Members of Final 27 in Borgata Tournament Marred by Fake Chips Sue

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After last month’s decision by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcementregarding the “Chipgate” scandal at the Borgata Winter Poker Openin January, it was thought that was the end of the story. As it turns out, that may have been premature, as six players have entered a lawsuit against the casino for the resolution of the case.

According to Chad Holloway of PokerNews, the six players – Duane Haughton, Michael Sneideman, Cuong Tran, Alvin Vatanavan, Christopher Korres, and Cuong Phung, all members of the 27-player field when the tournament was suspended – enlisted the aid of attorneys William Pillsbury and Maurice VerStandig to file the lawsuit on Tuesday in the Superior Court of New Jersey. The lawsuit issues several charges against Borgata and seeks damages beyond what the settlement in April reached.

There are four counts levied against Borgata in the suit: negligence, breach of contract, breach of implied contract, and negligence per se. The players, who were awarded $19,323 in the decision by the DGE, came to the amount they’re seeking, an extra $33,756.44 per player, to get what they would have received ($53,079) if they had finished in 27th place.

The players allege the negligence charges due to “inadequate” security surveillance that was on the site for the tournament. The players state that the tournament took place in an “overflow” area that lacked the proper cameras and that the tournament staff itself didn’t keep tabs on the total chips in play and stop the tournament when it noticed that there were counterfeit chips on the felt.

According to the complaint, “Each of these breaches was such that the Borgata operated the Winter Open in a manner inferior to that in which a reasonably prudent casino would have operated the Winter Open. The breaches, individually and cumulatively, caused the Final 27 to incur damages… But for these breaches, the Final 27 would have divided the remaining prize pool, whether by election of the pro rata chop value or by playing down to a single winner. The Final 27 have been damaged.”

The players also allege that some of the members of the 27-player field received more than the agreed-upon $19,323. The complaint states that players who have signed a confidentiality agreement have received payouts “over and above the paid sum to various members of the Final 27.” The players are seeking a jury trial in the New Jersey courts.

The first event of the 2014 Borgata Winter Poker Open was halted in January after the discovery of 800,000 in counterfeit chips. The event, a $2 million guaranteed tournament, had already paid hundreds of players to that point and still had the majority of the prize pool to award. First place was to have paid $372,123.

After a few days of investigation, it was discovered that one of the players in the tournament, Christian Lusardi (pictured), was allegedly responsible for the introduction of the counterfeit chips after he tried to flush 2.5 million in counterfeits down the toilet of his hotel room. Lusardi is currently in jail awaiting trial. In April, the DGE determined that all players would receive their buy-ins back for the tournament and that the final 27 would receive $19,323 each.

The players’ attorneys have stated that the lawsuit against Borgata is still in its formative stages. A summons has to be issued by the court and Borgata officials would have to be formally served with the paperwork, which could take up to two weeks. Attempts to contact the legal team representing the players by PocketFives have, as of yet, gone unanswered.

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17 COMMENTS

    • I always enjoy PocketFives photo of Christian Lusardi…his mustache always makes me smile.

    • What a load of crap.Asshole lawyers are at the bottom of this i’m sure.Since when is NOT losing money NOT good enough???

    • What a load of crap.Asshole lawyers are at the bottom of this i’m sure.Since when is NOT losing money NOT good enough???

      wow.

    • not shocking. I expected this borgata should just come out of pocket and hope for a quick settlement.

      WHY SHOULD THEY??

      I hope they counter sue and these idiots lose their winnings and more

    • WHY SHOULD THEY??

      I hope they counter sue and these idiots lose their winnings and more

      Why should they you ask?
      Negligence! Poor decision make! Lack ofknowledgeable poker directors! Turning a blind eye!

      Yes turning a blind eye-
      The discoloring of the chips were completely obvious, for the casino dealers and others in the staff not to pick this up immediatelyis proof of their negligence. Since this wasn’t picked up the casino shouldlose out on money. They still made money off the rooms, cash games, other gambling from those players andfood purchases.

    • Why should they you ask?
      Negligence! Poor decision make! Lack ofknowledgeable poker directors! Turning a blind eye!

      Yes turning a blind eye-
      The discoloring of the chips were completely obvious, for the casino dealers and others in the staff not to pick this up immediatelyis proof of their negligence. Since this wasn’t picked up the casino shouldlose out on money. They still made money off the rooms, cash games, other gambling from those players andfood purchases.

      Proof of their negligence – LoL you live in a dream world. And the discolored chips were not comletely obvious to the players???

      Let me ask you this…..Hypothetically… what if the tournament was completed and the chips were discovered after everyone was paid? Do you think the players would voluntarily return their winnings? Or how would you feel if the Casino sued to get the winnings reversed? Would you stlll feel the same way?

      I want to clarify I do not agree with the Casinos final decision – but 4814 entered the tournament – what makes these 6 people so special?

    • Proof of their negligence – LoL you live in a dream world. And the discolored chips were not comletely obvious to the players???

      Let me ask you this…..Hypothetically… what if the tournament was completed and the chips were discovered after everyone was paid? Do you think the players would voluntarily return their winnings? Or how would you feel if the Casino sued to get the winnings reversed? Would you stlll feel the same way?

      I want to clarify I do not agree with the Casinos final decision – but 4814 entered the tournament – what makes these 6 people so special?

      I don’t speak hypothetical, I speak facts.

      yes it was obvious and the players did bring it to the casinos staff attention. Please know the FACTS before you continue.

    • I think the casino should have does a chip chop for the final 27 with what remained in the prize pool. The other people who made it in the money got there money. Those who didnt make the money should have their buy ins returned at the casinos loss.
      It would make almost everyone happy except for those that made the money but not top 27 they will feel bit cheated no matter what the outcome. I think this was the way to please as many as possible. But the casino is getting away with bullshit. They were completely negligent. Dealers and the floor should have been able to spot this bullshit within 1-2 hours of the chips being introduced into play. Its not upto the players to police. Some players probably even talked about the chips looking funny. I read that even a dealer noted the chips colors were different.

    • Proof of their negligence – LoL you live in a dream world. And the discolored chips were not comletely obvious to the players???

      Let me ask you this…..Hypothetically… what if the tournament was completed and the chips were discovered after everyone was paid? Do you think the players would voluntarily return their winnings? Or how would you feel if the Casino sued to get the winnings reversed? Would you stlll feel the same way?

      I want to clarify I do not agree with the Casinos final decision – but 4814 entered the tournament – what makes these 6 people so special?

      This is trolling to the highest level. The casino is the one that is running the event. They’re reponsible for game security. If they don’t have the proper staff or technology to ensure proper game security guess what.. they eat it if something messes up. In this incident its obvious the casino was completely negligent to the goings on of the tournament and should rightly take a loss on it. These 6 players did NOTHING wrong here. If they were cheating then yes the casino has something on them but they werent. They should be compensated even more than what theyre asking for in my opinion.

      and answers to your questions:

      what if the tournament was completed and the chips were discovered after everyone was paid?

      They find out who the chips belong to and go after them. As far as the payouts then everyone would move up a spot and everyone else should be refunded 100% of their buy in. In blackjack if a card is missing at the end of the day youre entitled to all your losses for the day because the game was compromised.

      Do you think the players would voluntarily return their winnings?

      No, and they legally wouldnt have to because the casino messed up

      Or how would you feel if the Casino sued to get the winnings reversed?

      They wouldnt because they have no grounds to stand on

      Would you stlll feel the same way?

      Yes

    • This is trolling to the highest level.

      Trolling refers to any Internet user behavior that is meant to intentionally anger or frustrate someone else in order to provoke a response.

      I dont believe that applies to me – But I do believe by you posting it, that would make you the troller??

    • Just read through all the comments below and I have to say a couple of you are straight half wits.

    • Why are NJ residents’ beginning to sound more and more like residents of Texas? Anyone in opposition of the ‘players’ here, and instead siding with Borgata, need to seriously consider their morals and ability to think cognitively- Thank you-

    • WHY SHOULD THEY??

      I hope they counter sue and these idiots lose their winnings and more

      LOL