Poker Player Christian Lusardi has allegedly been arrested by the New Jersey State Police Casino Gaming Bureau on suspicion of introducing around 2.7 Million counterfeit chips in Borgata Hotel and Casino during the Borgata Winter Poker Open $2 Million guarantee event. It may be recalled here that the this particular event was suspended and then cancelled after counterfeit chips were discovered during the tourney. These chips were later found in clogged sewer pipes from one of the rooms and the suspect Lusardi was staying in that room.
“We are very pleased that the New Jersey State Police Casino Gaming Bureau has apprehended a suspect in connection with the counterfeit chip activity that compromised Event 1 of the Borgata Poker Open,” Borgata senior vice president Joe Lupo told the Media. “While this is a very positive development, the investigation by the (Division of Gaming Enforcement) and the state police is ongoing.”
It is suspected that Lusardi who enetered Day 2 in chip lead in the event must have introduced the counterfeit chips multiple times in the system. He was eliminated on Day 2 and got a payout of $6,814. Apparently this isn’t Lusardi’s first run in with investigating authorities. In 2008, in his house in Fayetteville, North Carolina was raided in an illegal gambling bust. The poker player was charged with gambling and illegal alcohol sales.
It was not announced what the DGE would be doing with the unpaid prize money and the 27 poker players still in the event. This is indeed a dark moment for global poker having an international poker tournament being cancelled due to counterfeit chips. But the silver lining is that if Lusardi is charged then the culprit may have been caught and thus will not have repercussions in the future.