It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye is an old warning, but in this case the poker table banter has cost the Sugarhouse Casino $30,000 in Gaming Commission fines.
Ooh some fun tidbits at the end of the PGCB hearing is that post-PNIA filming a cash game let two players play a hand of “10 card stud”.
Additionally some players talked a dealer into dealing open-face Chinese.
SugarHouse has to pay $32.5K in fines and penalties
— Jessica Welman (@jesswelman) March 6, 2019
The incident happened back in March 2017 at the end of Poker Night in America’s big cash game, Doug Polk and Jeremy Kaufman deciding to finish a fun night off in style.
The plan? A single hand of 10-card stud poker, where the best 5-card hand would win and each player putting up $42,000 – with Shaun Deeb commentating and recording the action.
What’s the problem?
Well, for starters, 10-card stud isn’t an approved game in the state of Pennsylvania, so the SugarHouse Casino shouldn’t have let it happen at all according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
In their ruling they stated: ‘The fine levied against SugarHouse HSP Gaming, LP stemmed from two separate incidents in which the casino dealt poker games that had not been authorized by the PGCB.”
The second problem, of course, is that someone as high-profile as Doug Polk posting it on his YouTube channel means that it was bound to come to the attention of some busybody or other.
A PGCB spokesperson explained: “The coverage showed that two patrons remained in the poker room after ‘Poker Night in America’ was over. The poker supervisor instructed a dealer to deal the unauthorized game while a third patron recorded it on his cell phone.”
The actual PGCB hearing covering the SugarHouse incident can be seen below
It should be pointed out, to avoid confusion, that Poker Night in America was not in any way responsible for the players’ decision to flip for $40k plus, as Matt Glantz pointed out on Twitter…
Lol. It obviously happened in the poker room at a cash game table hours after filming ended. Nothing to do with PNIA other than bringing those players to town.
— Matt Glantz (@MattGlantz) March 6, 2019
Expensive mistakes and rogue dealers
However well-intentioned the law or ruling (the second incident saw 5 harmless hand of Open Faced Chinese poker being played out in the casino and running afoul of the board too) the ‘fun and games’ has proved expensive.
Not only was the SugarHouse Casino fined more than $30,000 in total, but two employees have apparently lost their jobs as a result of it. The board stated: “SugarHouse took disciplinary action against the two employees. Two of the supervisors subsequently resigned.”
Doug Polk apologizes
Doug Polk was full of contrition for his part in the unfortunate incident, writing on the 2plus2 poker forum: “Just want to say that I’m sorry my actions got the casino fined, but more importantly that people potentially lost their jobs over this matter.”
Polk added: “I just thought it would be a fun thing to stream that people on my channel would like seeing. Especially coming from Las Vegas where flips are completely acceptable, I didn’t really think that it could cause any issues.
“Once again, I apologize that my actions caused harm to others, even if it was inadvertently.”
Shaun Deeb apologised too, stating on Twitter: “…we all apologized to the staff who got in trouble for us pushing them to allow it we took advantage of their kindness.”
The SugarHouse Casino itself didn’t seem to be very supportive of anyone involved in the $41k flip action, a spokesperson stating: “We, SugarHouse, did not permit, allow or support this activity. Two celebrity players convinced a dealer to deal a showdown.”
They also blamed the OFC hands on a dealer who “went rogue” before a supervisor stepped in to halt the action.
Well, at least no-one lost an eye during the fun and games, but the incident will probably make others think twice about how strict the gaming laws are before enjoying themselves in future!
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