California poker pro Seyed Reza Ali Fazeli has been indicted on wire fraud charges by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California for scamming investors in a sporting event ticket resale scheme.
According to the indictment, it was a pretty straight-forward “you give me money, I promise you a return on your investment, but instead I never invest and just use your money for my own benefit” scam. Fazeli collected $6.2 million from investors between May 2016 and 2017, money which he said he would use to purchase tickets to the 2017 Super Bowl and 2018 World Cup. He would then sell those tickets for a profit, sharing the gains with the investors.
But according to the indictment, Fazeli never bought any tickets, instead using much of the money for poker tournament buy-ins at the Bellagio and Aria. If you wonder how he could spend so much money on buy-ins, he seemed to primarily play in the frequent $25,000 tourneys at Aria. In fact, every single one of his recorded cashes in 2016 when in those tournaments, so who knows how many more he entered and didn’t hit the money?
Fazeli could see as much as 40 years in prison if found guilty.
30 Players Selected for Super High Roller Bowl
Poker Central’s Super High Roller Bowl is coming up in a couple months and this past week, the player selection lottery was streamed live on Poker Central’s PokerGO streaming service. Even though the buy-in for the event is a whopping $300,000 (including a $30,000 non-refundable deposit), interest in the event is so high that not everyone who wants to play can be accommodated. Thus, instead of just making it first come, first served, Poker Central holds a lottery.
The Super High Roller Bowl has a maximum capacity of 48 players. The first 30 were selected in the lottery from a list of 61 players who registered. Of the remaining seats, 16 players will selected by the host venue, Aria, and the final two will be awarded via a $10,000 satellite at the Aria the day before the tournament is to begin.
We won’t list all of the lucky participants here, but included in the field will be the likes of Stephen Chidwick, Daniel Negreanu, Brian Rast, Erik Seidel, Isaac Haxton, Cary Katz, and Phil Hellmuth. Dan Shak was the 30thand final player selected. Eleven players will be competing in their first Super High Roller Bowl. Notable names that weren’t picked are former champ Rainer Kempe, 2016 WSOP Main Event champ Joe McKeehen, Doug Polk, Bryn Kenney, and Fedor Holz.
Bots Abound at CoinPoker
According to a report from Alex Weldon of PartTimePoker and GameIntel, the real money cash game traffic of cryptocurrency site CoinPoker is fraudulent. In looking to write a story about the site, which recently had its real money games go live, Weldon noticed that the site’s traffic didn’t follow the normal daily rise and fall of other sites and those traffic changes were often dramatic.
He investigated and saw that the same small group of players was playing on at least 20 tables simultaneously, with one player, aptly nicknamed “1st,” going for 42 tables at once for eight hours straight. He also saw that their chip stacks generally stayed in a set range, 40 to 200 big blinds, and their betting patterns were very consistent, amounting to what looked like soft-playing against each other.
He determined that the accounts were bots, taking advantage of two CoinPoker promos. One was rake free tables, while the other was a leader board, split into three stakes levels, which awarded money (in the form of CoinPoker’s proprietary cryptocurrency) to players with the most hands per week and per month. Players needed to put money into pots voluntarily 10 percent of the time to qualify for the leader boards. What all this added up to was that bot accounts were just passing chips around to each other, rake free, and with just enough frequency to hit that 10 percent VPIP number.
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