper socialization process as well as their integration to society. People, who we consider are the ones with limited abilities, are the most ordinary part of the society we exist in.

The NGOs and programs aimed at the improvement of the situation hold many different activities and projects in order to provide proper integration processes and to offer them the ordinary life we live daily. The activities of an average statistical person include daily tasks, working as well as entertaining. 

The Step Forward 

One of the most common entertainment activities especially in Australia, is gambling, with almost 80% of the population involved in any kind of gambling activity. As the online casino is prohibited in Australia due to the law and regulations, there are plenty of life casinos all over the country. With this being said another interesting thing is that the most popular gambling game is poker, which is also the one people lose or win the most. 

The very big step forward was recently made by Australia and Australian casinos, the largest players in the global market. Together with the Deaf Poker Australia (DPA), some of the leading casinos such as Adelaide, The Star, Crown, and SkyCity Australia have organized poker tournaments for deaf or partially deaf people. Before telling more about the tournament, few words about DPA. 

Deaf Poker Australia is a non-profit organization, which was established in 2008. The goal of the organization is to promote poker among people with disabled abilities, specifically, are deaf or hard of hearing. The program has been very successful so far and many people get interested and involved each year. DPA has assisted the development of the program in several countries and in many big casinos, including the largest ones in Australia. 

The Game 

As the beginner program, you can not always calculate every risk and imagine every situation that can happen. One of the deaf poker championships, that was held in one of the biggest casinos in Australia is currently under investigation. 

The rules of the deaf poker make a player eligible to participate if the player is deaf or has moderate hearing loss, though apparently the degrees of deafness has not been considered. Although participants are supposed to “demonstrate a minimum of moderate hearing loss via an audiogram or medical certificate”, the issue was still raised by the participants against Chris Smitton, the winner of the championship. 

The doubt about the eligibility of Smitton participating in the tournament at all escalated when the runners introduced themselves using sign language, while Smitton, who is fully deaf in the right ear and slightly deaf in the left ear, abstained. Instead, he pointed at his ear, with the mute symbol tattoo. Despite the fact, it was only after the end of the game and him winning when the DPA board considered his severity of the condition as an issue. It is not only the DPA members who got suspicious but the participants as well and they also require an investigation to be held. 

Everyone Is Able To Detect The Lie 

The DPA authorities will be conducting the investigation concerning the occasion that happened last week, though, before that, they will have to contact doctors and consult them about the case itself. Moreover, the subject is still vertu sensitive, which requires members to be highly ethical as well as to consider the medical standards. 

Most likely, the organization is going to make several amendments in the regulatory part, mentioning specific degrees of deafness that participants need to demonstrate in order to be eligible for the tournament. 

Chris Smitton, who is the winner of the championship and owner of the $3300 prize, has not made any comment concerning the accusations of him cheating on the tournament and not being deaf enough for the participation. 

The case is under investigation. Despite the unpleasant situation occurred in the championship, the initiative of involving deaf people into the world of entertainment is very promising.