Unfortunately, there is a need for “poker players behaving badly” to become a regular column. Calling out scammers and those who simply make very bad decisions can become a deterrent. If nothing else, it is a way to let the unsavory characters know that their behavior will be presented to the poker public.
Bilzerian Linked to Fraud?
Hard to believe, I know.
Dan Bilzerian may no longer be a representative of GGPoker after he threw the company and most people in poker under a giant bus, but his connection to poker is undeniable.
His company, Ignite International Brands, is a “lifestyle brand” that sells CBD products, vape pens and nicotine, alcohol, and a variety of products that are odes to the company’s founder and his ego. Evidently, fraud agencies in the United States and Canada are not big fans.
The publicly-traded company has always been suspected of nefarious dealings, but its operation as a public company prompted government organizations to investigate said suspicions. Specifically, there were key incidents that inspired investigations, such as spending issues, millions of dollars in marketing that led to no sales, and the appearance of cooked books.
Ignite posted a loss of $50M in 2020. That year, the company also applied for and received a $1M bailout from Covid-19 pandemic losses. Suspicious activities or lack thereof, prompted the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate the inner workings of Ignite.
In late 2021, Ignite departed the Canadian market. In the summer of 2022, Ignite went from a publicly-traded company to a private company, apparently to avoid disclosing private information.
The OSC actually started investigating Ignite in 2021, and the US SEC jumped into the murky waters on in late August 2022. The SEC filing is actually taking its matter to a judge, seeking a court order to force Ignite to cooperate with an investigative subpoena for documents. The goal is to see if there is evidence of Bilzerian’s company violating federal securities laws by making false or misleading statements as far back as 2020.
So far, Ignite has not cooperated with the subpoena “despite multiple accommodations by the SEC staff.”
The affidavit in support of the order shows that Ignite has provided tens of thousands of documents to the DoJ in response to a separate criminal investigation into the company. $BILZ $BILZF pic.twitter.com/uOrt5li2ZM
— Nate Anderson (@ClarityToast) August 30, 2022
Swap or No Swap?
It happened before Espen Jorstad even made the 2022 WSOP Main Event final table. Alex Theologis contacted Jorstad on Day 7 of said tournament to wish him luck and to confirm that they swapped 3% of action. Jorstad immediately responded that he didn’t write down any information about a swap between the two, and Theologis said he didn’t have it in writing.
At the time that Jorstad was playing the Main Event final table, Theologis was insisting that he had 3% of Jorstad’s action. The conversation between the two continued after Jorstad won his $10M.
While Theologis had no record or evidence of the swap, he insisted that Jorstad was in the wrong. He texted:
“Not sure what to do or say at this point, I feel so betrayed and disappointed I guess, I never expected to experience something like this as I only swap with people I think are trustworthy and especially from you. Lesson learnt I guess, not sure how you can sleep at night and be happy with yourself but yeah.”
Further, a drunk man approached Jorstad in Cyprus, threatening violence and ordering Jorstad to pay Theologis that 3% of $10M. That incident followed a private Instagram message from another person instructing Jorstad to pay the 3%.
The following post is regarding a WSOP main event swap dispute with community member Alex Theologis, aka Pwndidi:
— Espen Uhlen Jørstad (@UhlenPoker) August 29, 2022
Theologis responded that he had no affiliation with either party that approached Jorstad. Other respected members of the poker community vouched for Theologis’ character and noting that even if the swap memory was in error, it was an innocent and honest mistake.
Joey Ingram eventually conducted an interview with Theologis to clarify his side of the matter. He insisted that he did have the swap, but he agreed to let the situation go and not pursue it further. He took responsibility for not verifying the swap.
-I interviewed Alex on video to hear his side of the story
-Alex says he agrees that 0% is owed & assumed the dispute over
-He didn't send anyone to confront Espenhttps://t.co/QO1BwEO8Sk pic.twitter.com/vqH4145p1B
— Joey Ingram 🐉 (@Joeingram1) August 30, 2022
Online poker player and streamer WeePro is always alerting the poker community of scams and unsavory characters in the poker sphere.
Lately, she called attention to two people who appear not to be on the up and up. First, it was the account @SinCityWagering with the screen name SinCity Spreads. WeePro amplified the whistleblowing tweet of @dchaney03, who accused Sin City Wagering of scamming relatively small amounts of money from players on Americas Cardroom.
📣 Poker Twitter beware‼‼
It seems @SinCityWagering is out here scamming people in the poker community.
PLEASE remember to NEVER send funds first to someone you don't know, or VOUCH for them – even if they're a streamer! Streamers can scam too!!! 🙄 https://t.co/Kw4hdUFbRb
— ✨ WeePro ✨ (@WeePro83) August 19, 2022
The most recent WeePro tweet addressing scams came just this week. She warned players of booking action with Tahir Ali, as he backed out of a deal.
— ✨ WeePro ✨ (@WeePro83) September 6, 2022
While he tried to rebut some of her claims on Twitter, he didn’t fully address her allegation and instead resorted to insults. He claimed that WeePro selected only some of their back-and-forth messages to show, but he did not respond with any alleged missing messages.