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Suspect arrested in Borgata counterfeit chips case

One week after the cancellation of the Borgata Winter Poker Open Event #1, the authorities managed to make an arrest in the counterfeit chips case.

Christian Lusardi from North Carolina was arrested yesterday at an Atlantic City motel and was charged with rigging a publicly exhibited contest, criminal attempt, and theft by deception. The charges were made after the authorities discovered $2.7 million worth of counterfeit tournament chips in a sewer pipe at Harrah’s Resort and Casino where Lusardi stayed during the cancelled tournament.

Prior to this discovery, 800,000 tournament-value chips were found in play in the first event of the Borgata Winter Poker Open. Because of that, the $2 million guaranteed tournament was suspended and ultimately cancelled with 27 players left in the game.

It is unclear what will happen with the $2.3 million prize pool or the 4,812 total entries. A total of 423 players already cashed in their winnings ranging from $1,082 to $6,338 before the event was cancelled. The winner of the tournament was set to receive $372,123 in prize money, while the runner up would have been $241,899 richer.

Lusardi’s bail is $300,000 with no option to pay 10% in cash to win his freedom. This isn’t his first visit to jail. Lusardi had prior legal troubles in 2008 when he was charged with gambling and illegal alcohol sales.

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Florian Gheorghe

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