Midway Poker Tour Puts Players Out Of Pocket
Excitement over a new live Poker tournament series recently launched didn’t last as long as expected – all as a result of exceptionally poor planning and confusion over payouts leading to allegations of fraud and underhanded activities. Whether or not there will even be another Midway Poker Tour remains to be seen.
The problem arose when it became clear that, subject to the Charitable Gaming Act of the Illinois State area, only $1,600 could be paid to winners in actual transferrable currency. Any winnings exceeding this particular amount would have to be paid in precious metals such as silver and gold in bricks and coins.
The inaugural edition of the $1,100 buy-in Midway Poker Tour Main Event was hosted by Sheraton Suites Chicago Elk Grove.
The Rude Awakening
The idea was apparently for the players to be able to exchange their silver and gold at a nearby dealer in precious metals for value in cash. All of which probably would not have caused quite the uproar that it did had the event organisers informed the players of the unusual logistics before the tournament got underway. The structure sheet allegedly mentioned no word about the possibility of alternate payment methods.
But that wasn’t to be the worst of it either because once a representative from the office of the Attorney General arrived – who had been tasked with making sure that there existed on site sufficient gold and silver to cover all payments due to winners – it soon transpired that not nearly enough precious metals had been provided for to cover all necessary payouts.
More Problems Than Money
Attorney General representative Terence Shiel actually discovered two problems. The first problem was the shortage in gold and silver, and the second, that the person tasked with exchanging the precious metals into dollars was located on-site. This was not permitted to be done in this way by state law.
Since players were ultimately left with no other choice but to go in search of precious metals buyers on their own steam, they soon began researching the value of whatever it was they had at hand. Enter the next rude awakening: the silver and gold coins handed to them as part of their winnings mostly turned out to be not nearly the value the coins were purported to be by the organisers of the event.
What made matters even worse and more suspicious was that on Sunday, nobody with any authority could be found anywhere, with the charity staff present knowing nothing about Poker or how Poker tournaments were supposed to even work.