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Espen Jorstad Accused of Not Paying $300K in Swap Deal

Author: Carolla Published: 31.08.22

The reigning WSOP Main Event champion had multiple big names speak up in his defense already.

Espen Jorstad Accused of Not Paying $300K in Swap Deal

Espen Jorstad Accused by Alex Theologis

As most of us probably remember, Norwegian poker pro Espen Jorstad topped the second largest WSOP Main Event field last July, winning $10 million. When one wins that much money, especially in such a public event, usually they have people come out of the woodwork, asking for a ‘share”. This is exactly what happened to Jorstad as well.

Earlier this week, he took to Twitter to share a link to a lengthy TwitLonger post. In it, he explains an unknown Irish man had come to him while he was in Cyprus, demanding payment on behalf of someone else. He believes that this was an acquaintance of Greek poker pro Alex Theologis, who believes he hasn’t received his due part of Espen’s WSOP winnings after an alleged swap deal.

A “swap deal” is when poker pros take the same percentage of each other’s action, thus reducing variance for themselves. That percentage in this case was a supposed 3%, which means that Theologis would be owed $300,000.

Jorstad claims he had 14 swap deals in place for his Main Event. He had 56% of his own action. However, as he points out in his lengthy post, there is a key issue here. All 14 of his swap deals are documented in writing. This alleged agreement in question is not, and Theologis himself admits that.

What’s more, the Norwegian poker champ also published screenshots of a long conversation between him and his accuser on Facebook messenger. It took place before this year’s WSOP Main Event, and there is no mention of any swap deal. Also, the two only met twice and never had any kind of staking or backing deal with each other before.

Patrick Leonard, Others Come to Jorstad’s Defense

With all this evidence on his side, Espen seems to have the upper hand in the dispute. To make him even more comfortable, some big name poker pros have spoken up on his behalf on Twitter. 

The first one to do so was Patrick Leonard. The British cardplayer claims that while verbal agreements are a thing in the poker world and they are binding, the two subjects in this case didn’t know each other well enough to engage in such a thing.

Patrick Leonard sharing his opinion on the alleged swap deal between Jorstad and Theologis.

Tony Dunst also chimed in. He believes that the fact that all other swap deals made by Jorstad are documented in writing makes Theologis’ claims unlikely to be true. David Peat and Fedor Holz have also come out publicly, taking the reigning WSOP Main Event champ’s side.

Theologis Tells His Side of the Story

As the latest online poker feud was gaining traction, Pokernews.com reached out to Alex Theologis for comment.

In his remarks, the accuser Theologis conceded that Jorstad’s description of events is pretty accurate. He reiterated that he believes a verbal swap agreement has in fact taken place. However, what makes his case weaker is that he does not recall when and where it happened exactly. 

Jorstad stated in his original post that he is willing to take the issue to arbitration if the poker community deems it necessary. However, this most likely will never happen, Not only does virtually everybody in the online poker community seem to be on his side, but Theologis himself has said that he has no interest in pressing the issue any further.

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