Thursday, August 04, 2016

Decision on Stange Class Action Poker Cheat Lawsuit Against Atlantic City Borgata

Counterfeit Chip-Flusher
During the 2014 Borgata Winter Open poker tournament, a poker cheat by the name of Christian Lusardi snuck a substantial amount of counterfeit chips into play, which gave him a huge advantage against other players in that particular event. His counterfeit poker-cheat move was discovered, upon which the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement promptly redistributed the remaining prize money to all players who had entered into the event, all but 27 of whom were already knocked out of it at the time the cheat scam was uncovered.

Three players in the tournament, Jacob Musterel, Farid Vaghefi and Steven Celeste, were not happy with the New Jersey DGE's decision and as such launched a class-action lawsuit against the DGE for its decision and against the Borgata for its failure to recognize the counterfeit chips until very late in the tournament.

They claimed that the redistribution of chips greatly disfavored them because they had chips left while the majority of players who received parts of the redistribution did not, and that the majority of the players who received the paybacks had never even gone up in a hand against Lusarti, therefore they did not really suffer any losses because of Lusardi's fake chips.

This case was the last of several other similar suits against the NJ DGE, and the plaintiffs lost in all of them, including their appeals.

My take: This was a very interesting case, and I agree with the plaintiffs that they were shortchanged in not receiving bigger parts of the redistribution, but at the same time I understand the difficulty that would have ensued trying to administer the redistribution according to what each player's actual probabilities of winning the tournament were at the time the decision to refund the remaining prize money was made.

And the best part of this all? That was certainly when Lusardi was caught trying to flush hundreds more of these counterfeit poker chips down the toilet at Harrah's casino...fucking up the bathroom's plumbing!!! LOL