Last week at the first preliminary event of the World Series of Poker Circuit Event in Atlantic City, a rare incident occurred when the chip leader of the final table, Lesley S. Thornburg, was disqualified from the competition because of the rude behavior he exhibited, despite receiving several warnings from tournament officials.
Thornburg had received two warnings for his bad behavior, when he, according to WSOP Media Director, Nolan Dalla, engaged in “a ceaseless display of of loud comments and baiting tactics lasting several hours.” His bad behavior continued on the second day, especially when he got lucky to take the chip lead at the final table. Thornburg had doubled up when his A-7 overcame A-Q and then took the chip lead after his pocket fours overcame pocket sevens to eliminate another player. With the chip lead, Thornburg’s play became even more belligerent, as he refused to stack his chips and constantly shoved large amounts of chips haphazardly into the pot.
Thornburg’s tactics got to be too much for the tournament officials and the other players to handle, and he was disqualified in fifth place, his chips removed from play. According to Nolan Dalla’s report, “Fed up with the annoying and confusing antics, officials announced Thornburg’s immediate disqualification. Lesley Thornburg, a general contractor from Richmond, Va., earned $19,026 in prize money.”
The tournament would eventually be won by Frank Panetta, a 76-year old from Brick, New Jersey. Panetta would earn $76,104 for his victory.