NJ DGE Issues Payout Ruling on Cancelled Borgata Event

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After three months of scrutiny on the matter, the New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement released its final order Monday on how the remaining prizepool of Event 1 of the 2014 Borgata Winter Poker Open will be distributed, following its cancellation due to the introduction of fake chips.

The $1,433,145 remaining in the prizepool will be combined with the $288,660 that the Borgata collected in entry fees for a total of $1,721,805, which will be redistributed to two different groups of players. $1,200,800 will go to the 2,143 players who did not cash and were potentially impacted by the ‘alleged criminal conduct’, while the remaining $521,725 in the prizepool will be distributed among the players who were still in the field when the tournament was canceled for an equal share of $19,323.

The first event of the 2014 Borgata Winter Poker Open was paused on January 17 with 27 players remaining and canceled the following day, after it became apparent that the integrity of the tournament had been compromised by Christian Lusardi’s introduction of fake 5,000 chips. Lusardi, 42, was arrested one week later after an attempt to flush more fake Borgata chips clogged the toilet in his hotel room at Harrahs.

The tournament received a total of 4,812 entries across three starting days, with 2,218 of the 4,361 total entries that didn’t cash in the tournament deemed unaffected by the alleged criminal conduct. For more details on this portion of the refunds, the Borgata’s statement on the resolution breaks it down by entry day and which room players were sitting in.

The $19,323 that each of the final 27 players are set to receive represents slightly more than a 10th place payout. The winner was scheduled to receive a payout of $372,123, with the top five finishers each set for a six-figure cash. Each of the final 27 players was already guaranteed a payout of at least $8,140.

Nick Guagenti, who was in second place when the tournament was canceled, apparently received notice from Borgata Senior Vice President of Operations that the payout decision was final.

The EV of a chip chop for chipleader Allard Broedelet was worth over $151,000, while Guagenti stood to earn over $143,000 if the prizepool had been divided among the 27 players remaining.

The Borgata does not take any responsibility for the cancellation of the tournament. Their statement reads, “The alleged unlawful activity of Lusardi was the sole cause for the cancellation of the tournament, as the Division’s investigation determined that Borgata was in compliance with all regulatory requirements in connection with Event 1.”

The final order from the NJ Department of Gaming Enforcement was signed Monday afternoon by Director David L. Rebuck.

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Tim Fiorvanti

Tim Fiorvanti graduated from St. John's University with a B.S. in Journalism in 2008. After several years in the industry, he started working for BLUFF in the summer of 2010. He worked his way up at BLUFF and joined full time as a Senior Writer in April of 2012. Fiorvanti now serves as the Managing Editor of BLUFF. He's a tortured Mets and Jets fan, along with several other frustrating allegiances, but he's also a two-time defending BLUFF Fantasy Football Champion.
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