The gambling world can sometimes produce really off-the-wall stories. Every month there are plenty of cases of individuals going to extreme lengths to pay back debts, or of simply bizarre behavior at casino properties around the globe. It can be entertaining and sometimes sad.
March was no exception, as there was plenty that happened in the casino world.
Here’s a look at some of the most colorful and/or noteworthy from the month that was.
FBI Wiretapped Poker Player At Trump Tower
Trump Tower was in fact bugged during Obama’s time in the White House, but it was for an FBI investigation of a high-stakes gambling ring and not for President Trump himself. From 2011 to 2013 the feds wiretapped a unit in the New York City property just three floors below Trump’s lavish penthouse. The wiretapped $5 million condo belonged to Vadim Trincher, winner of the 2009 World Poker Tour Foxwoods Poker Classic main event. In 2014, Trincher was sentenced to five years in prison for the gambling ring that the government said had ties to the Russian mob. Trincher pleaded guilty to participation in an illegal sports betting ring that catered to wealthy bettors in the U.S. and Europe.
Former Dean Foods Chairman Dusted Off $150K In Single Blackjack Hand
The insider trading case involving legendary Las Vegas sports bettor Billy Walters and the former chairman of Dean Foods is currently playing out in court, and some juicy details have emerged thus far. Bloomberg reported that a Manhattan court was told this week that Tom Davis, who prosecutors say fed nonpublic information to Walters over a six-year period, was a degenerate gambler who once lost $150,000 in a single hand of blackjack. Walters allegedly profited more than $40 million from Davis’ tips.
Polk Says Dwan’s Gambling Debts Could Be Larger Than Previously Thought
Doug Polk said in a video blog that when he was first starting out in poker he looked up to Tom Dwan, who was once one of—if not the—most feared online cash game players in the world. These days, Polk isn’t a big fan. In the blog, Polk said that Dwan, commonly known by his online moniker “durrrr”, could have a massive outstanding debt to one of the world’s most successful sports bettors. According to Polk, some strong “evidence” points to Dwan being the person who owes Haralabos Voulgaris a “seven figure” amount of money.
Teenager Refused Free Ice Cream Prize Because Of Gambling Laws
A mom slammed McDonald’s for refusing her 13-year-old son a free ice cream prize because of gambling laws. Teenager AJ Reeves peeled off a voucher for a £1 McFlurry on his Monopoly Prize Choice wrapper after buying a Big Mac. He returned to the fast-food resturant in Blackpole, Worcester, that evening to claim the prize but staff told him he was “too young.” McDonald’s say only customers aged 16 and over can play the game despite it being advertised on every product apart from their Happy Meals.
Minnesota Mayor Arrested For Gambling Fraud
Crosby Mayor Jim Hunter was booked into the Crow Wing County jail on suspicion of three felonies after his arrest. Jail records show Hunter, 68, was booked into jail on suspicion of theft by swindle, second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and lawful gambling fraud crimes. City officials are calling for him to resign.
Man Killed Boss Over Gambling Debts
A 39-year-old Cincinnati man was found guilty of killing a man he worked for, in an incident prosecutors said stemmed from gambling debts. Prosecutors said Donald Dawson-Durgan was desperate for money in the days before he shot and killed 64-year-old Anant Singh last year. Dawson-Durgan helped Singh manage properties, and prosecutors said Singh treated him like a son.
Chinese Men Nabbed For Kidnapping Gambling Debtors
Four Chinese nationals, including a casino owner, concocted a plan to recover about $1.22 million in unpaid gambling debts by kidnapping and extorting three Chinese gamblers, military police said. After one of the held men escaped, however, the alleged kidnappers decided to turn the other two over to authorities, then found themselves detained and sent to court instead, statements from the National Military Police said.
Poker Player Turned Politician Banned From Russia
Lithuanian poker player Antanas “Tony G” Guoga, who is also a member of the European Parliament for his home country, has been banned from Russia. He’s one of 12 European politicians blacklisted by Vladimir Putin, according to the center-right EPP Group. According to a statement from Guoga, he was banned for “speaking up for freedom and democracy.” “What is my crime?” Guoga said. “Poker fans at large say it’s because of my famous victory against Ralph Perry. He played terrible and I sent him back to Russia. Since then I have been telling plenty of Russian players to get on their bikes. It seems like they have had enough.”
Poker High Roller Sues Former Roommate Over Unpaid Rent
Poker pro Yevgeniy Timoshenko, who has cashed for $7.3 million lifetime in poker tournaments, wants his former roommate to pay up. A lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court pits Timoshenko, a World Poker Tour champion, against a man by the name of Frank Gu. According to the suit, the two had rented a $7,000-a-month apartment in New York City in September 2010. They only had the place together for a year, but Gu allegedly owes Timoshenko $15,484 in unpaid rent and $2,181 in utility bills.