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The gossip mills are churning overtime in the poker world and we just had to get you the shocking tidbits! Would you believe, right on the edge of having his autobiography “Pulling the trigger” released, Israeli poker pro Eli Elezra has walked into a controversy! It seems that Elezra didn’t pay several people big amounts of money he had borrowed and when he took to the TwoPlusTwo forums to promote his book, the bullets came showering on him! If Cole South claimed Elezra didn’t pay up, Abe Mosseri has levelled a bigger, more serious allegation. Elezra, he says threatened him and his family to keep quiet about the debt he owes. The entire issue has turned south and Mosseri seems determined to take legal recourse, even as Elezra clarified his stand.
Now if anyone can understand how tough it can be to have the public ire aimed at you its Daniel Negreanu, who just a week back faced the heat for trying to voice his opinion on ‘good’ and ‘bad’ poker players.
Not that Negreanu is bothered. Known for his charitable works, Negreanu has agreed to meet terminally ill fan, Zachary Butler who will soon get to fulfill his dream wish of travelling to Las Vegas to meet Negreanu and play poker with him!
Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates we hear, is also in Vegas these days, rubbing shoulders with high stake pros like Gus Hansen at the famous Bobby’s Room. But Cates’ videos shared on Instagram shows us that he’s not having a very good time at the tables.
Meanwhile a former Kansas Highway Patrol member Michael Frederiksen was recently arrested for lying about taking part in a regular cash game and obstructing an FBI investigation.
Abe Mosseri Claims Eli Elezra Threatened Him & His Family
Three-time bracelet winner Eli Elezra may have gained a lot of popularity after he appeared on the first six seasons of the much-watched TV show ‘High Stakes Poker’ but the recent allegations leveled against him by Abe Mosseri have brought him back into the limelight though for all the wrong reasons.
After Elezra’s autobiography “Pulling The Trigger”was released, two players, Cole South and Abe Mosseri spoke out claiming Elezra owed them both huge amounts.
It happened such that Elezra posted an Ask Me Anything (AMA) thread on the TwoPlusTwo forum on January 17 with the intention of promoting his book. TwoPlusTwo owner Mason Malmuth, who has published the autobiography himself, even promoted the thread on Twitter.
On the thread, a user, “gostatego” asked Elezra about his standings with Shaun Deeb, asking him if he did owe Deeb and a ton of other people from 2015.
Elezra responded, “Shaun and I are on good terms. If you saw us together in the Bahamas playing and chatting, you would understand. Poker players always lending each other money. I always pay my debts”.
A few hours later South decided to comment on the thread. He claimed that the Israeli-born pro owed him money dating way back to 2010. A bitter war of words followed, as South went on to divulge that he had lent $100,000 to Elezra in 2010 and a chunk of which was still not repaid.
“Eli borrowed $100k from me during a cash game in Bobby’s Room on July 15th 2010, toward the end of a long summer where we played a ton against each other and generally got along very well. We didn’t cross paths my final few days in Vegas that summer,” South wrote.
South said that though Elezra had paid $60,000 back, he was still to pay back $40,000. Later, he said, Elezra became non-responsive and though he kept sending him messages, Elezra kept ignoring him.
Now, in Elezra’s book the player has admitted he has been “horrendous with money and regularly borrowed from his businesses to fund his high-stakes poker career”.
As the thread exploded with comments, Elezra kept quiet, even as Malmuth and Mat Sklansky commented. Finally on January 21, Elezra responded. “What happened with Cole and I goes back to the Full Tilt days. He has a very different understanding than I do of what we agreed on back then. It was a private conversation and it is not something I will address here, or on any public forum. This is the last time I will be addressing this issue on this thread. Cole, you are welcome to contact me and we can discuss how to resolve our differences.”
The AMA thread was deleted on January 23, seemingly by Malmuth but not before poker vlogger Doug Polk picked up on the conversation. Polk reached out to Deeb asking him if Elezra still owed him money.
Here’s what Polk stated, “I reached out to Shaun Deeb and asked him what was going on between Eli and him. And he said that payments have been irregular and he has not been fully paid. So, certainly some stuff to dissect here.”
Well, with the thread deleted, the issue somewhat simmered down, until a forum user “AbeMosseri” who claimed to be the high stakes player (by the same name) stated that Elezra owed him $835,000.
What do you know, just about thirty minutes later, Malmuth clarified that he had confirmed, and that the user was not Mosseri but an imposter. So where was the real Mosseri, people wondered!
Elezra did release a statement on the forum on January 30, claiming, ”I never hide from my debts. To the best of my knowledge, every person to whom I have had an outstanding debt (I can count them on one hand) has been OK with the arrangements I have made with them to pay back. For the record, this includes Shaun Deeb, to whom I still owe some money and with whom I am on great, friendly terms.”
The statement went on…“I don’t ignore text messages and haven’t seen him or gotten a message from him [Cole South] in years. The deals and arrangements they [highstakes pros] make in this regard have always been private and I believe they will always remain private. It’s nobody else’s business anyhow”.
Now, a few hours later a new user called “AbeandLeesa” popped up and posted this, ”We will be posting a statement about Eli Elezra as soon as I hear back from my lawyers. The statement he made is sham as I know it. The content will not only be my story but will include threatening and alot of texts and etc he has made in the past few years about the sensational substantial amount of money he owes me and possibly about many others. He has given me no choice to do this and has taken too far.”
Turns out it was the real Mosseri this time. He also claimed that Elezra threatened him and his family, asking them to stay quiet about the debt!
“I decided today to speak out after Eli sent me texts of threats about my family most likely scared I was going to out him. If he had not had made such a stupid and actually a illegal decision to do that you would of never heard from me,” said Mosseri. ““…Figure is 853k. A loan not a gambling debt. It’s the messages lying and saying my family is making threats on his children and he is going to the FBI to have me arrested is scary. It a out and out lie and for those who know me know that. Its a scare tactic and hechas called me all night saying he is going to the Fbi. I have not slept and my we are scared he is that nutz now. My lawyer advised me not to post the texts so Im not.”
“It was the dumbest thing I have ever done and take responsibility for the loan”, Mosseri admitted, adding, “I would appreciate if you guys would not bash my family for they have been hurt enough from Eli and the stupid thing I did out of good faith to a person I thought was a friend. To my family I would like to say I’m sorry”.
The incident sure seems to have blown out of proportion. Elezra claimed later that Mosseri and he go back a long time and have had a reasonable relationship over the years.
“Did I ever threaten people with the FBI? This is so ridiculous! I would never! […] Now they all come and say that I sent threats to Abe? Never ever in my life! […] The only thing I said to him in text was that people tried to threaten me and my family, so I’m going to save those things and if I have to, I’m going to go to the authorities with it.”
While Elezra has also gone into details of how he took the loan and what really transpired between the two, he alleged that the forum moniker ‘AbeandLeesa’ was not being used by Mosseri but Mosseri’s girlfriend to hurl allegations at him. As the two continue to wash their dirty linen in public, the controversy seems far from over!
Daniel Negreanu to Meet & Play Cards With Terminally Ill Man
It was a bad week on Twitter for Daniel Negeanu after he shared his opinion on what kind of player he feels is good for poker and what not. But while many cornered the multiple WSOP bracelet winner, even calling him downright arrogant, others simply blasted him for trying to ‘judge’ poker players.
Now for 33-year old Zachary Butler, these opinions don’t really matter. Butler, who is suffering from a rare genetic disease called ‘Friedeich’s Ataxia’ is one of Negreanu’s biggest fans and has been playing poker for nearly a decade now. He found the whole Twitter storm kind of amusing. “He’s just a funny guy,” Butler said.
Though Negreanu’s personality evokes different reactions from different people, the poker pro does have a distinct streak for charity. In fact the Team PokerStars pro’s PSPC Platinum Pass Adventure revolved around poker fans submitting to him their charitable deeds or a cause close to their hearts.
So when Butler, who is living in a hospital complex in Trezevant, Tennessee and is really on a timer expressed his desire to meet Negreanu, the poker pro just couldn’t refuse. It was the Dream Foundation, a non-profit organization that approached Negreanu with Butler’s request.
And guess what?! Butler will see his dream come true. Not only has he got a three-day free trip to Las Vegas where he will meet Negreanu, he will also play cards with the poker icon! Does he think he has a chance to win?
A smiling Butler told the media people, “I’ll give it all I’ve got, but I doubt it.”
2019 Starts Poorly For Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates Who Loses Big at Bobby’s Room
We all know the legendary stories revolving high stakes player Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates. Cates had only last month reminded Tom Dwan of the durrr challenge that has been pending since 2010. Dwan had back then lost $1.2 Million to Cates playing 20,000 hands out of the agree50,000. On completing the 50,000 hands, Cates would win an additional $1.5 Million.
Now it seems, Cates has been having a rather tough time off late when it comes to money. Cates recently posted a few videos on Instagram updating his fans about the games he’s been playing at Bobby’s Room in the Bellagio. But from the looks of it, it doesn’t look like he’s doing well.
The first session that he recorded had faces like Gus Hansen, Timofey Kuznetsov and Scott Seiver on the table. The ‘Great Dane’ who is quite a regular at Bobby’s room had also shared snippets from that session a while back. Cates showed his stack, explaining that he was bragging. On the contrary he said, he was “losing a Lamborghini or something…”
Despite his evident losses, Cates was back in action at the Bobby’s room and some of the players on the table included online pro Chris Kruk who is one of the most popular poker training video producers today. Needless to say, Hansen was also very much in the mix.
Even though Cates may not agree, he does have a flair for recording poker moments. A little consolation for his losses, though!
Michael Frederiksen Arrested For Obstructing FBI Investigation About Poker Game
Michael Frederiksen, who is a former Kansas Highway Patrol Member, was arrested on the charges of obstructing an FBI investigation last January and accused of lying about taking part in a regular cash game.
The 53-year retiree from the force was convicted of the charge in a trial by jury in May, but the sentence is much lighter than what prosecutors were asking for. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mona Furst had requested a five-year probationary period for Frederiksen, but the judge denied the request, referring to him as a “highly unique defendant.”
Testimony and evidence from the trial left no doubt that he had indeed been playing in the underground game, despite downplaying his involvement.
Video evidence of Frederiksen taking part in the game which was being run in the Old Town district of Wichita in 2014 was obtained by the FBI investigators. The poker house was well equipped with multiple tables, cabinets for chips and surveillance video with waitresses serving booze and food.
The illegal operation came to light when a Wichita police detective posing as a player was allowed to take part in the game. The officer even tried to take a video of the game but was pulled aside and asked to stop. Still, he was allowed to continue playing, all the while gathering intelligence which would later be used to help with convictions.
Following his arrest, however, Frederiksen told investigators that he had no ties to the game. In fact, Frederiksen’s lawyer Melanie Morgan intends to appeal the guilty verdict based on claims that there is a “real disagreement” about how her client’s interview with the FBI went down.
One of the retired trooper’s former lawyers agrees. Marcos Montemayor insists that Frederiksen didn’t lie to the FBI, rather, he couldn’t remember the details when questioned about the games that took place nearly three years ago.
For his part, Frederiksen said that he had testified in court on hundreds of occasions and has never been accused of lying.