Catherine “catrific” Valdes is an online content creator and self-described ex-influencer.
She’s best known in the poker world for an incident at the 2019 WSOP Circuit Bally’s stop, when her reaction to a staff error caused an uproar in the poker community.
Valdes has amassed more than 600,000 subscribers on YouTube and similar large following on other platforms. Her foray into poker, however, caused much controversy.
Let’s take a look a what happened when ‘catrific’ tried to play a $400 tournament and ended up as the center of attention in the world of poker.
Catrific Gets Seated at the Wrong Table
Valdes documents her pursuit of poker in several videos on her YouTube channel, and even briefly produced content for a poker-only channel.
She arrived at Bally’s Las Vegas in March 2019 and registered for a $400 buy-in tournament at the World Series of Poker Circuit Bally’s stop. The small buy-in tournament was running at the same time as the WSOPC $1,700 Main Event.
Sometime within the first hour of the tournament, Valdes realized she had been seated in the wrong event. The $400 buy-in tournament she registered for featured 15,000 starting chips, but ‘catrific’ found herself with 30,000 chips to begin with.
At some point Valdes looked up at the tournament clock and knew for certain she had been accidentally seated in the $1,700 Main Event. And it got ugly from there.
In a YouTube video posted after the incident, but since deleted, Valdes explained that once she realized she had been sitting in the higher buy-in tournament for about an hour, she didn’t know what to do.
In the video, ‘catrific’ contended that she actually asked why she was getting the 30,000 starting chips before she even sat down. Chad Holloway from PokerNews reported on Valdes’ explanation from the video.
“I was confused because I remember reading earlier that I was supposed to start with 15,000… I thought maybe there was a typo, maybe I read something wrong,” Valdes said in the video.
Valdes ended up playing in the tournament for about two hours total, with at least the second hour, by her own admission, happening after she knew she was in the wrong tournament. By that time Valdes had knocked out another player and accumulated well over the starting stack.
“In my head I’m thinking, ‘Well, I guess I could go tell somebody but if I tell somebody it’s going to cause all this chaos,” Valdes said in the YouTube video.
Valdes kept quiet and kept playing, but about two hours after she was seated, her time was up. WSOP officials had realized their mistake by that time. She was then disqualified from the tournament after a conversation with floor staff.
The Poker Community Reacts
Word of the incident quickly got around in social media circles, with many in the poker community not thrilled by Valdes’ decision to continue playing the $1,700 tournament when she realized a mistake had been made.
Many of Valdes’ own tweets about the incident, as well as direct responses, have since been deleted. The following tweet from Ralph Massey, and responses, are an example of how some in the poker world responded:
It’s one thing to attempt freerolling the main for $400 which is scummy enough but to then play the victim? She got the wrong stack at the wrong starting time of the wrong tournament. She was well aware of this and tried to get $1300 discount based on pure scum not confusion #EIE https://t.co/Azum2uTmDj
— ralph massey (@TheSilverStash) March 31, 2019
Others, like longtime poker pro David ‘ODB’ Baker, thought Valdes deserved more compassion than what she was getting:
Compassion is an effective teaching tool as well. I’d suggest she makes another video tomorrow and takes more responsibility for her actions. She seems to be an asset to the community and I’d like some compassion shown (never met or talked to her just a neutral opinion)
— David Baker (@audavidb) April 1, 2019
Catrific Since the Incident
Valdes’ original YouTube video, quoted throughout this article, included a detailed explanation of why she decided to remain in the tournament after knowing the mistake was made.
That response video was taken down quickly after it originally was posted, but a second video from ‘catrific’ is still available on her YouTube channel, expressing remorse from the incident.
Valdes has still appeared in a few poker tournaments since the Bally’s incident, cashing in an event at Run It Up Reno VIII in April 2019, as well as in the Big 50 $500 No-Limit Hold’em event at the 2019 WSOP.