And now for the other bad beat jackpot story of the day. The Nevada Gaming Control Board has ruled in favor of the players who stood to win money in the Station Casino bad beat jackpot after Stations management refused to pay out because of an inadvertent rule violation by one of the players involved in the hand.
As we reported about two months ago, the hand occurred at Red Rock Resort on July 7th. Both Len Schreter and Avi Shamir hit monster hands – straight flushes – but Schreter hit the top-end of the straight flush, resulting in what would normally be one hell of a cooler for Shamir. But this triggered the bad beat jackpot of about $120,000, which meant that as the loser of the hand, Shamir had won $60,000 (approximately). Schreter was due $30,000 as the winner and more than 80 players who were active in hands at bad beat jackpot tables across all of Stations’ properties got to split the rest.
To the shock of everyone involved, though, Red Rock poker manager Forrest Caldwell (after sending it up the ladder) ruled that the Schreter had violated the rules of the promotion when he turned over his cards out of turn on the river. The rule in question was “discussion of hands during the play by players, at the discretion of management, may void a Jumbo Hold ‘Em Jackpot.”
The thing was, it was not only completely inadvertent by Schreter, was he was a recreational player and extremely excited that he was about to make an enormous score, but it had no effect on the hand, as all the chips were already in the pot.
As a result, several players, including Shamir and Schreter, filed complaints against Stations to the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Investigator Bill Olliges determined that Schreter’s action had no effect on the hand and therefore Stations should pay out. Stations, though, appealed and a hearing was held in December. Olliges took up the investigation again and again saw no reason that Stations should not award the jackpot. Thus, the Gaming Control Board reaffirmed its decision last week.
There is a chance that Stations Casinos could appeal again and actually go to court, but one would think that the company would be insane to do that. At no point has anyone involved in the process been on Stations’ side and going to court could be disastrous from a public relations standpoint (as if things weren’t already bad).
It’s actually odd that Stations would put up such a fight in the first place. All or most of the jackpot is created from the extra drop at the bad beat jackpot tables, a drop paid for by the players. Stations would probably be out exactly zero dollars by paying the jackpot (“probably” because I’m not 100% certain if Stations put in any money to start the jackpot). What Stations was likely trying to do was avoid payment so that the jackpot would stay high and therefore draw more customers.