Monday, July 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

$2.7M in counterfeit Borgata poker chips found in sewer pipe

File photo: The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa (AKIRA SUWA / Staff)
File photo: The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa (AKIRA SUWA / Staff)

A man who allegedly spurred last week’s cancellation of a Winter Poker Open match at Atlantic City's Borgata Casino is accused of trying to flush evidence in the scheme. Apparently, he still couldn't make a clean getaway.

New Jersey State Police said workers at Harrah’s Resort and Casino last Tuesday found $2.7 million worth of counterfeit Borgata poker chips stuffed in a sewer pipe inside the hotel room of 42-year-old Poker Open competitor Christian Lusardi.

Harrah’s notified Borgata officials, who then found among the Poker Open proceeds 160 $5,000 counterfeit chips that had been used during the game. The revelation forced state casino regulators to last Friday suspend the first Winter Poker Open event and freeze all prize monies as an investigation was launched. The match was outright canceled Saturday.

The investigation allegedly revealed Lusardi, of Fayetteville, N.C., put the counterfeit chips into play multiple times during the tournament, winning a total of $6,814.

Following the discovery, Lusardi never returned to his room, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Authorities took him into custody Friday at an Atlantic City motel.

Lusardi is charged with attempting to rig a publicly exhibited contest and theft by deception. He was imprisoned Friday at the Atlantic County Jail after being unable to post $300,000 bail.

Contact Alex Wigglesworth at 215-854-2305 or Follow @phila_lex on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; Follow @phillynews on Twitter.

Alex Wigglesworth PHILLY.COM
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