Friday, January 23, 2009

PokerPlex In Middle of Online Poker Tournament Controversy!

A $3000 guaranteed freeroll appeared in the lobby at PokerPlex, an online poker room and 72 Poker Plex poker players registered to play. The online poker players battled it out in the Poker Plex freeroll that was said to pay the winner a brand new Rolex watch.

$3000 in prize money was then to be divided up among the 2nd through 9th place finishers. After the tournament, all of the winners recieved their prize monies, and poker player ‘wwwpkr4ucomforum’ began to wait excitedly for his shiney new Rolex to arrive in the mail.

The tournament had a maximum player entry of 1500 people, though there was no marketing, no press releases, no news stories, in fact, I’d never personally heard of PokerPlex before today, so there weren’t a lot of players registered to play.

A few days after playing in the tournament, and taking down first place, the first place winner ‘wwwpkr4ucomforum’ began to wonder when he’d receive his prize, the brand new Rolex watch. He decided to email the poker rooms support for further clarification.

Everyone knows that to be considered a true ballah in the poker game, you must own a bad a$$ watch, this player was no different, he needed his new watch, preferably in time for Christmas! ‘wwwpkr4ucomforum’ said in a public forum that he waited a week for PokerPlex customer support to get back to him and they never did, in fact when he finally did get a hold of them it was via their online chat support system.

They did not to congratulate him on his first place victory, or to tell him they’ve just put his brand new Rolex into the box, and that it sounds simply musical when it ticks. Nope.

The online support agent explained to him that the tournament was somehow scheduled incorrectly. The support agent told him to continue to await further responce, that Playtech had to be contacted, they also promised to compensate the player.

Another week went by. Finally, a representative by the name of Scott replied via email:

I’m sorry for the delay in getting back to you. We have now heard back from Playtech and as this Tournament was a non advertised or scheduled tournament it was not valid and no payments should have been made. Any players that did not withdraw funds won from this Tournament have already had them removed and no further payments are due. Procedures have now been put in place to prevent invalid tournaments running.

However as a good will gesture I have credited your account with 200 EUR and wish you the best of luck in our future Rolex Freerolls.

The would be Rolex winner obviously had some things to say in an email I was unable to obtain thus far, and in reply from PokerPlex came the following:

This is not a joke and we are not treating it as one. As an invalid Tournament it had no monetary value at all. As I stated in my previous email any funds that players were awarded from the Tournament were also removed.

If your Bank made a credit to your account in error you wouldn’t and couldn’t expect them to give you this money just because they had made an error. Like wise, even though Playtech posted this Tournament on the wrong date we are not liable for any invalid winnings. You would have know from the number of entrants and all of the Promotional material that this was not the correct date and that any winnings would also be invalid.

We have given you a credit that we think is fair for your inconvenience considering there is no obligation to give anything”

There is no word yet on how many of the 8 other winners got the money out of their accounts, or how many had it removed from their accounts without their permission from PokerPlex.

20th Guilty Plea in Tran Criminal Enterprise Baccarat Conspiracy Case!

Phat Ngoc Tran, 35, pleaded guilty today in San Diego to conspiring to participate in a racketeering enterprise, the "Tran Organization," in a scheme to cheat at least 12 casinos across the United States and Canada out of millions of dollars, Acting Assistant Attorney General Rita M. Glavin of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Karen P. Hewitt for the Southern District of California announced today. Tran admitted that he and his co-conspirators unlawfully obtained up to $2.5 million during card cheats.

A three-count indictment was returned May 22, 2007, and unsealed in the Southern District of California on May 24, 2007, charging Tran and 13 others each with one count of conspiracy to participate in the affairs of a racketeering enterprise; one count of conspiracy to commit several offenses against the United States, including conspiracy to steal money and other property from Indian tribal casinos; and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. The indictment also charged five separate individuals each with one count of conspiracy to commit several offenses against the United States, including conspiracy to steal money and other property from Indian tribal casinos; and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

In his plea agreement, Tran admitted that on numerous occasions between approximately October 2002 and July 2006, he participated in gambling cheats together with other alleged members of the Tran Organization at casinos in the United States and Canada. Tran admitted to targeting at least 12 casinos in the racketeering conspiracy.