Dennis Blieden Admits To Embezzlement Charge

By Ben Hamill - December 03 2019

Many will remember Dennis Blieden as the man who won the 2018 LA Poker Classic for a cool $1 million. But instead of his name having been cemented in time for having beat British Poker-pro Toby Lewis in a superbly entertaining heads up at the final table, Blieden may after a recent admission of guilt on charges of embezzlement be remembered instead for having conned former digital marketing company StyleHaul out of a sweltering $22 million.

Blieden admitted to having siphoned millions from the company’s bank account and into his own, for the purposes of dealing with personal expenses as well as his love for dabbling in cryptocurrency investments. Blieden was at the time of the crime employed by StyleHaul in the capacity of Vice President of Accounting and Finance.

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How Much For Poker?

It’s not yet clear how much of the stolen funds; if any; was used by Blieden for the purpose of paying entry fees to Poker events. His last cash earnings came about in the partypoker MILLIONS Vegas main event, after his having finished up in a respectable 17th place.

The rogue Poker-pro has since having admitted to the embezzlement, supposedly pleaded with the court for leniency, but now that the FBI has involved itself in the investigation, any form of being let off the hook seems unlikely. This is mainly because the crime did not involve a cut-and-dry act of theft, but instead involves a long list of off-colour transactions, including various money orders made out to other Poker players, a smashing $1.1 million in credit card debt having been paid off and also various cryptocurrency deals having been made.

What It Means For Poker

But surely Blieden should not be made to pay up all on his own for the embezzled funds if there were others involved somehow? Even though he was able to get his hands on the money as a direct result of his position in power, many are now calling for full transparency (at the very least) regarding the various transactions that make up the case against the shamed Poker-man.

Blieden now faces up to 200 years behind federal prison bars. If found guilty to the full extent of the crime, the ramifications for the Poker world at large could very well be significant, especially when viewed within the context of the Full Tilt Poker scandal.

Poker bobs along on a volatile stump of regulatory drift wood as it is and the latest bad news to have involved the industry’s name may just end up making everything even worse that what it already is.

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