Two Plus Two Publishing LLC Two Plus Two Publishing LLC
 

Go Back   Two Plus Two Poker Forums > >

Notices

News, Views, and Gossip For poker news, views, and gossip

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-01-2015, 04:39 PM   #1
Bob Bernstein
stranger
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 1
Scandal at Hialeah Park Casino in Miami, FL

tl;dr cliffs:
  • Hialeah Park Casino in Miami, FL runs $250 MTT w/ $200k guarantee
  • Players notice prize pool and chip count total discrepancies
  • Investigation uncovers scummy management letting a number of players freeroll with the intent of splitting payouts amongst staff, thereby “underlaying” this tournament and others in the past.
  • Other dishonorable practices include skimming prize pool money, shorting tournament dealers their proper payouts from the toke pools and falsifying information to cover their tracks, among others.

Hialeah Park Casino in Miami, Florida held its 2 year anniversary multi-table tournament this past weekend. It was billed as a $250 buy-in NLHE re-entry with a $200k guarantee and $60k guaranteed for 1st. There were five starting days with two flights each day (11am & 7pm) between Tuesday August 25th and Saturday August 29th, with Day 2 on Sunday August 30th.

The structure sheet was not posted online, nor was it freely available in the poker room but was posted at the tournament podium where players went to register (note: this is a free-standing podium in the middle of the poker room where the money was exchanged, not at a cashier’s cage). Here’s a picture of the structure sheet:


Of the $250 buy-in, $215 went to the prize pool and $35 was house rake. Players were given 15,000 starting units with the option of a $20 add-on for 5,000 additional units. This add-on was to go towards the tournament staff toke pool. Levels were 20 minutes for the first nine levels, after which the re-entry/registration period closed and players were given the option of 8,000 additional units for $20. The structure sheet notes that “80% [of this add-on] goes towards prize pool once GTD is met.”

As it was explained by floor staff during the tournament, $16 of that add-on went to the prize pool and $4 went towards the house’s high hand jackpot/promotional fund. Players in this tournament were eligible for high hand bonuses but would only receive half of the posted award.

Players who bought into this tournament and took the optional $20 add-on at the start of it plus the $20 add-on at the end of Level 9 ended up contributing $231 to the prize pool and paid the house $59 in rake, or 25.5%.

Players with less than 5,000 units were able to forfeit their stacks and re-enter. Players were also allowed to bag and play multiple flights, carrying over their largest stack into Day 2. Redraws, which normally occur with 18 (and sometimes 27) players left were only to occur at the final table of 10.

The tournament proceeded as planned until the start of Day 2 when players began to notice discrepancies in the posted prize pool figures and total number of chips in play displayed on the Bravo tournament clocks.

Mind you, the clientele of Hialeah Park consists mostly of low-stakes local players. Despite South Florida’s sizable and ever-increasing population of poker professionals, relatively few venture into Hialeah Park. It’s just not one of those kinds of rooms like at the Hard Rock in Hollywood or The Isle in Pompano. This tournament was the biggest the room had hosted to date and as such it attracted more regs from around South Florida-- regs that have a lot more tournament experience from other rooms than the typical Hialeah Park clientele.

The Day 2 chip counts were posted within the poker room on Sunday and stated that the prize pool was $215,002, that there were 163 players returning and 90 would make the money. There was never an official number of total tournament entries posted anywhere, nor was there transparency as far as the number of initial dealer add-ons or 8k Level 9 add-ons.

Chatter began when some people were told by floor staff that the total number of entries was 1061, which didn’t match up with the $215k posted prize pool. Later, the floor staff settled on 966 as the official figure. A payout structure sheet was also not provided, however the tournament staff stated that 8% of the field would be paid. But by officially paying out 90 places, that would mean that the field had 1125 entries. Why the discrepancy?

As people were now critical of the information being displayed, the total number of chips in play began to be questioned. The clocks showed 26,667,000 chips in play. However, if you were to add up the total number of chips on the Day 2 chip count list, that equates to 27,363,000-- a difference of 696,000.


Discussion of this made its way to social media. The South Florida Poker Players Association raised some of these questions in a post made yesterday (https://www.facebook.com/sfppa?fref=ts&ref=br_tf) and got the following response from a Hialeah Park shift manager named Daniel Sierra:

* Daniel Sierra made other posts in addition to this one, which can be found by clicking on the link above. He mostly responds by telling people to come speak to him in person rather than answer questions publicly.

So he’s stating that there were 966 total entries, that all of them took the initial 5k add-on for $20, and that 698 took the 8k add-on at the end of Level 9 for $20. That still only adds up to 24,904,000 chips and that doesn’t even take into account how bogus his statement is. For there to be 698 add-ons at the end of Level 9, over 72% of the field will have had to remain at that point in the tournament (the conclusion of 400/800-75) and 100% of those players would have had to take it. How realistic does that sound?

Mr. Sierra’s excuse for the millions of chips that are unaccounted for is due to the fact that they placed two dead stacks at each starting table and that those stacks were blinded down about 10k each before being taken out of play. This is just bogus.

First off, late entries into this tournament are given fresh stacks out of dealers’ wells so the dead stacks are only supposed to belong to registered players who haven’t shown up yet or people who won entry via a satellite and have no intention of playing. His argument is that 2 dead stacks at every table of all 10 starting flights stayed dead long enough to be blinded down 10k. This is under the assumption that nobody showed up to claim those dead stacks.

But let’s check the math on that. Let’s assume that there were 2 stacks at each table that were allowed to be blinded down until the end of Level 9 (20 minute levels, remember). At the start of a tournament, play is likely to begin short-handed for a while before the late arrivals help to fill up the table. So yes, early tournament hands are likely to proceed at a faster rate than those later in the tournament, which can for last several minutes. An average number of live poker hands per hour is what, maybe 25? Well for the sake of our math, let’s go out on a limb and say that Hialeah has the quickest dealers around and that we’re seeing 36 hands/hour at these tournament tables. This equates to 1.2 orbits at these 10-handed tables every level. After the first 3 levels (one hour), a dead stack should lose about 540 units. After 6 levels, a dead stack would have about 3060 units blinded off. And by the end of Level 9, a total of 8880 units would have entered play before the dead stacks were removed.

But look, that’s still well under the 10k that Daniel is quoting us even with the impossible rate of 36 hands/hour and assuming that every one of those dead stacks sat there for 3 hours until the end of the registration period. But that wasn’t the case. Those dead stacks were removed waaay before Level 9.

This is a case of the floor staff getting defensive and trying to cover up what cannot be reasonably explained.

Notice how Mr. Sierra also states that the prize pool ended up being $219,785 and that the casino ended up paying out $219,832. Why is there a difference at all? And why is that over $4700 more than the $215,002 figure that was displayed on the Day 2 chip count list and on the tournament clocks before players began asking these questions?

In addition to these big questions, other questionable practices caught players’ eyes during this tournament.

For example, some players who busted on Day 1 would walk up to the tournament podium to re-enter, where they would be given a receipt and the choice of returning to the table from which they busted or a new table assignment. Some players were even asked if they wanted to be seated with their friends (collusion, anybody?). But the most shocking fact was that a lot of players who busted could re-enter the tournament by staying in their seat and handing over their re-entry money to a floor person who would not give them a receipt unless the player asked for one. How easy would it be to skim money this way?

Dealers also kept a number of tournament chips in their wells at all times, often times coloring down big chips for players out of the well instead of asking another player for change or using the change in the pot. There was far too much dipping into the well without supervision going on for a tournament.

Once in the money, the payouts were handed to players at the tournament podium rather than at a cashier’s cage. This was true even for the members of the final table, who ended up chopping the tournament 10-ways. Apparently after the deal was agreed upon, a member of the floor staff who was handling the operation told players that he made a mistake, that he was off by $1000 and asked the players if they would rather each give back $100 or recreate the stacks and play on. More skimming.

Results from this tournament have not been made available by Hialeah Park.

All of these little incidents stirred up enough curiosity to cause a number of players to investigate the situation at Hialeah Park further. This is where the scandal begins to get juicy.

The following is information gathered from South Florida poker regs and current/former Hialeah Park employees, however sources will remain anonymous (nobody wants to be fired or banned).

Nelson Costa is the manager of the Hialeah Park poker room, which opened about 2 years ago. Upon its opening, he hired a lot of his friends who were working at other poker rooms in the area. He also owns a dealer school, where he reaps the benefit of having dealers pay him to learn how to deal and then he hires these rookie dealers in return for a cut of their salaries. Nice, eh?

Current and former dealers complain about not receiving full compensation for working tournaments because money is often withheld from those optional add-ons that are supposed to go towards the toke pool. The current dealers are afraid to speak up for fear of losing their jobs, which still pay well despite the short-changing.

Perhaps the biggest scam of all is the fact that the floor people who run the room are putting people into tournaments--freerolls for the players in exchange for splitting payouts with the staff should they cash. The floor people have regs who they will print tournament registration receipts for who get to play without contributing money to the prize pool. All they have to do is pay for the option add-ons themselves should they choose to take them. This is why the prize pool numbers are off in the most recent tournament (and probably every other tournament as well). This has been verified by some of the very players who are routinely offered to freeroll these tournaments.

The floor staff has also issued free entry into tournaments to players as a means of resolving disputes. For example, player X is playing a cash game, goes all-in and gets called by Player Y. Player Y loses the hand but doesn’t want to pay Player X because he claims he didn’t actually call. Player Y is told he can either pay player X or be banned from the casino until he pays up. Player Y decides to flee and as a means of compensating Player X, he is offered entry into a $100 tournament. A nice gesture, sure, but if the casino isn’t adding money to that tournament’s prize pool, it isn’t kosher.

It makes sense now why in a period of a poker recession down here in South Florida, where the market is already saturated with a number of poker rooms and dwindling cash games, that Hialeah Park is the only room that has *expanded*. Within the last year, Hialeah Park put a lot of money into enlarging the poker room and adding 12 new tables specifically for the purpose of being able to run more tournaments. Hmm...I wonder why they’re so gung-ho on wanting to host more small-stakes rakefests…

The next step here may be to involved the state’s gaming commission and hopefully get them to investigate the situation at Hialeah further. Perhaps 2+2’ers can help shed some more light on this.
Bob Bernstein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2015, 04:45 PM   #2
braudablowup
old hand
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Appstonsome
Posts: 1,779
Re: Scandal at Hialeah Park Casino in Miami, FL

Heard a lot of chatter about this. Playing in South Florida a lot, Its sad to say, but I'm not shocked. There are multiple places that cater to their friends/look out for their own and will take a grab no matter who it hurts.

Will be interested to see how this all plays out.
braudablowup is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2015, 05:33 PM   #3
The4thFilm
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
The4thFilm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 13,472
Re: Scandal at Hialeah Park Casino in Miami, FL

Why are the TDA rules focused on first card/last card off the deck, seeing mucked cards, who has to show first bull**** minutiae when TDs are robbing daily tournaments blind all across the country?
The4thFilm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2015, 05:36 PM   #4
DarkMattersMan
adept
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 961
Re: Scandal at Hialeah Park Casino in Miami, FL

The more I have been a part of this forum the more scumminess I have been exposed to in both live and online poker.
DarkMattersMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2015, 05:38 PM   #5
4GET2PWNED0
grinder
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 664
Re: Scandal at Hialeah Park Casino in Miami, FL

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkMattersMan View Post
The more I have been a part of this forum the more scumminess I have been exposed to in both live and online poker.
yes there are alot unfortunately but not surprisingly since money is involved. OP and hialeah said unit.........huhuhuhuhuh
4GET2PWNED0 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2015, 05:54 PM   #6
PeteBlow
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Guildford, UK
Posts: 6,115
Re: Scandal at Hialeah Park Casino in Miami, FL

Quote:
Originally Posted by The4thFilm View Post
Why are the TDA rules focused on first card/last card off the deck, seeing mucked cards, who has to show first bull**** minutiae when TDs are robbing daily tournaments blind all across the country?
Probably because that's not what the TDA is for.
The TDA is about establishing a consistent rulebook for tournament poker, in terms of the mechanics of the game. The economics of the game are not part of that.
PeteBlow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2015, 06:05 PM   #7
NoQuarter
old hand
 
NoQuarter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Truth is a menace I heRd
Posts: 1,656
Re: Scandal at Hialeah Park Casino in Miami, FL

JESUS CHRIST


Makes you wonder how many other rooms' Floor/TDs are sneaking money out on a regular basis...wtf
NoQuarter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2015, 06:10 PM   #8
tombradybunch
newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 15
Re: Scandal at Hialeah Park Casino in Miami, FL

what is lenght/breaks?
you mean length/breaks
tombradybunch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2015, 06:57 PM   #9
PokerXanadu
Commander X-2
 
PokerXanadu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 10,395
Re: Scandal at Hialeah Park Casino in Miami, FL

Nicely done investigation, OP. Yes, please report this to the state regulators - the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering. They need to be involved right away.
PokerXanadu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2015, 07:59 PM   #10
Chalupacabra007
journeyman
 
Chalupacabra007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 372
Re: Scandal at Hialeah Park Casino in Miami, FL

Am I the only one on tilt about OP referring to chips as units?
Chalupacabra007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2015, 08:24 PM   #11
pokerdreams
newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 20
Re: Scandal at Hialeah Park Casino in Miami, FL

Place is a joke. They get away with stealing from the patrons like nothing. No control from upper management for nothing. They in trust these local Hialeah thieves to get away with making extra paycheck on the side. Place needs to be reported to the STATE PARI-MUTUEL board for investigation.
pokerdreams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2015, 08:31 PM   #12
pokerdreams
newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 20
Re: Scandal at Hialeah Park Casino in Miami, FL

How does Casino Bosses explain to the patrons that this staff was put together with honesty and integrity, when they are odvious flaws in there employment process. It seems like a lot of friends and partners work there as well. Doesn't management restrict couples/family wotking together?
pokerdreams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2015, 08:50 PM   #13
Cantrell
banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 557
Re: Scandal at Hialeah Park Casino in Miami, FL

Wow, this is insane.
Cantrell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2015, 08:59 PM   #14
rtd353
veteran
 
rtd353's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 2,876
Re: Scandal at Hialeah Park Casino in Miami, FL

tl;dr - scumbags everywhere in the poker world
rtd353 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2015, 09:02 PM   #15
pokerdreams
newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 20
Re: Scandal at Hialeah Park Casino in Miami, FL

This practice is the combination of the Poker room managers and their staff being in 100% agreements to keep their mouths shut . It happens in these small poker rooms because upper management doesn't keep their eyes on them. Its been going on for years at that place Im sure, until Mr. Bob Berstein had a patron or patrons come forward with what they saw.
Mafia type operation. keep your mouth shut or be fired
pokerdreams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2015, 09:09 PM   #16
Asjbaaaf
Ash phonetically
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 3,795
Re: Scandal at Hialeah Park Casino in Miami, FL

thanks for the writeup
Asjbaaaf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2015, 09:12 PM   #17
pokerdreams
newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 20
Re: Scandal at Hialeah Park Casino in Miami, FL

It just so happens that the staff at this casino in question , was roughly 60-70 % assembled by poker rookies that attended the Poker Room Managers training school. Also I have been told that staff members are in relationships with one another, dating, living, or other in appropriate relationships with oneanother, even though the company policy states otherwise. Great place to work at huh.
pokerdreams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2015, 09:13 PM   #18
Ufgators948
centurion
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 179
Re: Scandal at Hialeah Park Casino in Miami, FL

Hialeah is a different country. Believe dat
Ufgators948 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2015, 09:17 PM   #19
BustedNuts16
veteran
 
BustedNuts16's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: i have a belly button
Posts: 2,479
Re: Scandal at Hialeah Park Casino in Miami, FL

Doesn't grinders ex deal here?
BustedNuts16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2015, 09:20 PM   #20
Chrisman886
veteran
 
Chrisman886's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 2,676
Re: Scandal at Hialeah Park Casino in Miami, FL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chalupacabra007 View Post
Am I the only one on tilt about OP referring to chips as units?
Read the poster he has a photo of. It refers to units there as well. He's just referencing that.
Chrisman886 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2015, 09:35 PM   #21
ChoakMyDee
old hand
 
ChoakMyDee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Thailand
Posts: 1,769
Re: Scandal at Hialeah Park Casino in Miami, FL

Not surprised, after all it's Florida.
ChoakMyDee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2015, 09:39 PM   #22
pokerdreams
newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 20
Re: Scandal at Hialeah Park Casino in Miami, FL

Welcome to poker in South Florida , where establishments and staff only care about themselves and fattening their pockets. I hope this goes viral and maybe into the local newspapers, because they are all guilty for allowing this happen for so long. The local patrons deserve better
pokerdreams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2015, 10:13 PM   #23
PokerXanadu
Commander X-2
 
PokerXanadu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 10,395
Re: Scandal at Hialeah Park Casino in Miami, FL

Here is the contact info for the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering:

http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr..._Division.html

I've sent an email pointing to this thread to Steven Kogan, Chief of Investigations.
PokerXanadu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2015, 10:55 PM   #24
look at me now
banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 512
Re: Scandal at Hialeah Park Casino in Miami, FL

Hey everybody,

I final tabled this tournament and was part of the 10 handed chop.

May be grunching but is there any legal recourse to be had here?
look at me now is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2015, 11:05 PM   #25
pokerdreams
newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 20
Re: Scandal at Hialeah Park Casino in Miami, FL

Thanks for the link . I will definitely like The state to give us an explanation as to how this went on unnoticed for months.
And to the gentleman who placed in this tournament , absolutely you are entitled to your prize portion along with the other players who placed in the money. I would file a motion for an investigation
pokerdreams is offline   Reply With Quote

Reply
      

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:42 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2008-2017, Two Plus Two Interactive
 
 
Poker Players - Streaming Live Online