Houston, We’ve Got a Bribe

Going into the last round of Swiss in a $5k cash tournament run at Competitive REL, you, the Head Judge, send your floor judges out to watch and listen for “unfortunate conversations” that might happen with the players battling to get into the Top 8. As the round is coming to a close, one of your floor judge approaches you with a situation she thinks is Bribery. You pull the players aside and begin an investigation.

Andre says that they sat down for their match, and before Game 1 had begun, Nick asked him if he wanted to do an even prize split. Andre declined because he thought he had a good match up. They played game 1 and game 2, both players taking a game. Andre says Nick then offered the prize split again. He says he took a few seconds to think about it, then said “Sure”. Nick then grabbed the results slip and filled it out as a 2-1 win for Andre. When asked if there had been any discussion about someone conceding, he answers that there was none.

When you question Nick, his story matches up with Andre’s story. When asked why he conceded, he answers that he knew Andre would get into the Top 8 with a win. He further explains that his record is 5-2 and Andre’s is 5-1-1. He had checked the standings before the round and knew he had no shot at the Top 8 even with a win, while a win would guarantee Andre a spot in the Top 8. He says he wanted to maximize how much cash he would get in the split, and Andre making Top 8 was the best way to do so.

Is there anything wrong with what Andre and Nick have done? If so, what infraction(s) have Andre and/or Nick committed?

Judges, feel free to discuss this scenario on Judge Apps!

View Answer
Thank you judges for participating in the discussion on this Gold scenario this week. We honestly thought that there would be more disagreement, but most, if not all, of you agreed that this situation is not Bribery. And you would be correct.

Concessions/intentional draws and prize splits are allowed under the MTR. What would make it Bribery, is if you are using one to get the other (offer of a concession/draw to get a split, offer of a split to get a concession/draw). At a quick glance, you can see that the split was agreed to and then the concession made after. This is a situation though where it is important to still investigate and dig a little bit to be sure nothing else happened. It’s possible that they have talked about what would happen if either player wins and would both be aware of the potential outcomes. This by itself does not make either player guilty, but still must be looked at and you must use your best judgment to decide if one player made it clear they would concede if a prize split was agreed to.

Some have argued that Nick had an incentive to concede after the split was agreed to and that would mean he has committed Bribery. As human beings, incentives drive us to do everything in life. We work so that we can earn money to pay our bills, keep ourselves fed, and to fund hobbies. We partake in hobbies to be entertained. We go out for a couple drinks for social interaction. We rarely do something in life without an incentive. Simply having an incentive to do something does not constitute Bribery in all cases. Offering an incentive to get a match result or a prize split, however, is Bribery.