Entries in Poker (7)


MBA Players at Vegas Poker Tournament Win Jobs 

Courtesy of Caesars Entertainment(LAS VEGAS) -- A poker tournament for MBAs only?  Caesars in Las Vegas hosted one on Saturday -- and it wasn't the casino's first.

Caesars has been holding them annually for the past eight years.  The casino's goal isn't to separate players from their money (the buy-in is as low as $85); it's to see which players have management potential.

Using poker as a recruiting tool might sound like an odd throw of the dice, but it turns out that many other big-name employers host ostensibly-fun events whose real purpose, from the company's perspective, is to separate the MBA sheep from MBA goats -- the ones who have what it takes to reach top management.

The practice, says Emily Taylor, associate director of MBA career and education communication at UCLA's Anderson School of management, is called "event recruiting," and it is practiced in some variation by "hosts" who include Amazon, Deloitte, Microsoft and Tiffany.  The idea is for higher-ups to watch how prospective hires behave in situations typical to the company.

In Caesars' case, explains casino leadership service coordinator Tijuana Plant, the poker tournament is used to select the right MBAs for Caesars' executive training program -- though sometimes a student will be hired to fill an immediate job opening.  Not everybody who attends is a current student.  Some players are graduates a few years out of school who come either because they're considering a career change or because they just want to have fun.

Margo DeLeeuw, class of 2014 at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, tells ABC News she played the poker tournament because she's interested in the hospitality-management and restaurant-management aspects of the casino industry.

"I like to play poker," she says, "but only casually.  I played mediocre at best.  There were 142 players, and I got knocked out when there were still 100 left."

Her performance didn't cause her any worry, she says, because she knows Caesars did not invite her to judge her poker prowess.

"They want to see if you've got a sincere interest in the company -- are you knowledgeable and passionate?  Do you exhibit the behaviors that they're looking for?" DeLeeuw says.

Those behaviors, says Plant, include an ability to take calculated risks, to make decisions on the spot, and to interact in a friendly, helpful way with the public.

"We're not selling insurance here," she says of Caesars.  "We don't sit behind a desk all day.  We enjoy ourselves, but we also know how to network and to get the job done.  If one of our executives sees a student who's a great fit, we pay attention."

The three-day tournament consists not just of table play, but of social events.  Of the several hundred students Caesars invited this year, says Plant, "We'll funnel it down to 21 who will get one-on-one interviews.  We're in that process now."

Those who make the cut get job offers.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Five Men Found Guilty for Playing Poker in a Private Home

Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – The South Carolina Supreme Court has ruled Wednesday that due to state laws, a poker game held in a private home six years ago has been determined as illegal.

Twenty-five civilians were arrested at a house in Charleston in 2006 for playing a game of “Texas Hold’Em” style poker, in which players were charged fees for food and beverages, thereby classifying the situation as a “gambling house,” according to a statute dating back to 1802 as part of the basis of arrest. Police found thousands of dollars worth of cash in the house.

Five of the 25 players arrested fought the charges, bringing up the case to the state Supreme Court, where, due to the results of the case, their arrests have been reinstated. Neither the prosecutors nor the defense attorneys could be reached for comment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Investing in Professional Poker Players

Comstock Images/ThinkStock(LAS VEGAS) – Professional poker players are now drumming up finances from hedge fund managers, real estate moguls and wealthy businessmen, according to the Wall Street Journal.

For example, Noah Schwartz, 28, raised $900,000 to play at The One Drop Poker Tournament. His investors will receive a proportional amount of his winnings if he places minus 10%. The jackpot for the tournament could reach as much as $18.3 million.

Although top pros do not usually seek out investors, there is a growing group of poker players that are betting investors will take a gamble on them.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Absolute Poker Founder Pleads Guilty in Fraud Case

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The co-founder of an Internet poker company pleaded guilty to fraud Tuesday in a New York court.

When banks and credit card companies became unwilling to process online poker payments, Brent Beckley, the founder of Absolute Poker, started lying about what his business actually did. He pleaded guilty to tricking banks into accepting credit cards from players so they could keep betting. The banks thought they were processing payments for merchants that sold jewelry or golf balls -- in fact those merchants did not exist.

Beckley is expected to serve approximately a year in prison when he's sentenced in April.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Online Poker Site Full Tilt Running Ponzi Scheme, DOJ Says

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The online gambling site Full Tilt Poker, shut down in April by federal authorities, was running a $440 million Ponzi scheme, the Justice Department announced Tuesday, filing new charges against the directors of the company.

“Full Tilt was not a legitimate poker company, but a global Ponzi scheme,” Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement.

The site told players their gambling accounts were secure and available for withdrawal at any time when in fact, “Full Tilt Poker did not maintain funds sufficient to repay all players,” Bharara said.   The operation allegedly used player funds to pay board members and other owners more than $440 million since April 2007.

The complaint names board members Raymond Bitar, Howard Lederer, Christopher Ferguson and Rafael Furst as defendants.  Calls to Full Tilt Poker seeking comment were not immediately returned.

“Full Tilt insiders lined their own pockets with funds picked from the pockets of their most loyal customers while blithely lying to both players and the public alike about the safety and security of the money deposited with the company,” according to the DOJ statement.

On April 15, 2011, the Justice Department filed a complaint for money laundering, fraud, and violating the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act against 11 individuals who ran PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker.

The Justice Department’s shutdown of online poker sites has affected millions of poker players and the poker industry.

In June, Phil Ivey, one of the world’s best poker players, announced he was suing his sponsor, Full Tilt, in June for $150 million and boycotted this year’s World Series of Poker.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Internet Poker Companies Indicted for Fraud, Money Laundering

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -– The owners and founders of the three largest online gambling sites in the United States have been indicted and charged with bank fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling offenses.

Eleven individuals were charged over their involvement running PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker for violating the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

According to a federal indictment, the owners of the companies sought ways to get around restrictions placed on U.S. banks that prohibited them from handling financial transactions connected to online gambling.

Isai Scheinber and Paul Tate of PokerStars, Scott Tom and Brent Beckley of Absolute Poker, and Raymond Bitar and Nelson Burtnick of Full Tilt Poker, the indictment claims, engaged in a scheme "to deceive United States banks and financial institutions into processing billions of dollars in payments for the poker companies, by, among other things, arranging for the money received from United States gamblers to be disguised as payments to hundreds of non-existent online merchants and other non-gambling businesses." The indictment alleges the poker-company owners "relied on highly compensated third party payment processors ... who lied to United States banks about the nature of the financial transactions they were processing and covered up those lies through the creation of phony corporations and websites to disguise payments to the poker companies."

The indictment identifies four individuals as the payment processors -- Ryan Lang, Ira Rubin, Bradley Franzen and Chad Elie.

The allegedly phony websites included on-line flower delivery shops and pet supply stores that would handle credit card payments to get funds from U.S. customers.

The 52-page indictment also alleges that conspirators used electronic checks to try and disguise their payments.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Legal Internet Poker Could Give US Casinos Share of $25 Billion Pie

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- More than 2,000 websites currently offer users the chance to wager real cash in games of skill and chance, including poker, according to the American Gaming Association. But most of them are run by offshore companies, industry experts say. Now some lawmakers want to allow U.S.-based casino companies to get into the game -- and a cut of the $25 billion-a-year pie -- by quietly pushing for a change in the law before the end of this year.

A draft bill, first reported by the Wall Street Journal and obtained by ABC News, would legalize online poker playing in the U.S., and establish licensing and reporting requirements for companies, as well as safeguards for consumers. It would also generate tax revenue from wagers, for state and federal governments. Forms of online gambling other than poker would remain prohibited under the bill.

Legalization of online poker forums has long been sought by the U.S. casino industry which says federal gaming regulations have unfairly handicapped their business in a flourishing online marketplace and left American consumers vulnerable.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 indirectly outlawed online gambling in the U.S. by making it illegal to use a credit card or checking account to place electronic bets. But the industry has repeatedly lobbied Congress to clarify the rules and loosen restrictions on some forms of online gaming, including poker.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio