Justin “BoostedJ” Smith is set to plead guilty to a reduced illegal gambling charge in New York City on September 4th according to the New York Daily News. Mr. Smith will plead guilty to taking payment for internet gambling and could face up to 5 years in prison, however many expect that he will receive 2-3 years as part of the plea agreement. Edward Ting is set to also plead guilty at the same time for different charges, and they are only two of 34 total people arrested in the sting in late April.
Justin Smith has been a high stakes regular for years now and has appeared on High Stakes Poker. He also has had tournament success with over $2 million in tournament winnings including a WPT London High Roller win in 2010. He also played in the One Drop last summer, surprising a few as he had been fairly quiet in the online cash games and live tournament scene for the past year. The reason for that now might be clearer as he was playing in live games in New York and Los Angeles that could have been significantly more profitable.
The charges that he is pleading guilty to combined with the 82 page indictment released by the district attorney seem to suggest that Justin Smith was responsible for helping place illegal sports bets through a sports betting outfit that was run offshore by other who reportedly have ties to the Russian mafia. His exact involvement is still not known, and with this plea deal, those details might never come to light. We will have to wait until September 4th to get a better idea, and even after that as more of those arrested are brought to court.
Abe Mosseri, Bill Edler, Peter Feldman and John Hanson are still awaiting their case and it unclear if they will accept a similar deal to that of Smith and Ting. It’s also a little bit more unclear what some of them are being charged with exactly, but it is somehow in relation to the gambling ring. When more information comes to light, or any of the other players reach an agreement PokerUpdate.com will provide more insight.