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April 15, 2014 - 11:43am
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Decision on Borgata Counterfeit Chip Investigation is Here! DGE Ends Waiting Game

Wendeen H. Eolis

Wendeen H. Eolis

By Wendeen H. Eolis

Minutes ago, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement reported  at its website its  final order arising from its investigation of the Borgata counterfeit chip debacle in January of this year. Last Friday  PPN  provided an overview of the outcome of the order which was in place. then and has  been disclosed to the public, today.  To summarize: counterfeit chips were introduced into the Borgata Winter Open tournament's first event. The DGE canceled the event upon determining it had been compromised and has scrutinized the entire matter coming up with the terse order that can be seen here: The terse order can be seen here:

http://www.nj.gov/oag/ge/2014news/BorgataWinterPokerOpenFinalOrder.pdf

The Borgata has issued a statement that fleshes out the order, providing details concerning disbursement of monies.  It clarifies that players who did not cash, but may have been affected by the introduction of counterfeit chips will be refunded  their relevant  buy-ins; players who did not cash and were never exposed to the introduction of the counterfeit chips will not receive any refunds, whatsoever.  Players who were awarded prize monies but didn't pick up  their pay will also get their monies. The full Borgata statement can be seen here:

http://blog.theborgata.com/

Borgata Senior VP,  Joe Lupo,  is quoted as explaining  that the Company is distributing all of the unpaid prize pool money and also voluntarily disbursing to players the revenues earned from buy-in fees. While the DGE order includes the latter, a reading of the order confirms that the revenues earned by Borgata  that were included in the disbrsements came about from consultation with Borgata and not from an independent order on the part of the DGE.

Predictions:This means some 2100+ of the 2800+ players (for the 4800+ buy-ins)  in the tournament will probably be pretty happy,  presumably as  will those who cashed down through 28th place who have been or will be paid per the advertised allocation of prize monies. They all earned their awards prior to a determination of a compromised tournament.   Additionally, those in the second and third tier of the top 27, will probably  find the payout livable as the disbursement is equal or greater than  the original allocation for those spots.  As to the top nine, sparks are sure to fly, but as to whether it will be sound and fury signifying nothing or a colossal headache for DGE and Borgata remains to be seen.

It should be noted  DGE's delay in getting out its report after it allowed  many people to learn that it had been completed resulted in massive leakage, and significant misinformation that circulated for days. This state of affairs did  not help to soothe ruffled feathers of those who are unhappy.

Last Friday all eyes were on the DGE after the regulators sent up white smoke signals that resulted in alerting  executives at multiple casinos of an imminent decision.   By late afternoon the smoke turned gray—without explanation. No announcement materialized until today.   DGE’s further delay was almost inevitable, given its history in this matter; over the past weeks there have been several false alarms of an imminent announcement sounded by  DGE to many parties with close ties to the regulators.

No matter how well reasoned by DGE  the last bit of delay left Borgata personnel with their hands full--not only with new procedures but also with an onlslaught of queries  by frustrated tournament players--the entire weekend. 

Was the DGE miffed by news of their deliberations leaking out to the public (against their preference) slightly before they were to take the stage?  

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Poker News Brief: Hellmuth’s Continued Bracelet Gifting

by Haley Hintze

The WSOP’s career wins leader, Phil Hellmuth, has resumed his practice of giving his victor’s bracelets to family and friends.  Hellmuth recently gave the jewelry honoring his record 13th win to wealthy Silicon Valley venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya.  Palihapitiya is also a part owner of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, whose games Hellmuth frequently attends.  Most of Hellmuth’s other bracelets have gone to family members, except for his very first and his 12th, which was once publicly promised to UltimateBet co-founder Greg Pierson but went undelivered in the wake of revelations connected to the cheating on that now-defunct online site.

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How Do You Rule? - Readers Respond, Part 2

by George “The Engineer” Epstein

In Part One, we described a number of the responses to my column entitled, “How Do You Rule?” that appeared in the Feb. 10 issue of PPN. Today we will continue to present more responses, including one from the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) vice president, and two from Australia. After studying the responses, I have drawn conclusions that I will share with you in Part Three.

Reminder: We described a hand where James bet on the river; then, after Bill called, James shouted, “Full-House.” Bill promptly mucked his hand. But, when James showed his hand, all he had was A-K high. An argument erupted. Bill claimed he had the better hand. James insisted that, having gone into the discards, Bill’s hand was dead. The floorman settled the controversy by retrieving what presumably was Bill’s hand from the edge of the muck and declaring Bill the winner with a better hand. More Response Highlights

• Rich Muny, vice president of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), likes Robert’s Rules of Poker, which he interprets: “The mucked hand should always be retrieved from the muck where clearly identifiable if the muck was caused by misinformation – intentional or unintentional. If unintentional, the best hand wins. If the miscall is found to be intentional angle shooting, the player who miscalled forfeits the pot.”

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Poker News Brief: Borgata Introduces UV-Stamped Tournament Chips

by Haley Hintze

January’s cancellation of the opening event of the Borgata Winter Open due the introduction of a large number of counterfeit chips has led to the casino’s introduction of new high-denomination chips incorporating UV stamping, detectable by security-camera filters. The expensive new chips debuted at the casino’s Spring Poker Open and are being made by Maine chipmaker Game On Chip Company, with the Borgata receiving conditional approval from New Jersey gaming regulators for their use. Final determinations in the cancelled January tournament have yet to be issued by the state’s regulators, while alleged counterfeiter Christian Lusardi remains in custody on related charges. More than $1.4 million in prize money had yet to be awarded when play was halted with 27 players remaining.

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Kevin Elia Wins Maryland Live Main Event

Local Kevin Elia from Baltimore took home more than $55k and the first-ever main event poker title to come out of the state of Maryland. Kevin battled a field of 131 players in the Maryland Live! Poker Classic $3,500 main event. Kevin played a solid 3 days of poker outlasting some great local talent along the lines of Christian Harder, Anthony Gregg, James St. Hilaire, Richard Smith, and World Series Main Event Champion Greg Merson. It was a roller-coaster ride for Kevin who found himself the chip leader at the final table when discussing an 8-way chop. When all the numbers were written down Kevin agreed to take home $50k for being the chip leader and then all 8 players agreed to play a $1k sit and go for the trophy and then title of Maryland Live! Poker Classic Main Event Champ. After all eight had taken their seats in the sit and go it fired off, dropping one by one until only Kevin was left standing. All 10 players who made the final table were locals from the Maryland and Virginia area. This was a great success for Maryland Live! Casino and poker in the state of Maryland. Be on the lookout for a repeat victory from Kevin when Mayland Live hosts another tournament series in July 2014.

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Poker News Brief: PPA Announces “Fight Back” Campaign

by Haley Hintze

The Poker Players Alliance has announced a grass-roots campaign designed to put poker players directly in touch with federal legislators to protest anti-online-gambling bills under consideration in Congress.  Called “Fight Back,” the new effort targets twin measures introduced by US Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and US Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), that are backed and drafted by the Sheldon Adelson-CEO’d Las Vegas Sands Corp.  While the twin bills have signed up about 20 co-sponsors, several legal and political groups have protested the bills, often as a violation of states’ rights regarding gambling.  Among the groups opposing the Graham and Chaffetz measures are Democratic Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL). More at: http://theppa.org/fight-the-ban/

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Linsford Geddes Takes Home Mohegan Sun Spring Showdown Championship

The $1100 Main Event with a Guarantee of $150,000 had 204 players. We saw a variety of New England tournament players such as Tarun Gulati, Thomas Hogland, Raj Patel, Mark Epstein, Stacey Sullivan and many tournament players participate in the Spring Showdown’s main event.

On day 2, a total of 48 players remained and at closing we saw Linsford “Teddy” Geddes taking home the 1st place prize of $47,787.

Rebecca Carabino, Mohegan Sun’s Tournament Director, is working on the Summer Showdown series which will begin in late July 2014.

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Poker News Brief: More Full Tilt Refunds Issued

by Haley Hintze

The Department of Justice-appointed administrator for the Full Tilt Poker remissions process, Garden City Group, released a second wave of refunds in early April.  Almost $6 million in online-poker balances was sent to about 2,800 players whose banking information could not be verified in time for inclusion in the larger first wave of payments earlier this year.  All told, GCG has issued about $81 million in FTP payment to date, with two large categories still under review – online affiliates and former players who enjoyed some form of sponsorship relationship with the site.  The funds for the ongoing refunds came from the 2012 PokerStars settlement with the DOJ, which acquired Full Tilt’s remaining assets in exchange for the remission funding.

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Firekeepers’ $200,000 Prize Pool!

By Barbara Rogers

FireKeepers keeps it coming and Kelley Bailey keeps it HOT! The Mid- States Poker Tour, with a guaranteed payout of $200K, is scheduled for play May 9-18th. Qualifiers start on May 2nd. FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek, Michigan is bringing it to you. This is the poker room where the manager, Kelley Bailey also brings 7 on 7. That is, seven tournaments a week. You can qualify for the main event by playing in one of the satellites: Fridays at 6:30 pm. Kelley offers $60 multi-table Super Satellites every Saturday at 10 am from now until April 26.

And $250 main event qualifiers every Friday at 6:30 pm from now all the way up to May 2nd. The main event has three starting dates, Thursday May 15 at 4:00 pm, Friday May 16 at 12 pm, and Saturday May 17 at 12 pm. The final day of play is Sunday 10 am.

If you enjoy the deep stacks go to FireKeepers on the second and fourth Sunday of every month 12 pm. You can qualify for the Player Of The Year Tournament Of Champions now - January 31, 2015.

Staying overnight is easy in “Cereal City,” home to Kellogg & Post; you can stay where you play, in an award winning room in FireKeepers Hotel. Visit FireKeepersCasinoHotel. com/poker or phone the poker room directly at 269- 660-5631. For a hotel room reservation call 877-FKC- 8777.

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Poker News Brief: Borgata Sues Phil Ivey for $9.6 Million Over Alleged “Edge Sorting”

by Haley Hintze

The “edge sorting” technique used by Phil Ivey in conjunction with his ongoing suit against London’s Crockfords Casino has again surfaced, this time in the form of an action filed by New Jersey’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa against Ivey and companion Cheng Yin Sun.  The lawsuit alleges that Ivey and Sun conspired against the Borgata by exploiting minor printing variations on the casino’s cards, with Ivey winning over $9.6 million during four 2012 high-stakes sessions.  The Borgata also named as a defendant the cards’ manufacturer, Gemaco, for the same amount, alleging defective cards that failed to meet the terms of the company’s card-supplying contract.  The nearly 60-page legal document accuses Ivey and Sun of an elaborate series of manipulations and requests, many of which were described as “superstitions,” but which the Borgata alleges were intentional ruses designed to tip the odds in Ivey’s favor.

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