A cheating poker player’s scheme was uncovered when it was discovered he blocked a hotel’s sewerage pipes by flushing fake chips down the toilet.
The North Carolina man, Christian Lusardi, was sentenced to five years in prison and to pay damages following a plea agreement in which he pleaded guilty to trademark counterfeiting and criminal mischief.
Lusardi was a guest at Harrah’s Casino Hotel while he played in the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa’s 2014 Borgata Winter Open Big Stack, No Limit Hold’em tournament, in which 4800 players had enrolled. Only 27 players remained when the tournament was cancelled following Lusardi’s spectacular flush.
According to authorities, Lusardi, who had already won $6,814 in the tournament and was feeling flushed with success, suddenly chickened out when he suspected staff had noticed his fake chips. He flushed his remaining chips down the toilet, but they didn’t get very far as he clearly had a better knowledge of forgery than of plumbing.
Instead of disappearing into the city sewers forever, they blocked the pipes in the hotel. This caused water to leak into guests’ rooms on the floor below. Hotel maintenance was called after guests complained, and that’s when the first lot of chips were found. The next day, a second lot of 22 tournament chips, worth $5000, were found in a blocked toilet at the Borgata. The tournament was suspended for 24 hours and then cancelled. Casino staff also found 160 of Lusardi’s fake chips among the real tournament chips. Altogether, $3.6 million worth of tournament chips, which have no real cash value, were found.
In addition to spending some time behind bars, Lusardi is also required to pay $9,455 to Harrah’s Casino Hotel for damaging the pipes, and to pay $463,540 to the Borgata for the revenue it lost by cancelling the tournament. $1.5 million in prize money remained following the tournament’s cancellation and was eventually redistributed as entry fee refunds by order of Division of Gaming Enforcement director David Rebuck.
Thankfully, the online poker and video poker games at Mummys Gold use virtual cards and chips, so you never need to worry about games being cancelled because of blocked toilet pipes. The results in the poker games at Mummys Gold are produced by random number generators, making cheating virtually impossible and requiring players to build a hand that has a real Royal Flush!