10 Mins Read
As the drama in the world of poker and gambling continues, the gossip mills keep churning out the juicy stories. In this edition of our PokerGuru Gossip Column, we bring you three stories that are sure to keep you entertained.
First up, we learn about the decision taken by boxer David Haye to trade his boxing gloves for poker as he prepares for the 2019 GUKPT Goliath event.
Next, we present a report on the 32 arrests made by the New York Police Department (NYPD) regarding a large-scale distribution network of narcotics and gambling.
In our third and final story, we discuss the high life that Detroit based poker pro Nic Manion is currently living with his new found riches after his fourth place finish in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event World Championship.
So, without further ado, let get right to it!
Right after WSOP bracelet winner James Obst`s decision to leave poker for tennis, news of a boxer becoming a professional poker player came through. The athlete in question is none other than the British boxer David Haye.
The 37-year-old former world champion recently revealed his plans of joining the mind sport after retiring from boxing. He will possibly be sponsored by U.K.-based company that operates 55 casinos and runs the regional Grosvenor U.K. Poker Tour, i.e. Grosvenor Casinos, and may even aim to compete in the tour’s flagship 2019 GUKPT Goliath.
In a statement released to the Daily Mail, the boxer stated, “I’ve always been intrigued by the skill and strategy of poker, so to be able to have the opportunity to work with Grosvenor Casinos and learn from some of the best players on the world circuit was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.”
Talking about preparing for the Goliath event, he said, “The next 12 months will be exciting, but I am also acutely aware that they will also be extremely challenging. I’m a complete novice so it’s a huge task, but I am looking forward to the challenge and getting my teeth into something new before taking on Goliath.”
He was recently spotted at the Goliath 18 tournament.
— David Haye (@mrdavidhaye) August 3, 2018
The intensity of the competition at @Grosvenorcasino #Goliath18 tournament yesterday was fierce! 12 months, to learn the skill and hold my own amongst the best #DavidVsGoliath19 #WherePokerLives pic.twitter.com/xNK8y2YWXQ
— David Haye (@mrdavidhaye) August 4, 2018
With local coaches Joe Beevers, Jeff Kimber and Katie Swift around to help Haye, this ex world champion may well be able to hold his own against the poker pros by next year.
The NYPD arrested 32 individuals on charges of narcotics and gambling after a large-scale distribution network in East Village and West Village was discovered.
With the help of an extensive wiretap investigation, the law enforcement authorities were able to discover an alleged cocaine and heroin distribution network based in the East Village and a related gambling operation located in the West Village. The investigation led to the arrest of 32 individuals in New York City (NYC), Massachusetts, Georgia and Florida.
The charges levied against the arrested individuals include conspiracy, criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal sale of marijuana, promoting gambling and money laundering.
The Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for NYC released a statement saying, “The investigation began with cocaine and heroin trafficking and ultimately led police to a sophisticated illegal gambling operation that catered to a clientele of New York City professionals.”
NYPD identified 52-year-old David Diaz as the alleged head of both the narcotics distribution network and gambling operation, which includes the Poker House and an online gambling business. He allegedly worked with two top associates, 43-year old Geeta Singh and 38-year-old Benjamin Guerrero. While Singh served as the manager and promoter of the gambling operation, Guerrero was called the “pit boss” and was responsible for the West Village Poker House.
Authorities said the defendants sold approximately $50,000 in drugs to undercover officers who were stationed at the West Village gambling house. “As a result of the combined efforts of the undercover operation and the wiretap investigation, police were able to identify the hierarchy and methods of the gambling operation,” the prosecutor’s office said.
Police officials said, “Players at lower stakes tables on the first floor were required to purchase a minimum of $200 in chips, while higher stakes players upstairs were required to purchase $500 in chips”.
A total of approximately $125,000 cash, multiple money counters, gambling records, thousands of poker chips and two vehicles, as well as a handgun, a shotgun and an air rifle were recovered by the police. Over two pounds of suspected cocaine, heroin, marijuana and Xanax pills were also recovered.
NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill commended all of the investigators that spearheaded the months-long probe stating, “We will continue to be relentless in our mission to dismantle these types of illicit operations and bring the criminals who run them to justice.”
If you got a million dollars playing poker what would you do? Go on a holiday, buy a house or maybe but your dream car? Cause that’s exactly what WSOP Main Event fourth place finisher Nic Manion did. But instead of buying one car, he bought two!
The 35-year-old poker player from Detroit stated that he had never made more than $30,000 a year before coming incredibly close to winning the WSOP Main Event World Championship title last month. But when the wire transfer from the WSOP went through to his bank account, stating “your account balance is now two million, eight hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars”, he was understandably thrilled and couldn’t wait to purchase all the material possessions he previously couldn’t afford.
Manion bought two automobiles – a 2019 Corvette Z06 and 2018 Chevrolet Silverado Duramax LTZ truck – valued at $126,195 combined, according to the MSRP. His other purchase, a 2019 Cherokee Wolf Pack Hauler Trailer, costs an estimated $39,000.
The poker pro stated that he was thinking of his family while making these purchases. “We’ve always went to the [Upper Peninsula] camping and stuff. And my parents can now travel and use this stuff whenever, and my sister, her husband and their 2-year-old. So, it’s not just for me, but a family investment thing,” he added.
Social media quickly picked on Manion’s spending spree with several people tweeting about his extravagant purchases.
— Tony Paul (@TonyPaul1984) August 2, 2018
So, how is Muskegon’s Nic Manion (@spewzata) enjoying his huge financial windfall after his fourth-place showing at the World Series of Poker Main Event last month?
— Tony Paul (@TonyPaul1984) August 5, 2018
While Manion`s scorecard stood at just $16,000 in lifetime tournament winnings prior to the Main Event, he made more in one tournament than he had his entire life, but he isn’t yet as rich as some might think. Out of the $2.85 Million he won, Manion owes 50% to his friend and backer, Jeremy Martin, and 3.5% total to two other small investors. Even though he is certainly better off financially than a month ago but deducting taxes from his winnings along with his recent major purchases, he isn’t in any position to comfortably retire quite yet.
And with that we wrap up yet another edition of the PokerGuru Gossip Column, but we’ll be back soon with more exciting happening from the world of poker!