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It’s been a while since we brought you some of the juiciest gossips from the poker world. This time though, we bring you details of some eye-ball popping incidents that have been doing the rounds since the 50th annual WSOP came to a close.
We begin with Finnish poker icon Patrik Antonius who is coming out of a really rough summer in Las Vegas. Antonius, who is a regular at Bobby’s Room, dropped $500,000 in just three days playing $5K/$10K and $6K/$12K cash games, including a $5,000/ $10,000 Omaha-8 game session that ran for 20 straight hours. A clearly shaken Antonius took to Instagram on July 16 to recount how the loss had affected him.
Further adding to his woes are reports that indicate Antonius is owed $700,000 by none other than Grand Theft Auto (GTA) entrepreneur Robert Alexander. Apparently, Alexander had borrowed this money from Antonius years ago, and this news found it`s way in the media only once Alexander managed to land himself into a legal soup. He has been charged with embezzling $1.3 Million from his online game company Kizzang, meaning it’s going to be a very long time before Antonius can even hope to get his money back.
Speaking of embezzlements, does anyone remember Dennis Blieden who took down the World Poker Tour (WPT) L.A. Poker Classic Main Event last year? Blieden who had only three prior recorded live cashes to his name before he won the event is another poker player in a legal mess. The Department of Justice (DOJ) is prosecuting him for allegedly embezzling $22 Million from the L.A.-based digital marketing firm StyleHaul where Blienden was employed.
And while the WSOP was driving the poker community wild, Gus Hansen for one stuck to his all-time favorite haunt – The Bobby’s Room – that has become a second home to him. So much so, that the Great Dane didn’t even blink an eyelid before deciding to drop his pants in public, and that too just to change into another pair for dinner plans!
Patrik Antonius Coming Off a Rough Summer
Finnish poker pro Patrik Antonius is known for being reclusive, but his entrepreneurial ventures have forced him to become more social. Antonius has been a lot more visible of popular social media platforms ever since he launched his first live poker series The Patrik Antonius Poker Challenge (PAPC) and a mobile poker app called First Land of Poker (FLOP) earlier this summer, but what had started as a promising year, soon turned sour for the former tennis pro.
Turns out, Antonius ran terribly at the WSOP, and his bad run even extended to the cash games he played while in Las Vegas. Antonius was unable to post even a single score at the series, and his cash game sessions at Bobby`s Room also ended in the RED. As Antonius admitted on Instagram, he dropped nearly $500,000 playing a $5,000/ $10,000 Omaha-8 game that ran for 20 straight hours!
Losing significant amounts on the felts shouldn’t throw a player like Antonius off track, but it seems like it has. In his recent Instagram post, Antonius got emotional and talked at length on how the loss at Bobby’s Room had affected him.
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Antonius recounted how it started out as a good summer for him, but things didn’t pan out well. “It always hurts a lot to lose that kind of money. It does not feel as good when you win. It feels like normal when you win. But when you lose that much, it’s the biggest anti-adrenaline feeling to me, at least. It really puts you down, and that’s when you test yourself—how strong you are mentally, and how fast you can recover to that better state of mind.”
Incidentally, Antonius also had a minor bout of food poisoning during the game and was off the tables for several hours. In his Instagram video, Antonius admits his losses on the felt also affect his regular life, “because you feel so bad,” saying it’s tough to have a good day, play sports or communicate effectively with others.”
To make matter worse for Antonius, Grand Theft Auto (GTA) entrepreneur Robert Alexander who reportedly owes him around $700K for several years now, has been indicted on embezzlement charges.
In February 2019, Alexander was arrested on embezzlement charges for spending $1.3 Million from his online game company Kizzang for personal use. Now that Alexander is deeply entangled in a legal tussle with the authorities, it seems unlikely that Antonius will see any of that money anytime soon!
WPT Champion Dennis Blieden Embezzles $22 Million From Former Company
Embezzlement seems to be the theme for this feature as our next report has a similar storyline. This time it is a former World Poker Tour (WPT) champion, Dennis Blieden, who has landed himself in legal trouble. Blieden had famously won the WPT Los Angeles Poker Classic Main Event for $1 Million last year. He’s back in the news now and for all the wrong reasons after being indicted last week on charges of embezzling no less than $22 Million from his former company!
The 29-year-old player was the Vice-President of Accounting and Finance in StyleHaul – a Los Angeles-based digital marketing company. Evidently, Blieden had access to the company’s bank accounts and allegedly diverted money into his personal accounts.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged Blieden with illegally transferring $8.4 Million to his account on a crypto exchange. He also wrote $1.2 Million in personal cheques to other poker players and used $1.1 Million to pay off credit card dues.
The indictment charges Blieden, who now lives in Nevada since he left StyleHaul in 2018, with 11 counts of wire fraud, one count of identity theft and two forfeiture counts.
DOJ claims Blieden falsified wire transfer letters from Western Union to cover up his wrongdoings, and show that he was using the money to pay clients.
Did Blieden use the money siphoned to play poker tournaments?! According to the DOJ, he has. We do remember Blieden talking about his plans to enter the $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl last year. If the charges against him are proved, Blieden stands to face a life sentence of up to 200 years in prison.
Gus Hansen Drops His Pants at Bobby’s Room
What do you say when Gus Hansen goes back to his favorite poker room in Vegas, Bobby’s Room in the Bellagio, and loses his pants?! Hansen didn’t lose his pants though, just dropped them a wee too low to be called decent!
Hansen was actually playing a high-stakes cash game at Bobby’s Room, and that is when he decided to change into a new pair of trousers since he had dinner plans afterward. So just like that, with his eyes on the tables, Hansen got out of his clothes and slipped into a pair of trousers. Trust the ‘Great Dane’ to create drama where it couldn’t have existed. Hansen even got his photograph clicked to capture the moment and shared it later on Instagram!
Now, a certain Mr. Ken Strauss was booted out of the WSOP Main Event for dropping his pants at the Rio but looks like the management at Bobby’s Room, only too familiar with Hansen’s antics decided to look the other way.