Station Casinos

Most Prize Payments Affirmed in Nevada Bad Beat Jackpot Dispute

Score one for the poker players, after Nevada’s Gaming Control Board has reaffirmed an earlier decision that participating players in a Station Casinos chain-wide bad beat jackpot be awarded their prize money, despite unintentional actions by one of the participants in the BBJ-cracking hand that violated the casino chain’s posted rules.

The matter dates back to a hand dealt at Las Vegas’s Red Rock Casino last July, when Avi Shamir and Len Schreter caught the top and bottom ends of a possible straight flush at one of Red Rock’s BBJ tables. Station Casinos’ BBJ was at its capped maximum of a little over $120,000. That meant that Shamir was due 50% of the pot (which worked out to more than $62,000, while Schreter was due about $31,000, and much smaller paydays were due to more than 80 other players active at other BBJ tables across the Station Casinos chain,

Station CasinosStations management, however, declared the BBJ-cracking hand null and void, based on the excited out-of-turn exposure of down cards done by rec player Schreter before the hand’s final board card was dealt. That violated the posted rules, but had no outcome on the hand, since the chips were already in the pot. Nonetheless, Red Rock and Stations management refused to pay the BBJ, leading to at least four of the affected players — initially including both Shamir and Schreter — to file gaming complaints with the GCB.

Late in 2017, the GCB affirmed an investigator’s finding that the BBJ payouts should be made, but Station Casinos persisted in its battling of the case, likely just to protect the reserve for its already-capped BBJ so it could continue promoting those tables.

That led to the GCB sending the whole matter back to its investigator for another round of fact-digging, but according to the latest GCB meeting records, nothing that would change its initial ruling has been discovered. Thus, the GCB reaffirmed its original instructions to Red Rock and Station Casinos to pay out the disputed BBJ.

Three participating players remained as party to the complaint, and the GCB records from its recent February 7th meeting. Consumer complaints against casinos are generally addressed late on the agenda of any given meeting, and only the case-disposition specifics are offered. As for the disputed BBJ, these three dispositions appear:

CONSIDERATION OF HEARING EXAMINER’S RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING:
2. FOR POSSIBLE ACTION:
Case # 2017-7746L
Red Rock Casino Resort Spa v. Avinoam Shamir
HEARING EXAMINER RECOMMENDS:
Agent’s decision awarding payment of $62,126 to Avinoam Shamir be affirmed.
GCB DISPOSITION: PAYMENT AWARDED, PER GCB ORDER.

CONSIDERATION OF HEARING EXAMINER’S RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING:
3. FOR POSSIBLE ACTION:
Case # 2017-7806L
Santa Fe Station Hotel & Casino v. Michael Bluestein
HEARING EXAMINER RECOMMENDS:
Agent’s decision awarding payment of $565 be affirmed.
GCB DISPOSITION: PAYMENT AWARDED, PER GCB ORDER.

CONSIDERATION OF HEARING EXAMINER’S RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING:
4. FOR POSSIBLE ACTION:
Case # 2017-8113L
Santa Fe Station Hotel & Casino v. Dr. Rochelle Lindner
HEARING EXAMINER RECOMMENDS:
Agent’s decision awarding payment of $565 be affirmed.
GCB DISPOSITION: PAYMENT AWARDED, PER GCB ORDER.

Bluestein and Lindner were among the players active at BBJ tables at Santa Fe Station, another Stations Casino room, and were active at that casinos when the BBJ was cracked at Red Rock, thus qualifying them for the smaller payday.

Other players participating in the BBJ are also likely to seek payment of their long-delayed shares. The only player whose outcome is uncertain is Schreter, whose exposure of his own nut straight flush caused confusion and a legal dispute that has lasted more than half of a year.

Station Casinos could still file an appeal and take the dispute into a formal Nevada courtroom, though it would be an instance of casino belligerence and marketing stupidity getting the better of public relations, not to mention common sense. Nevada’s gaming regulators repeatedly ruled in favor of the players here because Schreter’s actions had no effect on the outcome of the hand, and thus had no effect on the gambling action being offered and regulated.

Stations’ posted bad-beat rules, particularly the one about exposure of a made hand, thus do not adhere in a 100% manner to Nevada’s gaming laws. That truth is something Stations Casino management doesn’t want to acknowledge, because it will mean a slight reworking of its BBJ rules, likely adding another level of specificity on possible BBJ-voiding actions.

The end result: The players should have been paid, and it’s now far more likely that this outcome will indeed occur.

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