Why Everybody should lay off the Borgata about “Chipgate”

Back in February, Jacob Musterel sued the Borgata over a compromised $2 million poker tournament. The Egg Harbor Township (NJ) native claims that the Borgata failed to properly supervise a Winter Poker Open event where Christian Lusardi cheated by introducing counterfeit chips (a.k.a. Chipgate). Musterel wants the Borgata to refund everybody’s tournament buy-in plus travel costs.

Now, we have six more players leveling a lawsuit at the casino because they don’t believe that they were given enough prize money. The event was stopped with just 27 players left, and the six plaintiffs were among the few survivors. All 27 players were awarded $19,323 from the defrauded tournament. However, the grinders believe that they’re due $53,079.44 because this is how much each player would’ve received if the remaining $1.43 million in prize money was chopped fairly.

So why didn’t the Borgata just do this in the first place? Well, Atlantic City’s leading casino needed to compensate 2,143 non-cashing players who were at Lusardi’s table at one point or another. The NJ Division of Gaming did an investigation and found that these players could’ve possibly been affected by Lusardi’s counterfeit chips.

It’s also worth mentioning that places 26 – 450 got the appropriate amount of prize money. So in the end, 2,143 non-cashing entrants and the 450 money finishers all received their money. Why the lawsuits then?

In theory, Musterel and the other six players have a case. But one also has to consider that the Borgata returned the entire $2 million prize pool and every $60 entry free too. Basically, they wasted lots of time and money putting together an event that was ultimately cheated. And by giving back the tournament entry fees, they took a big loss.

Of course, it’s also not fair that the final 27 players got less money because others needed to be compensated. But then again, they still received $19k in an event where many people lost out due to a cheater. So to accuse the Borgata of doing a poor job of preventing cheating when they ultimately caught Lusardi before the event ended is ridiculous.

This is a guy who planned out his Chipgate scandal, and nobody – not the players nor tournament personnel – caught the fake chips until later. The key point is that the Borgata busted Lusardi and returned all of the money. So what more can you ask of them?

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