It appears the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) has finally ruled that at least some Station Casinos poker players should get their fair share of a more than $120,000 bad beat jackpot hit at Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa in July last year.
A disposition posted on the NGCB website following the board’s Feb. 7 meeting indicates the board has affirmed an agent’s decision awarding payment of $62,126 to Avinoam Shamir. Shamir’s straight flush was beaten by a bigger one back in July.
The disposition also indicates the decision to pay out $565 to two Santa Fe Station Hotel & Casino players also be affirmed. What’s not clear is if $565 will be awarded to the other 78 people playing at Station Casinos poker room at the time the jackpot was hit. Or, if Len Schreter, who’s straight flush beat Shamir‘s, will be able to collect the $31,063 he is entitled to.
In sending the matter back to a hearing officer at the board’s Jan. 11 meeting, NGCB member Terry Johnson said Schreter decided to withdraw his complaint in the case. In the initial hearing back in December, Schreter expressed deep regret and responsibility for the financial cost to Shamir.
A real bad beat
Station Casinos pays out a percentage of its Jumbo Hold ‘Em Poker Progressive Jackpot to players in all five of its poker rooms across Las Vegas when a qualifying hand is played in any one of them.
Schreter‘s straight flush beat Shamir‘s lower straight flush at Red Rock on July 7. Eighty other players were on tables at all Station Casinos poker rooms at the time.
It was assumed Shamir was in line to collect $62,126 for taking the bad beat and Schreter would earn half that for handing it out. Plus, all players at a Station Casinos poker rooms would normally be in line for $565 each.
However, Schreter had prematurely exposed his hole cards before the hand’s final betting round. As a result, Red Rock invalidated the hand and refused to pay out the jackpot.
Surveillance video clearly showed Schreter exposing his cards before the hand was over. After discussing the matter with other Red Rock executives, the poker room manager concluded exposing cards was akin to a discussion of the hand during play. Posted bad beat jackpot rules clearly state a discussion of the hand during play could invalidate the jackpot.
The players claimed Schreter’s actions didn’t change the outcome of the hand and asked the NGCB to review.
NGCB investigators, hearing officers agree
NGCB investigator Bill Olliges ruled in the players’ favor. He said Schreter was guilty of bad poker etiquette, but not changing the outcome of the hand.
Station Casinos then requested the NGCB hold a hearing. NGCB Audit Supervisor Chan Lengsavath presided over the hearing and concluded Stations should pay.
However, in January, Johnson said the board needed more information. His questions to the hearing officer included why Schreter withdrew his complaint and whether it was Station’s bad beat rules or standard poker-room procedural rules that were used to determine the jackpot should be paid.
Now, it appears the board has ruled that Stations Casinos should pay up. Although its worth noting the casinos never stood to lose or gain a dime in the case. Its poker rooms all take a small percentage of every pot played to fund the jackpot. They simply hold onto that money until the next time the jackpot is hit.
Another bad beat jackpot
In the meantime, two Louisiana men were arrested in the New Orleans-area last week. They allegedly rigged the deck to trigger a $166,000 bad beat jackpot at the Boomtown Casino.
A 66-year-old poker dealer and his 51-year-old accomplice now face charges. This jackpot was also withheld. Casino staff uncovered some inconsistencies with the hand. They referred the matter to the Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations Gaming Enforcement Division.