Christian Lusardi Released from Prison

by Jim Hall

Christian LusardiChristian Lusardi is no longer in jail, after spending eight months in prison on two sentences due to placing counterfeit chips into a poker tournament at the Borgata Casino.

Every casino visitor knows that when they hit the gaming floor, they have to follow the rules. This means placing bets at the right time at the gaming tables, listening to the dealer, etc. Most casino goers abide by these rules and have a good time. Other times, individuals decide they want to cheat the system and try their best to put one over on the casino. However, every time, the individual is caught and usually faces large fines and jail time. One of the most infamous cheating scandals to take place in recent times involves the Borgata Casino and a man named Christian Lusardi.

A Little Back Story

Let’s go back to the year 2014 when the Borgata Casino hosted the Borgata Winter Poker Open. During the series, the $2 Million Guaranteed Big Stack NLHE Re-Entry Event was one of the tournaments on the schedule. This event saw amateurs as well as pros hitting the felt in the hopes of a win. One of these players was Christian Lusardi, a known poker player.

It was discovered during game play that poker chips had been placed into rotation. The tournament was stopped at a certain point with players left without the opportunity to continue playing and money on the table. Payouts were not made as tournament organizers had to figure out just what took place.

Lusardi was found to be at fault once fake poker chips were connected to his guest room. Lusardi was staying at the Harrah’s Casino nearby and had tried to flush more than 500 poker chips down the toilet. The employees of the venue found the chips after a plumbing problem was discovered. Lusardi had actually cashed out in the event on day 2, earning $6,814 in the process.

The poker player was arrested and it was found out that he not only had tried to cheat the casino but also was guilty of copyright infringement and trafficking counterfeit goods when DVDs were found in his home. After going to court, Lusardi was given a three year prison sentence for Criminal Mischief and five years max for counterfeit charges. This last charge was set for buying and selling of DVDs from China, with as many as 35,000 DVDs found.

Out and About

Lusardi was placed in prison and served eight months before he was recently released. Lusardi was placed in prison on the 1st of December back in 2015 and was supposed to be released on the 22nd of January 2019. However, he was reportedly released in July on the 25th last year. The news was apparently kept quiet or no one noticed. A forum poster on Forum Wars sent in an image of the offender details of Lusardi which showed the information.

As part of his punishments, Lusardi was ordered to pay restitution in an amount exceeding $1.1 million. Since he has been released, he seems to be keeping a low profile. It will be interesting to see if he decides to try and take part in poker tournaments once again, though one would imagine that he will steer clear of the Borgata Casino.

Once all of this was resolved and Lusardi was arrested, poker players who were left hanging from the event were not happy about the outcome. The officials of the Borgata decided to pay $1,721,805 to players were involved and the remaining 27 players, those left when the tournament was halted, were given $19,323 each. This was a huge disappointment as they would have earned much more if game play had been able to continue. Six players filed a suit against the casino due to the payment but a judge ruled in the casino’s favor.