Top poker pros Phil Ivey, Andrew Robl, and Daniel “Jungleman 12″ Cates posted 4 million dollars of their own money to bail out several Asian men involved in an international sports betting ring.
The case involves an illegal FIFA World Cup online gambling ring, allegedly masterminded by Chinese banker Paul Phua. It was operated out of villas owned by Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. 360 million dollars of betting action took place before the ring was busted by the FBI. The money was funneled through three websites, one owned by Paul Phua.
None of the websites were licensed by the Nevada Gaming Commission. The arrested men could face fines of 250,000 dollars and two to five years in prison.
Beating a field of 599 players, Austin Lewis won the Choctaw Main Event, and collected the 183,025 dollar first prize. Lewis had previously won 308,183 in online winnings, but had only won 16,094 dollars in live event play. Of his win, Lewis said:
“It’s my first big live title. When I won my first one online back in 2006, I closed the computer and went to bed. That was kind of it, so this one was more enjoyable overall with my fiancé here and our baby on the way.”
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The event was held at the Choctaw Casino Resort. There was a prize pool of 900,000 dollars. The buy-in was set at 1,500 dollars. Notables that participated in the event were Justin Gardenhire, Jim Willerson, Tommy Vedes, Chris Tryba, and the winner from last year, Mohammad Arani.
Here are the final table results:
- Austin Lewis – $183,025
2. Gary Luther – $113,205
3. Omar Zazay – $82,779
4. Zia Khosravi – $61,426
5. Tyler Morris – $46,218
6. Jason Fitzpatrick – $35,254
Three US senators have sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, urging him to restore the Federal Wire Act of 1961 to its original state. This would make all forms of internet gambling illegal. The senators were Lindsay Graham, Diane Feinstein, and Kelly Ayotta.
In 2011 the act was amended to permit all types of online gambling except sports betting. The senators are concerned about money laundering, and fear that opening the internet to country wide online casinos would give criminal elements full access to millions of US citizens.
As of now, in the United States, only three states allow regulated online gambling. They are Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey.