Weekly Poker Roundup: August 13, 2018
Illegal Poker Game, Drug Ring Busted in NYC
New York police recently arrested 32 people after a bust of an illegal poker game that also served as a complement to a drug ring. According to the New York Daily News, the investigation ran for eight months and began as a fairly standard drug investigation.
When law enforcement saw suspects leaving a building before selling drugs to an undercover officer, things changed a bit, as that location turned out to be a poker room whose profits were used to help fund drug buys. The entire operation used people located all over the east coast, in New York, Massachusetts, Georgia, and Florida.
The poker game was held in a place called The Poker House, with games running from 4:00pm to 4:00am. It wasn’t all that large – maybe 30 players were there at any given time – and stakes weren’t extremely high, but it was enough. Word in the poker community was that a typical buy-in was $700 to $1,000.
Scientific Games Slapped with $315 Penalty in Antitrust Suit
Shuffle Tech and two other companies together were awarded a combined $315 million by a Chicago jury in an antitrust lawsuit against Scientific Games, parent company of Shuffle Master. The original award was $105 million, but U.S. antitrust law dictates that the amount be trebled.
It’s a long, complicated case, but let’s try to get to the gist of it. Shuffle Tech, which had made automatic card shufflers for the consumer market, developed one for the casino market and entered into a licensing deal with Poydras-Talrick Holdings in 2012, who sublicensed to DigiDeal (DigiDeal also worked with Aces Up Gaming). After DigiDeal unveiled the product to the gaming market, Shuffle Master (which was later bought by Bally Technologies, which itself was then acquired by Scientific Games) sued for patent infringement.
Shuffle Tech, Aces Up, and Poydras-Talrick reviewed the patents and decided to counter-sue for antitrust violations when they found that Shuffle Master had hidden art that it was basing its patent infringement suit upon. Basically, Shuffle Master said, “See? Look at these diagrams in our patents. They are stealing our designs,” when there was no reasonable way Shuffle Tech and friends would have ever noticed the art because Shuffle Master purposely kept it hidden.
Shuffle Master moved to get the suit dismissed and a judge did so except for one antitrust count. It was on that count that a jury agreed with the plaintiffs, that Shuffle Master (now as Scientific Games) was suing just to try to force smaller competitors out of business.
Charles Oakley Avoids Jail in Casino Cheating Plea Deal
Former NBA basketball player and current coach in the Big3 league, Charles Oakley, has pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge after he allegedly cheated at a casino table game. The game in question took place in July at The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas.
Oakley was playing a game of Ultimate Texas Hold’em, a table game in which players compete against the dealer, like blackjack or Pai Gow. The dealer and player are dealt hole cards and the player has to put up two equal bets, an ante and a blind. Before the flop, the player can wager more chips or check. After the flop, if the player did not bet pre-flop, he can bet or check again. The turn and river are dealt at the same time, at which point the player can bet or fold.
According to video seen originally by TMZ, Oakley allegedly pulled back a $100 chip on one hand when he saw that he was going to lose. On two other hands, he allegedly added chips to his winning bet, causing him to win another $125.
His offense was a Class B felony, punishable by one to six years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine. By agreeing to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge, Oakley avoids jail time.
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