Will one 83-year-old man defeat Station Casinos and win his $60,000 after all?

  • Who wins in a fight of man against casino? The Nevada Gaming Control Board will reveal all next month
  • Several poker players lost thousands of pounds in the space of two hours when one casino decided not to pay out

83-year-old Avi Shamir is continuing his fight against the Red Rock Casino Resort in Las Vegas after the Station Casinos refused to pay out a jackpot.

Red Rock Casino Resort
Red Rock Casino Resort

As the parent company of Red Rock Resorts, Station Casinos ran the Jumbo Hold ‘Em Poker Progressive Jackpot promotion earlier this year, and its prize pool stood at around $120,000.

Participating in the promotion, Shamir had a promising hand but lost when Len Schreter, poker pro, won the pot with his straight flush. But such is the way of the bad-beat jackpot that when the jackpot is won, all those playing the game when the win occurs (from other properties, too) get a cut of the winnings.

And when Shamir thought he’d won, there were around 80 others playing the game. He calculated that he’d get half of the prize pool, amounting to around $60,000, while Schreter thought he’d get around $30,000. What remained, seemingly, would be split between everyone else playing at that time.

But if a bad-beat jackpot is won in one casino, how will the staff of the other Red Rock Resorts properties know? A light will go off, and cardroom operators in all the properties will need to collect the names and contact information of all current players. Then, the poker room manager at the winning property will ensure that all is in order and pay the money out.

So what’s the problem?

The problem lies in Shamir’s behavior. When Forrest Caldwell, who managed the poker room at the time, went through the CCTV footage of the table, he found that Shamir had actually revealed two of his cards prior to the end of play.

The promotion’s rules – unfortunately for Shamir – state that discussions of any kind occuring among the players during a hand will result in management deciding whether they wish to pay out or not. And Shamir’s exposure of two of his cards counts, sadly, as discussion among players. It was for this reason that Station Casions refused to pay the jackpot.

Facing a backlash

It was also found, however, that the exposure by Shamir of two of his cards had absolutely no impact on the outcome of the poker game.

This is why he, Schreter, and all others who were playing at the time insist that Station Casinos pays out. And Scheter has made his disdain at the decision very known, saying: “According to the TV screen, I had won $12,000.”

“However, within a couple of hours, not only did I lose the $12,000 […] I went from local hero to local bum and, in one case, a local villain.”

The Nevada Gaming Control Board get involved

In the end, it was left up to the Nevada Gaming Control Board to review the situation and make an ultimate decision on whether or not Station Casinos should pay up. So far, they have agreed that Shamir showing his cards had no impact on the game.

However, Station Casinos is fighting back, arguing that they are quite within their right not to pay out, as regardless of the impact of the move on the game, Shamir broke a promotion rule.

We’ll know for certain which way the pendulum will swing by the end of January.

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