Poker pro Justin "BoostedJ" Smith faced charges in a major FBI Gambling bust from back in April of 2013 when a total of 34 individuals were indicted in an illegal gambling ring that had ties to Russian organized crime. In August of 2013 Smith had entered a guilty plea and was allowed to travel the United States to play poker (maintain his livelihood) until sentencing.
According to Flushdraw.net, Judge Jesse M. Furman sentenced Smith to two years probation this week. Smith must stay confined to his home for the first three months and serve 200 hours of community service as part of the conditions of his sentencing.
Smith was apparently a very small part of the $100 million sports gambling operation. His role? Smith allegedly placed bets for friends through the gambling website. His plea was entered to a single charge of aiding in an illegal sports gambling business. Smith's original charges could have found him with a five year prison sentence but cooperating with authorities helped lower the sentence.
The case also charged other poker playing professionals such as Abe Mosseri, Bill Edler, Peter Feldman, and Vadim Trincher. Feldman and Edler have not entered a plea in the case yet and former World Poker Tour champion Trincher was alleged to be one of the leaders of the illegal business.
Although Smith began his journey through poker playing online, his impressive accomplishments in live poker brought him into the spotlight. Smith final tabled three World Poker Tour events in three years, finishing third in the 2009 WPT $15,000 Bellagio Cup for $464,870, a runner-up finish in the 2010 WPT $10,000 Bellagio Cup for $594,755, and fourth place in the 2011 Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic $100,000 High Roller brought a cash prize of $289,440. His live tournament winnings come to more than $2.1 million.
Although Smith played a few events at the 2013 World Series of Poker, he sat out most of the tournament circuit during the year. His tweet from last week says it all.
2013- most impactful year of my life so far by far. Gotta take any opportunity to attain some knowledge to move forward better. Keep moving.