by Wendeen H. Eolis
During the past week, since the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement issued its final order concerning the first event at the Borgata Winter Poker Open (“WPO”) last January, players have been arguing fiercely about the fairness or unfairness of the rulings. Chatter has turned into full on posturing. Tournament participants are communicating with friends, Borgata representatives, the DGE, poker tournament directors around the country, media and---lawyers. Movers and shakers far across the poker planet are also popping up with takes on the decision.
A Quick Review of the Borgata Counterfeit Chip Caper:
The opening event of the WPO was suspended and ultimately terminated by the DGE before the third day was to commence, after determining that counterfeit chips had been introduced into the tournament. The DGE order provides for the disbursement of the undistributed remaining prize pool (which was frozen during the DGE investigation), together with the revenues earned by Borgata in buy-in fees. The DGE determined that Borgata was a victim of criminal conduct, not negligent and not liable for any other payments, in this matter.
DGE Order and Borgata Statement
One fuzzy issue in the order relates to the distribution of revenues earned by Borgata ($288,000+). They are referenced in a “whereas clause” as monies provided to players “in consultation” with the Borgata. The Borgata statement references the inclusion of the buy-in fees in player distributions as a voluntary contribution on the part of the Company.
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:
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:
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?
Mastering poker means learning new things. Sometimes. But, you can also increase your profit or even jump from losing to winning simply by stopping. Stopping what? Well, stopping lots of stuff you may be doing that’s costing money at poker. Today’s words is “Stop.” And that’s all you need to do.
I’m going to give you a list of poker things you should stop doing, if they apply to you. My explanations will be brief. Ready? Good.
1. Stop complaining.
When you complain about poker misfortune, opponents aren’t sympathetic. They’re inspired. They think, “Hey, there’s someone unluckier than I am — someone I can beat.” And then they grow hopeful and play better against you.
So, keep your misery to yourself. Act lucky, even if you aren’t right now. Your good luck is what opponents fear most.
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!
Poker success means more than finding advantages. It means avoiding disadvantages. Sadly, most skillful players are in perpetual search of edges. They fail to weigh what will reward them against what will destroy them.
I teach that you should always be very vigilant about identifying disadvantages in poker. Many can seem invisible, if you don’t look hard. But once you see them, it’s usually easy to stay out of danger. So, here is a short selection of three poker disadvantages, chosen from over 100 candidates.
Disadvantage 1: Too many chips
Many players like to have the most chips at the table in no-limit poker games. Is that the right strategy? Maybe. Probably not.
So many misconceptions muddle poker that I sometimes make lists. Today, I’d like to share three favorites from my collection, hoping that your game will improve, once you understand the truth.
Where should we start? How about bluffs. Whenever I warn about the badness of bluffing, some players get confused and think I’m telling them never to bluff. I’m not. There are clearly profitable times to fire a bluff into the pot. And there are specific opponents who make the best targets.
Fine. But I’m warning you that most players lose money for their lifetimes by bluffing. In that sense, yes, it would be better for them if they never bluffed. Here’s the strange part. Among all those millions of players who lose money bluffing, most probably think they earn money. I’ll tell you why that is in a minute.
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?
Many poker players lose for a single, simple reason. They don’t grasp the nature of the majority of their opponents. Because of this common and fundamental misunderstanding of opponents’ natural state at the poker table, players pour profit down the poker drain trying to accomplish things that are impossible. What does that mean? Listen, and I’ll tell you.
Why they play
In order to take advantage of your opponents’ greatest weaknesses, you first need to understand why they came to play poker. No, really. Let’s examine that. Imagine that you’re a regular guy or gal with a regular everyday job. Maybe it’s standing all day long behind a used tomato booth at a secret black market for fruits and vegetables. Maybe it’s painting over minor scratches on the bottom of automobile mufflers. Just some common job. Okay. Now imagine that your job is only thrilling for the first seven hours each day and that, by the final hour, you’re bored and eager to get home. Fine. So, that’s where you are right now. Home.
Then a monumental thought bombs your brain: “Maybe I’ll drive to the casino and play poker.” Immediately, your pulse quickens. An adventure awaits.
So, now I want you to stop imagining and jump back out of the head of your pretend opponent. You’re you again, in your own head. And that’s the “you” to whom I’m posing this important question. Here it comes. Do you think, while driving to the casino, your opponent is thinking, “I hope I can just sit at the table and not have to play any hands,” or “I hope I get to play a lot of hands”?
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
LAS VEGAS (Feb. 11, 2014) – The 45th annual World Series of Poker® (WSOP®) – a set of poker tournaments open to anyone 21 years of age or older – officially puts cards in the air the day after Memorial Day, Tuesday, May 27, 2014, with an expected $200 million up for grabs, and play ramping up immediately with several new and exciting events early in the schedule.
But it may be what comes at the end of this year’s series that will steal the headlines, as poker’s world championship – aka the WSOP Main Event – will see the winner walk away with $10,000,000 and of course the diamond-encrusted bracelet. As was the case with the Millionaire Maker last year, the payout structure will adjust accordingly to accommodate the new Main Event wrinkle.