In this column, we deliver you the latest and most interesting news and gossip from our favourite poker people.
Alleged man responsible for 1,800 unauthorized online gambling accounts arrested
The New Jersey State Police recently arrested 44-year old Casey Ennis following a 17-month investigation leading the suspect to be responsible for a multitude of schemes. Accused of identity theft, Ennis is under probe for using information to fund over 1,800 online gambling accounts on several of Atlantic City’s regulated sites, as well as utilizing these stolen identities to file false unemployment claims.
The investigation, which was prompted by a series of complaints, has since found Ennis to be responsible for stealing more than $52,000 from the state for false unemployment benefits with less information revealed for the 1,800 bogus accounts he allegedly created.
Ennis was shortly arrested after a raid at his Audobon home led investigators to find at least 30 electronic devices, in addition to three grams of suspected methamphetamine. Ennis has since been released but will now be facing several counts as noted by the NJSP presser: identity theft, credit-card theft, computer-related crimes, theft by deception, forgery, and possession of methamphetamine.
WPT champion Dennis Blieden faces jail time for embezzling $22m
While gambling is a frequent issue among poker players, former WPT champion Dennis Blieden’s plight is far more extreme than the norm. Arrested back in 2019 for embezzling reportedly over $22m from his employer Stylehaul Inc., Blieden has now been sentenced by Central District of California Honorable Judge André Birotte Jr. to 79 months for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, following a plea deal.
Vice president of accounting and finance for the Los Angeles-based digital agency, Blieden used the embezzled millions to fund his high stakes poker runs and crypto currency investments. Prior to sentencing, Blieden wrote a 15-page letter to the judge telling his personal story and experience with gambling addiction. He cited his obsessive desire to belong with the top players in the industry, having found his love for the game at the young age of 13.
In 2018 when he won the WPT L.A. Poker Classic for roughly $1 million, he mentions how this impressive win brought more bad than good to his already problematic life.
“This, looking back, had a huge impact on me mentally and was no doubt an accelerant in my gambling. I was now outwardly validated within the poker community and from my peers as being a professional gambler, so I did everything I could to keep that reputation alive. My desire to belong was so strong and misguided that I believed playing in the largest possible buy-in games would make me be more accepted. I was being invited to new private games, where millions of dollars were on the table at a time, and my bet sizing for online gambling increased to at least hundreds of thousands.”
While Blieden received a much shorter sentence than the potential 22 years in jail, the 31-year old will be facing over half of the next decade in federal prison and “the imposition of an order for the defendant to pay $22,669,979.07 in restitution.”
Big win for Perkins cuts Tice’s lead to $16k
The duo’s sixth session just concluded with Perkins landing $67,699 in profit after less than 90 minutes of action. A huge flip for an $85k pot was the deciding factor for the day’s results with Tice holding the classic AK against Perkins’ pocket Queens. With no luck for Tice, Perkins’ Queens held on a Jack-high board, shipping him the massive pot while cutting his opponent’s overall lead to $16,003.
Day 6: -$67,699.11
Hands Played: 362
All-in adj BB/100: 13.03
Lost all-in pres, one of those days.
Hands Played: 2407
All-in Adj BB/100: 13.79
— Landon (@LandonTice) June 11, 2021
So far, underdog Perkins is on track to win the challenge despite trailing behind, as the favorable terms he previously negotiated will bring him a rebate of nine big blinds per 100 hands played at the end of the match. This amounts to $720,000 across the 20,000-hand duration with Tice’s current win rate standing at 1.66 BB/100. However, with only 2,407 hands played, it still remains to be anyone’s game at this point.
Mike Postle possibly faces more fees as court rejects latest filing
Following a recent bombshell interview with ex-wife Sabina Johnson exposing his previous schemes and bouts of domestic abuse, alleged cheat Mike Postle’s week is about to take an even uglier turn. In his latest filing, the court rejected the submitted documents as it was found to not have followed “proper legal pleading format”.
“It is the responsibility of the filing party to review any applicable statute, California Rules of Court, California Code of Civil Procedure, and Sacramento Superior Court Local Rules prior to submitting documents.”
With Postle initially filing a case relating to libel claims, PokerFraudAlert founder Todd Witteles and whistleblower Veronica Brill fought back by filing Anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit against Public Participation) motions themselves against Postle. While the accused dropped the lawsuit, he was just last month ordered to pay $26,982 in damages to Witteles after automatically losing the motion. Now, it’s Veronica Brill’s turn to seek recompensation of legal fees amounting to up to $77,677.50. Postle is yet to appear before the court on this coming 19th of June.
Mike voluntarily dropped the case against me and many others. Now he owes me my legal fees https://t.co/FgiHko57Vp
— Veronica Brill (@Angry_Polak) April 2, 2021