Last week at the latest Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board meeting, the SugarHouse was fined$32,500 for dealing a hand of an unauthorized game during an early 2017 session that followed a Poker After Dark taping. The fine came from two separate incidents, with one of the incidents involving Jeremy Kaufman and high stakes poker player and vlogger Doug Polk. A video of the hand was posted on YouTube.
In addition to the hand involving Polk and Kaufman, the SugarHouse Casino was also fined for a separate incident for dealing Open-Faced Chinese.
PA casinos are only allowed to deal poker games authorized by the state, with the breaking of the rules subject to a fine.
In March 2017, high stakes poker player and vlogger Doug Polk shared a video of a 10-card poker hand played after a Poker Night in America taping, in which Doug Polk and Jeremy Kaufman “flipped” for $84,000.
Each player put $42,000 at risk before cards were dealt with no additional betting allowed, essentially giving each player an equal chance to win. A video of the incident was filmed by Shawn Deeb and posted after the game on the Doug Polk YouTube channel.
With a few cards left to be revealed and Polk ahead, Kaufman offered Polk a $25,000 buyout, which he accepted. Polk’s acceptance of the bet turned out to be a good move as Kaufman would have received earned straight.
The game, a variation of 7-card Stud, is a novelty game that is not allowed by the state of Pennsylvania.
During the PGCB meeting on March 6th, the board cited the video as evidence of the unauthorized hand and fined the SugarHouse Casino.
Two poker room supervisors apparently instructed the employee to deal the hand. After the incident, the employee was given a warning while the two supervisors were disciplined and then resigned. As a result of the incident, the SugarHouse Casino promised to provide training to employees to minimize the chance of similar issues happening again.
After the ruling, Doug Polk apologized for his role in the hand saying he was not familiar with Pennsylvania regulations. Neither player involved in the hand nor Shaun Deeb was fined.
“I just thought it would be a fun thing to stream that people on my channel would like seeing. Especially coming from Las Vegas where flips are completely acceptable, I didn’t really think that it could cause any issues. Once again, I apologize that my actions caused harm to others, even if it was inadvertently.”
Shaun Deeb, the player filming the hand, also expressed regret for his role in the incident.
“We all apologized to the staff who got in trouble for us pushing them to allow it. We took advantage of their kindness.”