Bad Poker Etiquette May Invalidate $120K Bad Beat Jackpot

Written By Martin Derbyshire on December 20, 2017
small dog licking plate on table

[toc]More than 80 Station Casinos poker players will have to wait until next month to find out if the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) thinks they should get their share of a $120,000 bad beat jackpot hit at Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa in July.

Station Casinos’ Jumbo Hold ‘Em Poker Progressive Jackpot pays out a percentage of the progressive jackpot to players in all five of its poker rooms any time it hits. A small percentage of every pot played funds the jackpot.

When recreational player Len Schreter‘s straight flush beat 83-year-old Avi Shamir‘s lower straight flush at Red Rock on July 7, everyone assumed the $120,000 jackpot had been hit.

Shamir was in line to collect $60,000 for taking the bad beat. Schreter would get $30,000 for handing it out. Plus, anyone playing at a Station Casinos poker room at the time would get a piece of the pie. This amounted to around 80 people.

However, Schreter exposed his cards before the hand’s final betting round.

Jackpot invalidated

Testimony was given at a NGCB hearing held last week. It revealed that surveillance video clearly showed Schreter exposing his cards before the hand was over. After looking at the video and talking with other Red Rock executives, then-Red Rock poker room manager Forrest Caldwell invalidated the jackpot.

The reason behind the decision was that exposing the cards was tantamount to a discussion of the hands during play. This is a no-no for players, according to the Jumbo Hold ‘Em Jackpot official rules . It also gives the manager the discretion to invalidate the jackpot.

However, the players involved claim the fact Schreter revealed his cards came after the final board card was dealt meant it didn’t change the outcome one bit.

Station Casinos requests a hearing

The players initially asked the NGCB to review it. NGCB investigator Bill Olliges did so and ruled in the players’ favor. He agreed that Schreter’s actions represented bad poker etiquette, but didn’t change the outcome of the hand.

Station Casinos requested a hearing on the matter. The three-hour hearing was held this past Tuesday with Schreter making an emotional plea to the board:

“I went from local hero to local bum and, in one case, a local villain. I was hurt emotionally by Red Rock, but (Shamir) was hurt financially. Red Rock kicked me in the stomach, but Red Rock kicked him in a place a lot lower than that.”

Managing Member of Vegas Valley Law and NGCB Audit Supervisor Chan Lengsavath presided over the hearing. He is expected to complete a report to the three-member NGCB by early January.

The NGCB is expected to consider recommendations from the report at its Jan. 10-11 meeting in Las Vegas.

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Martin Derbyshire Avatar
Written by
Martin Derbyshire

Martin Derbyshire is an award-winning journalist, video and film producer with a decade of experience covering the brick and mortar casino, poker and iGaming industries. He has produced content for top media outlets including PokerNews, Bluff Magazine and PokerListings, and has crossed the globe scooping stories and interviewing major players in all corners of the high-stakes gambling world.

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