Posts Tagged ‘Casino’

Largest Bad Beat Jackpot in U.S. History Hit at Motor City Casino

 Largest Bad Beat Jackpot in U.S. History Hit at Motor City Casino

Poker bad beat jackpots are not the typical article topic on this here website, but this is going to be the third one in the span of what, about a month? On Tuesday, January 16th, what was reportedly the largest bad beat jackpot in United States history was hit at Detroit’s Motor City Casino poker room.

We recently wrote about a bad beat jackpot hit on the Chico Network for nearly a million dollars. The one this week, though, at a brick-and-mortar casino, beat that: $ 1,068,590.80.

According to Edward Pevos of, a player named Scott from Oxford, Michigan had the losing hand, quad Threes, topped by a player named Kenneth, who had quad Queens. As the loser of the hand, Scott received the largest portion of the bad beat jackpot, $ 427,452.52, while Kenneth got $ 213,712.76. There were four other players at the table, each receiving $ 106,856.28 just for folding (this was a ten-max table, too, so they were fortunate the table wasn’t full).

The Motor City Casino’s bad beat jackpot works slightly differently than most. Usually, a casino or online poker room has a minimum strength for the losing hand; it could be quads, maybe quad Jacks or higher, or even a straight flush. But no matter the minimum strength, the bad beat jackpot is typically hit as long as that hand is beaten by a stronger one. At this specific bad beat jackpot table, the jackpot is only triggered if a four-of-a-kind is defeated by a stronger four-of-a-kind. A straight flush beating a four-of-a-kind does not count, nor does a straight flush beating a straight flush. Has to be quads over quads.

There is a different bad beat jackpot table that is more traditional, where the losing hand must be Aces full of Kings or better and can be beaten by anything. The jackpot there, though, is much smaller.

As is always the case with bad beat jackpots, the hand must reach showdown and both the winning and losing hands must include both hole cards. At Motor City, at least four players need to be dealt into the hand and the pot has to reach at least $ 20.

We are not sure what the drop is at the bad beat jackpot tables, but some of it must go to seeding the next jackpot. We say this for two reasons. First, the jackpot is already around half a million dollars, according to the casino’s website, so there must have been a lot of money set aside to start a new jackpot. And second, all of the bad beat jackpot’s money is distributed when it is hit: 40 percent goes to the winner, 20 percent goes to the loser, and 40 percent is split evenly among the other players dealt into the hand.

According to, Motor City’s bad beat jackpot “generates mild buzz” when it gets to $ 200,000, so the poker room must have been a powder keg as it reached a million bucks.

“There are winners every day on the floor, but it’s not every day that a jackpot that big hits,” said Phil Trofibio, Senior Vice President of Casino Operations.

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New York-New York Casino Cashier Robbed

 New York New York Casino Cashier Robbed

Another Las Vegas casino was hit this week, as a cage at New York-New York was robbed in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. At the time of this writing, about 24 hours since the robbery, the suspect has not been captured.

At about 1:00am January 10th, a man armed with a handgun approached a cashier and demanded cash. Money was handed over without incident, it appears, as the man’s weapon remained in his waistband. He then escaped through the south entrance of the casino and fled in a taxicab.

As can be seen in the security camera picture distributed by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the suspect is a black male wearing black rimmed glasses and a black beanie cap. In the picture, he appears to be wearing a black mock turtleneck shirt, but the police notice says he was wearing a black hooded jacket. The report also notes he was wearing black mechanics gloves, dark jeans, and black shoes, and looks like he is in his early to mid thirties.

This is the second cage robbery on the Las Vegas Strip in a month and a half. In late November, man robbed the cashier of the Bellagio poker room in the middle of the afternoon. It was similarly non-violent, as the crook just walked up to the cashier, showed a handgun, demanded money, got it, and ran out of the casino with the cash in a plastic bag. He got into a silver car at the valet station and escaped.

The man, described as a 30 to 40-year old white male between 5’ 7” and 5’ 9” tall and weighing 160 to 170 pounds, is still at large. The pictures of him are not as clear as the New York-New York suspect, but he looked like he was wearing a blond wig and black rimmed glasses as a disguise, as well as some sort of half-mask or partial bandage on his face.

There was also a man in the getaway car when it was parked at the valet, but he was able to leave the car before the Bellagio suspect drove off. Las Vegas Metro Police Capt. John Pelletier said it is believed that the man was being held against his will and was not an accomplice, though at the time, it was too early to label his presence as a kidnapping. The man was unharmed.

A number of poker players tweeted about the Bellagio robbery as it happened, including actor James Woods. He wrote, “@Bellagio staff were fantastic. They surrendered the money quietly, so no customers would get hurt. Nobody even realized it was happening. Excellent staff, cool under pressure.”

Poker Hall of Famer Doyle Brunson was playing in the Bellagio’s high stakes Bobby’s Room nearby and was unimpressed with the robber’s strategy. He tweeted, “The guy that robbed the cashier cage at the Bellagio should have walked south 10 yards and took our money in Bobby’s Room. He got 35k and we had about 200k in cash waiting to put it on deposit. Waitress said she could have hit the guy as he slowly left.”

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Long Dormant Revel Casino in Atlantic City Sold

 Long Dormant Revel Casino in Atlantic City Sold

Atlantic City’s Revel Casino, which has been closed since September 2014, has been sold. Bruce Deifik, the founder of Integrated Properties in Denver, confirmed Monday that he purchased the ill-conceived property for $ 200 million through his business AC OCEAN WALK from Florida developer Glenn Straub.

The Revel was designed to be a luxury casino property to rival the Borgata. It cost a staggering $ 2.4 billion to build and opened in April 2012. It never made a profit and closed about two and a half years later, the third of four Atlantic City casinos to shutter its doors that year.

The casino was a failure from the start, as financial problems caused construction to be halted more than once. It bled money from the moment it opened, couldn’t pay its property taxes, couldn’t pay contractors, couldn’t repay loans, and went into bankruptcy twice.

In August 2014, Revel announced that if it did not receive any acceptable bids to purchase the casino, it would close by September 1st. It closed one day after that.

On October 1st, 2014, Brookfield US Holdings won a bankruptcy auction for the Revel, bidding $ 110 million. This angered Glenn Straub, who felt some funny business was going on when the auction was delayed from the previous week even though all parties were present. The Press of Atlantic City reported that Revel executives held closed-door meetings to discuss offers, which raised the suspicion of Straub.

Straub’s company, Polo North Country club, had bid $ 95.4 million, a bid which was used as a backup in case the sale to Brookfield fell through. As it turned out, the sale did fall through and in January 2015, a bankruptcy judge approved the sale to Straub. In February, though, Revel cancelled the Straub deal and then in April engaged in talks once again with Straub, eventually agreed to sell him the casino for only $ 82 million.

In June 2016, Straub said he was going to reopen the resort with just a small casino and lots of entertainment facilities like a water park, an e-sports lounge, and an equestrian facility. In September of that year, the property was renamed TEN, but in the end, it never reopened.

Bruce Deifik, though, has said he will re-open the property this summer with a new name, Ocean Resort Casino.

“We are incredibly excited that we were able to take advantage of the opportunity to acquire this tremendous property at a time when Atlantic City is seeing great economic strides,” Deifik said in a statement. “Now the city has a number of exciting new projects with our property and the Hard Rock, as well as Stockton University’s new campus and the expansion of the medical center.”

The Hard Rock that Deifik mentioned is the former Trump Taj Mahal, which closed October 10th, 2016. In March 2017, the Seminole Tribe of Florida purchased the former east coast poker haven and announced it would rebranded the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.

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Atlanta Mayor Skeptical of Casino Legalization, Open to Discussing It

 Atlanta Mayor Skeptical of Casino Legalization, Open to Discussing It

New Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has a lot on her plate, but one of the things she would prefer not to deal with is gambling in her city. In an interview shortly after her inauguration on Tuesday, she expressed said that if it came down to it, she would rather see a casino elsewhere in Georgia.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution had the short blurb on Mayor Bottom’s thoughts:

When it comes to casinos, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has a stance similar to that of her predecessor. She’s not a fan. Shortly after her inauguration, she said she was open to the debate about legalized casino gambling, was wary of locating one in Atlanta’s city limits. “I’d prefer that my mother have to drive to casinos,” she said. Her predecessor, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, also said he was concerned that a sprawling casino in the city’s center would have a negative impact. (Greg Bluestein)

Currently, the only legalized gambling in Georgia is the lottery. There has been a push in the last few years by some lawmakers, though, to legalize casino gambling. It doesn’t have a lot of support in the state legislature, but it does have some, which is more than it used to. Polls show that residents of the state are in favor of casinos.

Bills have been introduced the last couple years to open the state up to casino gaming, but they haven’t gone much of anywhere. The idea would be to divide the state into regions, with each region authorized to have a resort-style casino. The largest region, which would contain the Atlanta metro area, would be able to have two. The bill stipulated that the operator of the “primary” casino in the Atlanta region would have to invest at least $ 1 billion and the casino would have to be within 25 miles of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The other properties would require at least a $ 250 million minimum investment.

The reason many want to legalize casino gambling is to help raise money for Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship program. The scholarship was established in 1993 and provided every Georgia high school student who earned at least a 3.0 GPA a tuition scholarship for in-state colleges and universities. It also funds public pre-K programs.

The problem is that Georgia’s Hope Scholarship has been way too popular and has been running low on funds for years. Thus, starting in 2011, the benefits of the scholarship began to be reduced. That year, the scholarship stopped paying for books and school fees. Then, starting in 2015, new “academic vigor” requirements were added, requiring high school students to take more difficult classes. Those requirements have increased each successive year.

MGM Resorts International has been going hard after Georgia. In October 2016, MGM CEO Jim Murren presented a $ 1.4 billion casino plan to the Rotary Club of Atlanta, saying the resort could create 4,000 new jobs.

As one would expect, opinions on casino gambling are mixed. Religious and conservative political groups tend to be against it. Some business leaders and business groups also don’t like it, not on moral grounds, but because they believe a casino would take away business from them.

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Poker Players Await Ruling on Stations Casino Bad Beat Jackpot Denial

 Poker Players Await Ruling on Stations Casino Bad Beat Jackpot Denial

When you think you have the goods in a poker hand and lose big, it hurts. But when you think you have the goods, lose big, but in turn hit a casino’s Bad Beat Jackpot, it feels amazing. Now take that to the next, depressing level and think you won the Bad Beat Jackpot only to have the casino say, “Not so fast, my friend.”

That is the situation facing poker players who were playing at the Station casinos on July 7th at about noon. According to a report by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Len Schreter beat Avi Shamir in a poker game at Red Rock Resort with a straight flush over straight flush. As this qualified for the Bad Beat Jackpot (it looks like Aces full must be beaten and both hole cards must be used; if Aces full, one hole card must be an Ace), a sign lit up in every Station poker room, indicating that everyone playing at the moment might have just one a piece of the jackpot.

The Bad Beat Jackpot, funded with a maximum one dollar drop from every cash game hand at every Station casino, was up to about $ 120,000, so Shamir, as the loser of the hand, had won $ 60,000. Schreter, the winner, was to receive $ 30,000, and the rest of the players at the Station poker tables were to split up the rest of the prize pool evenly.

But Red Rock poker manager Forrest Caldwell, after talking it over with the top brass, invalidated the jackpot win. Surveillance footage showed that Schreter had turned over his cards out of turn after the river card was dealt. According to the Bad Beat Jackpot promotion’s rules, “discussion of hands during the play by players, at the discretion of management, may void a Jumbo Hold ‘Em Jackpot,” and management interpreted Schreter’s action as discussion of the hand.

Players asked the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) to review the case and investigator Bill Olliges determined that Schreter’s action did not affect the outcome of the hand, so the Bad Beat Jackpot should be paid out.

Station appealed and a hearing was held last week where Station presented its case. While the video footage made it obvious that Schreter had shown his cards before he was supposed to, the LVRJ report does not say whether or not the betting had occurred as such so as to make his action inconsequential.

If Shamir was already all-in (and other players had folded), Schreter showing his cards didn’t matter. If Shamir still had chips and therefore was going to need to make some sort of decision in the hand, Schreter showing he had the best straight flush definitely made a difference. Without knowledge of Schreter’s hand, there was no way Shamir was going to fold.

Since Olliges had already ruled that Schreter’s enthusiastic reveal did not affect the outcome, it seems like Shamir had no further opportunity to act in the hand, but the LVRJ report does not make that clear.

For his part, Schreter feels terrible about everything.

“I was hurt emotionally by Red Rock, but this guy [Shamir] was hurt financially,” he said in his testimony. “Red Rock kicked me in the stomach, but Red Rock kicked him in a place a lot lower than that.”

Michael Bluestein, who was playing at Santa Fe Station when the bad beat happened and would therefore be due a small portion of the jackpot, said at the hearing that the motivation for Station not to pay out was “pure greed.”

It does seem odd that Station would get so uptight about paying out a Bad Beat Jackpot that was funded by a drop the players paid in cash games. The payout is not coming from Station’s coffers. The only real reason one could think of for not paying is that the giant jackpot amount attracted more players and Station didn’t want to see its poker room traffic decrease with a reset jackpot.

Then again, by being so shitty about it, Station might lose customers, anyway.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal says the NGCB will likely consider hearing officer’s recommendation when it meets January 10th and 11th.

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