If you are familiar with gambling in any form, then you have probably heard the phrase ‘the house always wins’ on multiple occasions. In July 2017, 83 year old Avi Shamir thought he finally managed to defy the odds and win a bad-beat jackpot at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Station Casinos is the parent company of Red Rock Resorts and was running a special promotion called Jumbo Hold ‘Em Poker Progressive Jackpot which had a prize pool of around $120,000. Shamir came up with a great hand and thought he had won but then recreational poker pro Len Schreter surprised Shamir when he came up with a straight flush and won the pot.
Bad Beat Jackpot Conditions
The bad beat jackpot works in such a way that if the jackpot is won, then current players playing the jackpot from the five Station Casino properties in Nevada get a cut of the total jackpot. There were close to 80 poker players playing the popular jackpot when Shamir thought he came up with a winning hand. The 83 year old gambler was expecting to take home 50 percent of the jackpot which works up to around $60,000. Schreter was expected to receive around $30,000 of the jackpot and the rest of the cash was to be split amongst the rest of the players.
A light automatically goes off at all Station Casino properties when a bad beat jackpot is won. The process requires poker room operators to immediately take down the names of the players participating in the jackpot and record their contact information. The poker room manager where the winning hand took place will verify if everything is in order before the jackpot is paid out.
Why Station Casinos Does Not Want To Pay Out?
Forrest Caldwell was in charge of the poker room at the Red Rock Resort when the Jumbo Hold ‘Em Poker Progressive Jackpot was won. However, when Caldwell and his team went through the surveillance footage, they found that Shamir had shown two of his cards before the game was fully completed and as a result Red Rock Resort decided not to pay the jackpot.
Rules for the Jumbo Hold ‘Em Poker Progressive Jackpot state that if any discussions take place amongst players during the course of a hand, then it will be up to the discretion of the management to decide whether to pay or not pay the jackpot. Station Casinos ruled that the surveillance video clearly shows Shamir exposing his two cards which qualifies as communication amongst players. As a result, Station Casinos decided not to pay the jackpot and Shamir was very disappointed and realized that the house always wins.
Station Casinos Receiving Flak For Not Paying Out
While the video surveillance clearly shows Shamir exposing his two cards before the game could end, it is also clear that his move had no impact on the final outcome of the game. This is why Shamir and Schreter along with other bad beat poker players want Station Casinos to pay out the jackpot.
In a statement, Schreter said “According to the TV screen, I had won $12,000. And because the room was filled with other winners, I was a local hero. However, within a couple of hours, not only did I lose the $12,000, but because the other players also lost, I went from local hero to local bum and, in one case, a local villain.”
Nevada Gaming Control Board To Make Decision
The Nevada Gaming Control Board has already reviewed the CCTV footage and concluded that Shamir’s move that resulted in two cards being exposed at the end had no bearing on the final outcome of the jackpot. Station Casinos does not agree with this decision and said that they had conducted a detailed internal investigation and found that player communication took place during the game and as a result, it was well within its right to not pay the jackpot as per the rules of the game.
The Gaming Control Board is expected to make a final ruling on the matter during Jan 2018. Should the ruling go against Station Casinos, then they have the right to file an appeal in the Clark County District Court.