Last week it was reported the Borgata Winter Poker Open $2 million Guarantee had been suspended, pending an investigation into the use and resulting discovery of counterfeit chips by one or more players.
On Friday, the investigation accelerated when it was revealed 2.7 million worth of counterfeit chips were discovered in a blocked sewer pipe at Harrah’s Resort and Casino the previous Sunday.
A thorough investigation revealed that 42-year-old poker pro Christian Lusardi had been staying in the room producing the clog, who had entered the event on Day Two with the chip lead.
Police say that Lusardi introduced the counterfeit chips into tournament play several times, however was still eliminated from the event on day of entry, claiming only ‘$6,814’; as published by the Press of Atlantic City.
“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” Joe Lupo, Senior Vice President of Borgata said.
“While this is a very positive development, the investigation by the Division of Gaming Enforcement and the state police is ongoing.”
At this stage, the DGE has revealed they have not made a decision as to the event’s continuation, the remaining 27 players and the unclaimed prize pool.
“The division is committed to ensuring confidence and integrity in all gaming operations and will continue to work with Borgata and the New Jersey State Police until this case is closed” The DGE revealed in a statement.
After leaving Harrah’s Hotel and the discovery of the chip blockage and warrant was produced for the apprehension of Lusardi, who was found a short time later at an Atlantic City Motel.
The investigation is set to continue, meanwhile Lusardi’s bail from the Atlantic County Justice Facility has been set at $300,000. Don’t forget to check back at Poker.com frequently, as we will be following this story until conclusion.
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