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Poker News | Casino Poker | News

Counterfeit chips at Borgata lead to arrest of Christian Lusardi

Christian Lusardi - courtesy of
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Clogged sewer pipes and complaints of leaking pipes by guests at Harrah's Resort and Casino weren't meant to be a piece in the puzzle of how the Borgata Winter Poker Open $2 Million Guarantee tournament was suspended and finally cancelled. But the pieces all came together when the New Jersey State Police and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enorcement (DGE) announced a clogged sewer pipe at Harrah's Resort and Casino that held 2.7 million in counterfeit Borgata chips. Borgata employees began searching and found a total of $800,000 — 160 counterfeit chips — had been introduced into play in the tournament.

Christian Lusardi was discovered to have been staying in the room where the pipes were clogged. A police investigation reported that Lusardi brought the counterfeit chips into play several times and he started Day 2 with the chip lead. Lusardi fell on Day 2 and won "$6,814" for his finish according to a report by The Press of Atlantic City.

"We are very pleased that the New Jersey State Police Casino Gaming Bureau has apprehended a suspect in connection with the counterfeit chip activity that compromised Event 1 of the Borgata Poker Open," Borgata senior vice president Joe Lupo said in a statement to the Associated Press. "While this is a very positive development, the investigation by the (Division of Gaming Enforcement) and the state police is ongoing."

The remaining 27 players are waiting for a decision by the DGE and one has to wonder if there's solace in the following statement:

"The division is committed to ensuring confidence and integrity in all gaming operations and will continue to work with Borgata and the New Jersey State Police until this case is closed."

Lusardi was arrested and charged with criminal attempt, rigging a publicly exhibited contest, and theft by deception. He had left Harrah's and was found in Atlantic City at an undisclosed motel. Upon his arrest he was taken to the Atlantic County Justice Facility with bail set at $300,000.

Lusardi is no stranger to problems with the law. In 2008, in his hometown of Fayetteville, North Carolina, his house was raided in an illegal gambling bust and he was charged.

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