A high-ranking US Navy officer currently under investigation for alledged casino fraud involving poker has officially been fired from his senior position.
Vice Admiral Tim Giardina was previously the No. 2 officer at Strategic Command, a highly senior position in the US Navy, when it was discovered that he was the subject of an investigation. The investigation centered around allegations that Giardina used fake chips during a poker game at the Horseshoe Bluffs Casino in the US state of Iowa.
The net financial worth of the chips that were fraudulently used has not yet been made public as the investigation is ongoing. However, an agent from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) said that it was a “significant monetary amount.”
As a result of his firing from the No. 2 Strategic Command position, Vice Admiral Giardina has been demoted from his three star admiral rank to a two star admiral. While the Vice Admiral had been suspended for over a month, a defence official said that the decision to fire him from the post came all the way from the top.
“Based upon a recommendation from the Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, the president determined Oct. 3 that Vice Adm. Timothy M. Giardina, former Deputy Commander, U.S. Strategic Command (O-9), should be relieved,” they said.
The firing and prior suspension of Giardina has made headlines in the US and the world in general, largely due to the rarity of a senior US military figure coming under such disciplinary action. Vice Admiral Giardina has been in a number of senior US naval roles for well over a decade and has been part of the US Navy since the 1970s.
Unfortunately, incidences of casinos being defrauded do occur every so often, but it is quite rare for live poker to come under high profile cases of fraud. The fact that this particular investigation involves such a senior figure in the US is certainly unwelcome in the poker community.
The positive thing in the context of poker is that just about all coverage on this event has not unjustly focused on poker, but has instead centered on the Vice Admiral and the investigation surrounding him.
Perhaps it is a confirmation that poker has become accepted among most people as a legitimate game of skill and that alleged incidences like the one involving Vice Admiral Giardina are rare and unwelcome occurrences.