January 23, 2021
Scandals & Crimes
Dan Bekavac, the promoter accused of cheating on players at a 2020 Midway Poker Tour event, attended a WPT tournament in Florida on Saturday. However, the Illinois players he owed for months do not receive any of his winnings. That's because it broke on the first day, long before the bubble burst.
The World Poker Tour is in the midst of hosting the first major live poker tournament in the United States since March 2020. More than 700 players, including Bekavac, paid $ 3,500 to enter Day 1A of the South Florida tournament. Joe McKeehen, the 2015 WSOP Main Event champion, was among the 231 players who advanced through day two.
On the other hand, Bekavac will not compete on day 2 because he did not get a stack on Friday. This is bad news for the poker player that he hasn't quite made it yet.
The Midway Poker Tour is a lost cause
Bekavac hosted a Midway Poker Tour in Illinois last October. The tournament had a buy-in of $ 1,100 with a charity component, but Illinois law allows payouts for charitable tournaments of $ 500 above the buy-in – in this case, $ 1,600. This is obviously a problem for those entering a tournament priced at $ 1,600.
The organizers tried to find a loophole in the law so that they could legally hold the event. Bekavac came up with the idea of paying out the remainder of the prize pool to any player who received money to receive precious metals (gold and silver) as a payout. They could then turn around and sell the precious metals for the value of their winnings.
There was only one problem: Bekavac overpaid the true value of the metals by about 30 percent. This meant that players were unable to get the real value of what to pay out of the tournament winnings.
Bekavac and the Midway Poker Tour still owe roughly $ 50,000 across the 22 players who made money. The winner, Renato Spahiu, still owes $ 16,038 to his announced payout of $ 55,060. Runner-up Satoshi Tanaka still owed $ 10,974.
Bekavac has refused to make the players healthy. The players initially threatened legal action, but no lawsuit has been filed since. However, the organizer of the now-defunct Midway Poker Tour was able to come up with a buy-in of US $ 3,500 to take part in a World Poker Tour event this weekend.
Semi-pro poker player with 17 years of experience in the felt and more than five years as a professional poker medium.
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