Dan Bekavac, the man behind the Midway Poker Tour scandal that saw players paid in over-valued silver coins, has blamed the charity involved in the failed event for the chaos that ensued.
Bekavac, who has recently landed two six-figure tournament wins, claimed in an interview with PokerNews this week that the shortfall in prizemoney payments “wasn’t necessarily my responsibility,” but that he accepted “the burden” of repayment.
All those who were short changed have either been “made whole or consider the matter settled,” according to Chad Holloway, who was present when the inaugural MPT event went south.
As we reported back in October 2020, the opening event of the new tour descended into chaos as news emerged that Illinois charity laws would not allow cash payments in excess of $1600 per person.
A workaround that involved purchasing silver coins in lieu of cash, and a buyer onsite to redeem the precious metals, was not Bekavac’s idea, he says, but rather that of those behind the ‘4 KIDS Sake’charity .
“They didn’t tell me how high the markup was at the time,” Bekavac told PokerNews in a podcast interview. “That was going to be a small markup. And my opinion, small markup, five or ten grand, you know, not 30%, not $75,000 markup for silver.”
Dan Bekavac claims he told the charity organisers, “…I will not be here tomorrow because it’s going to be absolute fucking chaos when these players realize that 30% of their prize pool went to some guy in Wisconsin who supplied them with silver coins…”
That’s exactly what happened, with the final table filmed arguing over what to do as news broke of the cashout problem…
Players debating what to do. No one from the Midway Poker Tour nor owner Danny Bekavac on-site. The charity partner is not experienced in poker and have been left to deal with the shit show. pic.twitter.com/G7MSCumZde
— Chad Holloway (@ChadAHolloway) October 4, 2020
In the months that followed, Bekavac was slated in the poker press and forums for playing high-profile events while still owing money to players from the MPT debacle.
When asked by Holloway if he was concerned at what others thought of him, Bekavac replied, “Not at all, because I mean, I know that I did nothing wrong.”
Bekavac claims, “The outcome was beyond my control. It’s not like I went out and personally f***ed somebody or cheated anybody.” and repeated claims that that he lost a huge sum of money from the event.
He added: “I lost so much money in the deal… I tried to put on a good event and do something for the players and it didn’t work out.”
Dan Bekavac, who has reportedly fallen out with co-founder of the Midway Poker Tour, Jason Trezak, said, “it was always in my head that these people need to get paid.”
“It’s just one of those things I don’t like to owe people money and I don’t like the feeling of people thinking I owe anybody money.”
Bekavac explained that he “met with everybody… all the players except two wanted cash… everybody’s paid in full…” a fact confirmed by PokerNews.
Settling his debts was made easier by two huge wins in recent months, with Dan Bekavac taking down the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) Iowa Main Event for $193,391 in March.
He followed that up with a record-breaking 4th MSPT title win last week at the MSPT Michigan State Championship, a $252,020 scoop
This week’s revelations that the players have finally been made good ends a sorry chapter, but it’s unlikely to be the last time we hear of such an occurrence.
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