Dan Bekavac has finally put right the Midway Poker Tour controversy after a 19-month wait. The series co-founder has won a couple of events this year, picking up $173,391 and $252,020 allowing him to settle up with players who were left holding a considerable amount of precious metal they won as prizes.
The Midway Poker Tour hosted an event back in October 2020 and was forced to comply with the Illinois Charitable Gaming Acts and Regulations (230 ILCS30) which set a $500 limit on how much cash could be paid out above returning the tournament buy-in of $1,100.
The way around hosting this event was to find something which was easily exchangeable for cash and so a chunk of precious metal was acquired and arrangements were made for a dealer to be on hand to buy it back straight after cashing.
But then it all started to fall apart when Terence Shiel of the Illinois Attorney General visited the venue to check over the prizes and informed the organisers that selling back the precious metals could not be done on-site.
He also put a stop to a loophole where only a small amount of precious metal would be present and then recycled after each player finished and collected their prize removing the need for so much to be on hand.
This all led to a mild panic when more than $200,000 in precious metals was needed to run the event but eventually it was found, and then the problems started.
Contact details for a buyer was given to players winning a prize but either this person never existed or they didn’t follow through with the agreement, ultimately leaving players stuck with a chunk of precious metal.
But then the issue of value came up when it became apparent that retail price had been paid but players would not be able to cash in at the same value.
At the end of the event Midway Poker Tour employees couldn’t be found anywhere with charity officials left carrying the can without knowing much about running a poker tournament.
Putting it All Right
Speaking to PokerNews, Bekavac said: “I reached out to you in November of 2021 before I even won anything and I asked for the list to get things going because, you know, it’s one of those things I want to take care of, even though, you know, it wasn’t necessarily my responsibility. But, you know, the burden was put on me. It’s just one of those things I don’t like to owe people money and I don’t like the feeling of people thinking I owe anybody money. So, it was always in my head that these people need to get paid. Obviously, I started a business that was doing very well. That’s why I reached out to you and said, let’s get these guys taken care of.”
He added that he was unaware that the markup for the retail sale would be as high as 30% and made clear that Midway Poker Tour was only promoting the event and not running it. This is why none of their staff could be found on the final day.
“I explained that to them thoroughly that if you take 30% of this price pool away, that players are going to revolt,” he said. “I said they’ll wait one day. They are not going to be mad about waiting one day to get their full price, and if for some reason people were from out of town, it even said right in the certificate, I mean, we’ll securely mail you your price and that was the number one solution for me.”
Fortunately, now every player who was owed money has been made whole once again.
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