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Wendeen H. Eolis

Breaking News: Borgata Chip Investigation Complete - Stunning DGE Report on the Way

Wendeen H. Eolis

Wendeen H. Eolis

By: Wendeen H. Eolis

After nearly 3 months of silence, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) is poised to announce its decisions regarding distribution of the remaining prize pool that has been left in limbo following the cancelation of Event #1 in the Borgata Winter Poker Open last January.

Shortly before day 3 was to commence, the DGE suspended the event, ultimately canceling it altogether due to the introduction of counterfeit chips into the tournament.

The remaining unpaid prize pool was put into a trust pending the outcome of the DGE investigation of the matter. According to lawyers surrounding the DGE and others familiar with the DGE's recent deliberations, the investigation has concluded.  All that  seems left is public disclosure of  its report and related rulings.

All eyes are on the DGE as the first weekend  of the Borgata Spring Open gets under way. Changes in tournament procedures are obvious, with far more personnel engaged in the coordination and supervision of the proceedings then ever before. And, bagging and tagging of chips at the end of play each day is taking considerably longer. It is apparently Borgata's obligation to verify each players chip count.  Previously, Borgata allowed independent chip counts annotated by players. 

The DGE's findings result in other specific procedural changes, as well, reportedly being implemented as part of  a studious effort to enhance the security of poker tournaments in all of the casinos they regulate in New Jersey, according to casino executives in multiple AC poker rooms.  The Borgata has also invested in high tech superior quality chips  for tournaments ; would be cheaters  beware!  

Your rating: None Average: 4 (4 votes)

PokerStars Does Legwork in NY Legislative Bill

Wendeen H. Eolis

Wendeen H. Eolis

By: Wendeen H. Eolis

New York State has come to the party later than most, but this year it has its eye on gambling like never before. The necessary referendum to legalize commercial brick and mortar casino gaming passed more than a year ago; a Commission to oversee the issuance of a limited number of casino licenses is in place. And now we have a “poker only” bill floating through the New York State Senate.

NY Senate Bill S6913—Poker Only!

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

Player Lawsuit Against Borgata No Class Action—Yet

Wendeen H. Eolis

Wendeen H. Eolis

by Wendeen H. Eolis

It has been one full month since the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) ordered the Borgata Casino to cancel the opening event of its annual Winter Poker Open, but New Jersey regulators have yet to reach a conclusion to their investigation of bogus chips that were introduced into the competition. The extended delay has led to escalating agitation among players according to Bruce Licausi attorney for Jeffrey Musterel, plaintiff in a lawsuit filed last Friday against the Borgata.

Musterel is a recreational poker player from Egg Harbor Township, near Atlantic City. He is among the 4000+ players who participated in the tournament, but failed to cash in the tainted competition. The primary thrust of the legal papers is that the Borgata failed in its obligations to adequately protect the playing field, adequately.

Who's on First?

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (5 votes)

Borgata: Aftermath of Counterfeit Chip Caper - New Twists in Suspect Christian Lusardi Story

Wendeen H. Eolis

Wendeen H. Eolis

By: Wendeen H. Eolis

The leading suspect in a scheme to rig a poker tournament, at the Borgata last month, has gotten into more hot water with the law, this week.  Christian Lusardi of Fayetteville, North Carolina was arrested January 24th in connection with the introduction of counterfeit chips in the opening event at the Borgata Winter Open. Unable to make the $300,000 cash payment for bail, Lusardi has been sitting in a jail cell since.

This week, prosecutors have upped the ante for Lusardi with new charges against him--wholly unrelated to the allegations of meddling with the publicly exhibited Borgata contest.  While Lusardi was holed up in Atlantic City, federal agents apparently acted on a search warrant. They d found  more than 37,500 illegal DVD disks in his home.  Lusardi is now charged with a DVD bootlegging operation, as part of his rap sheet. 

The picture is still not clear, however, as to whether the current status of the investigation into Lusardi’s activities will soon prompt the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) to come forward with a final resolution concerning the tainted poker tournament.

Investigation of Borgata Chip Caper is Ongoing According to DGE

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

Men "The Master" Nguyen Speaks Out and Laughs Confidently at Borgata Winter Open

Wendeen H. Eolis

Wendeen H. Eolis

By: Wendeen H. Eolis

Since January 18th, the 27 remaining players in the Borgata Winter Open's first event have been waiting for their money while the authorities investigate the particulars of 160 counterfeit chips (5K tournament chips), introduced into the tournament. While the fake chips amounted to a bit less than 1% of the total chips in play, the intrusion into the integrity of the competition put the Borgata, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, and law enforcement personnel in overdrive--in a determined search for the culprit(s) and a a collaborative effort to bring the matter to a full resolution.

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (10 votes)

NJ State Police Nab Suspect in Borgata Counterfeit Chips Caper

by : Wendeen H. Eolis
 
Bulletin: Borgata's Determination to Help Catch a Thief  Pays Off
 
This afternoon official word was out. Christian Lusardi, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, was nabbed in an Atlantic City motel room, as a suspect in  a  more bizarre- by- the-minute case of counterfeit 5K chips that compromised Event 1 at the Borgata Winter Open. And, more 5K chips created havoc at nearby Harrahs where the plumbing system was fouled up with a mass of Borgata labeled tournament chips that were thrown down a toilet only to clog the hotel's sewage system. 
 
 

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (7 votes)

Borgata Shows Record Keeping Prowess: Keeping Men "The Master" On His Toes

By Wendeen H. Eolis

Four thousand + players journeyed to the Borgata Winter Open, for its first tournament -- a $560 buy-in, deep stack confection, with a two million dollar guaranteed prize pool. The numbers proved themselves; it was a “must play” event.  But with twenty-seven players remaining in the field, the tournament was suspended before the commencement of day three, last Friday. One day later Event 1 was canceled.

The Big Guns Get Involved

The tournament had been compromised, said Joe Lupo, Senior Vice President of Operations at the Borgata.  He explained that the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement made the decision to cancel the tournament  and place the remaining unpaid prize monies in a trust pending a further resolution.  Lupo has had his hands full since revealing the discovery of "significant counterfeit chips" in play at the tournament. He has been juggling his time among competing priorities.  He must cope concurrently with expectations of top management, availability to DGE and other investigative professionals, continued oversight and collaboration with his teams, and extensive attention to the plight of players whose dreams were smashed by a compromised tournament or its cancelation, and maybe both. 

Players Put Men "The Master" Nguyen  On Stage

Your rating: None Average: 4.6 (8 votes)

PokerStars Battle in America: Truths, Consequences, and Options

By Wendeen H. Eolis

Last week the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement finally announced that PokerStars' application for a gaming license has been suspended for two years—with one pointed equivocation. If the Company seeks relief from this suspension, based on appropriately “changed conditions” within the Company, the DGE says its license application may be reassessed sooner.

The DGE cites the unresolved indictment of PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg as the "primary" cause for the decision. Insiders close to the regulator say there are  various other management concerns  in the mix, notably including questions as to Isai Scheinberg’s current involvement in Poker Stars. A settlement agreement between the Company and the U.S. Department of Justice, (arising from the Government’s prosecution, U.S. v Scheinberg et al April 15, 2011) presently prohibits Isai Scheinberg from assuming any leadership role in the Company.

Truths and Consequences

It is hard to imagine  separating the Scheinberg name from PokerStars; it stands for immense technical know-how in the world of online poker security, an uncanny understanding of the poker business, exceptional responsiveness to customers' wants and needs, and impeccable financial integrity with its patrons. These are the hallmarks of Isai Scheinberg’s PokerStars and they continue to be at the heart of the Company’s operating philosophy with its customers, under his son Mark Scheinberg, say their legions of fans. The younger Scheinberg now holds the reins as CEO,

The Company’s detractors, however, debate PokerStars' business principles beyond the glow of customer satisfaction. Reports of uneven relationships and questions of fairness on the part of the Company in their arrangements with various corporate business partners and a large force of independent contractors surface periodically.   So do  complaints of a corporate strategy that  promotes and endorses "uninformed accusations"  of character deficiencies of successful competitors and others not in favor with the Scheinbergs. The chief gripe noted by several competitors and former service providers is  "bad-mouthing  that emanates  from the top of the pyramid,”

Your rating: None Average: 5 (5 votes)

PokerStars iGaming license at launch in New Jersey is a no go

by Wendeen H. Eolis

BULLETIN!

As exclusively reported at pokerplayernewswpaper.com, on November 7th, PokerStars will not be part of the iGaming fraternity operating in New Jersey on its historic scheduled launch date of November 26th.

Look for statements from PokerStars and/or DGE pledging that the dance continues—but for more on the back story to this state of affairs, stay tuned to pokerplayernewspaper.com.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

East Coast Casino Licenses: Inside Pandora's Box

by Wendeen H. Eolis

The New Jersey gaming license application of Poker Stars has been a bruiser after a series of battles instigated and propelled by indignant opponents united under the umbrella of the American Gaming Association (AGA). But the fallout from the warring parties’ activities is far from over—regardless of the outcome on the PokerStars application this week.

 The time worn precept that a zealous foe who seeks to bury his target had best to build two graves may apply here. The AGA has succeeded, beyond a shadow of a doubt, in spotlighting PokerStars as a company that poses serious suitability issues in the context of New Jersey’s traditional casino licensing standards.

 At the same time, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement’s disorganized and dragged out proceedings, have provided regulators in other jurisdictions quite the primer on potential pitfalls in licensing deliberations. Perhaps as important, regulators have been motivated to take a harder look at the suitability of potential licensees, even if already licensed elsewhere. This food for thought was not likely anticipated by other gaming companies now being held accountable to more stringent standards than ever before.

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

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