Crime doesn’t pay or so they say, but scamming seems to be quite profitable in poker these days, with Dan Bekavac, the man who ripped players off in the Midway Poker Tour debacle, scooping the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) Main Event for $193,391 this week.
Not only did Bekavac take down the tournament, but he also did so with the reporter who chronicled his “silver bullion” scam at the final table. PokerNews’ reporter Chad Holloway finished 5th for almost $50k, but you won’t see mention of Bekavac’s earlier foul deeds anywhere in the site’s live reporting.
VIP Grinders.com covered Bekavac’s scam extensively in late 2020, after his inaugural Midway Poker Tour event in Illinois fell apart at the seams.
Dan Bekavac launched his event with a $100,000 guarantee, despite knowing that payouts in Illinois were severely limited by charitable gaming laws.
He tried to evade that by buying up chunks of gold and silver bullion to pay out in lieu of cash prizes, but when regulators got wind of his dodgy plan it was kiboshed, and those who fought out the final table were seriously short-changed by Bekavac’s over-priced bullion plan.
Despite later apologising and promising to make good the $50k or so shortfall owed to the players, Bekavac’s next public poker appearance was a slap in the face for those he owed…
I get asked often about Midway Poker Tour payout update. Still ~$50K in missing value & many players yet to be made whole. Founder Dan Bekavac said he’d make it right in Oct. then disappeared. Ghosted players.
This weekend he’s decided to play $1,100 Grand Falls Event. No shame. pic.twitter.com/n0b3AnBG4n
— Chad Holloway (@ChadAHolloway) January 23, 2021
PokerNews’ reporter Chad Holloway was the man who brought most of Bekavac’s ignorant behaviour to light, having been invited to the original MPT tour stop in Illinois.
One year ago, the pair clashed at the very event won this week by Bekavac, the MSPT Riverside, and it didn’t involve suitable for work language…
Was disappointed to have known scammer Dan Bekavac, who you may recall has ghosted players regarding Midway Poker Tour shorted payouts, sit down at my table in the MSPT Riverside.
He told me to “fuck off” for which he received a warning.
Won’t lie, this hand felt pretty good! pic.twitter.com/GAfjSprT8l
— Chad Holloway (@ChadAHolloway) March 28, 2021
However, a year on and there was no sign of the Holloway-Bekavac “feud”, perhaps due to Holloway’s own paymasters now involved in a live reporting deal with the MSPT. As award-winning poker journalist Haley Hintze put it this week: “entirely ignoring the prior Bekavac scandal could arguably represent a disservice to the more generalized poker reader.”
Of course, it’s hard to blame anyone other than Bekavac for the ugly, tangled mess, and Holloway previously reasoned: “Perhaps poker needs governing body, like the TDA, that can review, adjudicate, and make recommendations on players based on peer reports, public action, and evidence that rooms and tours can use to act on. Sometimes hard for them to do so when transgressions took place elsewhere.”
However, the Mid-Stakes Poker Tour now has the dubious distinction of having Bekavac as the first player to win three main events, following victories back in 2013 and 2019. Buy-ins perhaps bought and paid for with money he owes to other players.
As it stands, MSPT haven’t taken action, thereby allowing a scammer to become their poster boy; PokerNews and Holloway have seemingly let Bekavac’s dodgy history slide because $$$; and the serial scammer is now walking around with almost $200,000 in his pockets – and not in misvalued gold or silver either.
Crime doesn’t pay, perhaps, but some things most certainly do!
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