A World Series of Poker bracelet winner has been accused of operating illegal slot machine gambling in the state of California, according to an indictment.
Gal Yifrach, a poker player with more than $2.1 million in live tournament earnings, has been charged with running an illegal gambling business in California “involving supplying, operating, and maintaining video slot machines and devices” and laundering the proceeds using chips from a legal poker room near his home, according to a federal indictment first obtained by The Daily Beast.
Yifrach has been a longtime regular in high-stakes cash games, including on Live at the Bike! and Hustler Casino Live. Neither the Bike or Hustler has been accused of any wrongdoing in the case.
Authorities allege that Yifrach operated unlicensed slot machines “from various locations” in the Golden State. The illegal gambling business allegedly went on from March 2018 to July 2020.
The 34-year-old won his WSOP bracelet the same year that his alleged illegal gambling business kicked off. Yifrach took down the 2018 $3,000 six-max no-limit hold’em event, overcoming a field of 868 total entries to win $461,798.
Reports at the time described him as a “Los Angeles entrepreneur.”
Last WSOP, Yifrach earned the biggest score of his career, banking $495,305 for third place in the $50,000 buy-in high roller event. He also has a WSOP Circuit ring that he won back in 2017.
The feds have accused him of laundering the slot machine money through poker games at at least one Southern California card room. He allegedly traded the ill-gotten cash for poker chips, later converting the chips into checks.
Ironically, Yifrach also allegedly owned a laundromat in San Jose until 2019.
His co-defendants are Nick Shkolnik, Shalom Ifrah, and Yosef Yitzchak Beshari. Shkolnik is also a poker player with more than $1 million in career tournament earnings. He has a WSOP Circuit ring of his own, along with a Heartland Poker Tour title.
The indictment includes the forfeiture of assets, including more than $500,000 and three real estate properties in California. Each defendant faces up to 25 years in federal prison if convicted.