The 2014 Borgata Winter Poker Open was ruined earlier this year when a poker player decided to place counterfeit chips into game play. The fake chips were found to belong to Christian Luscardi after hotel employees traced a plumbing problem back to his room. Payment to remaining players was disrupted and an investigation was launched. Fast forward to April, and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released the payout distribution for the players who were affected by the scandal and the payouts were less than stellar, not what players believed was fair.
Now it seems that a handful of the 27 players who were affected by the payouts changes are now suing the Borgata. According to information at PokerNews, six players have filed a Civil Action Complaint earlier this week with representation by Offit Kurman, P.A. Maurice B. VerStandig and William H. Pillsbury will be representing the following players:
- Duane Haughton
- Michael Sneideman
- Cuong Tran
- Alvin Vatanavan
- Christopher Korres
- Cuong Phung
The lawsuit places four counts against the casino:
- Breach of Contract
- Breach of Implied Contract
- Negligence Per Se
The group is seeking $33,756.44 for each player involved in the lawsuit. According to VerStandig, the four counts represent an independent cause of action against the Borgata casino. Each, in its own right, represents how the Borgata inadequately operated the Winter Open. The attorney further stated that the plaintiffs are only seeking the ‘pro rata chop value’ as well as interest and attorneys fees for each individual filing the suit.
The suit is claiming that the players would have all earned $53,079.44 each if the remaining prize pool had been chopped. The players received $19,323 so the $33,756.44 is the remainder of what they believed should have been paid by the Borgata.
The order by the DGE stated that the casino must distribute $1,721,805 to eligible entrants who took part in the Winter Poker Open tournament. Borgata stated they paid 2,143 players who were affected by the incident and the final 27 earned the $19,323 amount. However, the winner of the tournament was supposed to earn $372,123.
The lawsuit also alleges that the casino had paid off a few players from the final 27 group for more than the $19,323 amount. The lawsuit states that it is the belief of the players that the Borgata privately agreed to play various members of the final group of 27 in exchanged for a signed confidentiality agreement.
The lawsuit is also demanding a trial by jury so it will be interesting to see how this plays out and how the Borgata chooses to handle the lawsuit and the allegations.
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