5 Minutes Read
Poker players courting controversy is no surprise but what do you say when someone found guilty of a £40 million money laundering scam and a major pan-European VAT fraud finishes up his jail sentence and returns to win poker tournaments one after the other?! Adam Lulat has been doing just that. Not that Lulat’s sweat on the poker tables is doing him much good. Instead, Lulat has once again been caught by the U.S. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and stripped of his tournament prize money for a second time!
888poker ambassador Sofia Lövgren seems to be running a busy schedule nowadays, and it’s got nothing to do with poker. Lövgren has set for herself pretty big goals in physical fitness and is all pepped up to run in the Spartan Obstacle Race. Now, we asked Uncle Google what this race is all about, and it seems it’s not that easy to crack. The obstacle race will comprise of 240 races across 25 countries spread over the entire year. Not an easy challenge to put yourself up to but Lövgren seems all gung-ho about it!
Convicted Fraudster Ordered to Hand Over Poker Winnings
Poker and controversy have an age-old relationship, but for Adam Lulat who’s been on beast mode recently, controversy is a shadow he’s not been able to give the slip.
Lulat came to limelight when he won the £275 NLHE Main Event at the 2012 LCI UK Poker Tour in Manchester. His winnings weren’t much – he banked £5,410, but Lulat’s poker skills were noticed. Lulat kept picking up scores in tournaments hosted across various locations in the UK, but in 2015, his fledgling poker career came to an abrupt halt after he was convicted of fraud.
Lulat was found involved in a £40 Million money laundering scam. He was part of a six-man gang that actively laundered cash through multiple bank accounts in the UK and other countries between September 2010 and November 2011. Shockingly, the same group was also found to be running a separate VAT fraud.
Lulat did serve a 28-month prison sentence for his involvement in the scam but managed to give the authorities the slip as far as paying them back was concerned. In fact, Lulat claimed he had no assets and got away by paying only £1 as fine!
Time has flown by, and since his return from the prison, Lulat has returned to poker big time. Last year in March, he took down the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour GUKPT Leg 2 £1,110 NLHE Main Event for £68,930. This was Lulat’s biggest win till date, and the 26-year old seemed to be on a roll! But the happiness was short-lived for the player from Preston. Months later, the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) got whiff of Lulat’s win and ordered him to pay them the £68,930 he had won. If Lulat had assumed that was the end of his trouble with the tax authorities, he was in for a shock!
Lulat, who won another major poker tournament found the HMRC knocking at his doors yet again. After a confiscation hearing at the Manchester Crown Court on March 20, Lulat was ordered to hand over to the tax authority, the £30,200 he pocketed at the tournament.
Assistant director at the HRMC Fraud Investigation Service, Debbie Porter said, “Lulat may have hoped that his win would go under the table, but once again we had an ace up our sleeve and it is HMRC cashing in his chips! This sends a clear message that HMRC will relentlessly pursue criminals for their ill-gotten gains.”
Sofia Lövgren Prepares For Spartan Obstacle Race
Poker and fitness have been known to have little in common, but this trend is fast changing. Recently, a lot of poker players have been working hard to stay in shape including Daniel Negreanu, Lex Veldhuis, and Dan Bilzerian. 888poker Ambassador Sofia Lövgren is also a part of this list, in fact on the extreme end of the spectrum as she is getting ready to compete in the Spartan Obstacle Race in Singapore on April 27, 2019.
Captioned as ‘Hell on Earth,’, the obstacle race’s official website gives a brief explanation of what the race comprises of:
“Spartan Race is the world’s best obstacle course race, with over 240 races in 25 countries around the world this year. Spartan Race is not your everyday running race – expect to run, climb, push, pull, throw and crawl through walls, hills, trees, mud, barbed wire and other challenging but fun obstacles. All Spartan courses are designed to challenge you physically. We can’t spell out what exactly you will face, what fun would that be. However, we can assure there will be fire, mud, water, barbed wire, and occasionally Hell on Earth. Spartan Race is designed to pull you from your comfort zone and challenge you.”
After reading that explanation, you’d be scratching your head and thinking ‘why would anyone want to willingly put themselves through that?!?’
But Lövgren seems confident and has also been training really hard to prepare herself for what seems to be the ultimate show of resilience.
View this post on Instagram
Week 4. Bodybuilding and kickboxing challenge. I've been going to the gym every morning for an hour, 6 times a week. Makes me feel so focused and productive for the rest of the day! In one month I will participate in the Spartan Obstacle Race in Singapore. It's a 5km run with 23 tough obstacles. Really looking forward to winning this competition! 😜🏋🏽♀️🤸🏻♀️🏃♀️💪 #pokerplayer #pokerpro #athlete #bodybuilding #fitness #fitnesspecialist #fitnesschallenge #spartan #spartanrace #gosof #letskickass
However, Lövgren will not be competing alone, as she will be joined by a group of her friends and personal trainers from her gym in the race. Nonetheless, she will compete individually in the women’s elite group. We wish Sofia all the best for the race!