A poker professional who routinely crisscrosses the States of America and the tournament poker circuit will have plenty of opportunities to meet and socialize with the people of this country (and, in some cases, the world). One of those poker pros allegedly took it a bit farther than that, bilking fellow travelers out of thousands of dollars in cash as he traveled the country in pursuit of poker glory.
Michael Borovetz Arrested in Detroit After Multiple Complaints
The interesting story of Michael Borovetz and his trip to Detroit earlier this week is one that many wouldn’t believe. According to police reports, Borovetz was traveling from Seattle to Miami and was connecting to his next flight in Detroit when airport police arrested him. From their investigations, Borovetz was accused of two counts of “false pretenses with intent to defraud,” according to the report.
“Borovetz is known at airports across the country for approaching passengers with a sad story in an attempt to get money, while promising to pay it back,” airport officials said in a statement that was released to the media. “Once Borovetz receives the money, the victims never hear from him again.” Apparently, this wasn’t the first time that Borovetz had done this; he apparently had run this ruse for at least four years but, without knowledge of his travel habits, the Detroit authorities couldn’t get a line on when he would be in their jurisdiction. When they received info about his travels to Miami earlier this week, airport law enforcement set a plan to capturing Borovetz.
While there was no dollar amount mentioned in coordination with this scam, it could be well into the thousands of dollars. Wayne County Airport Authority spokeswoman Lisa Gass stated that they were receiving “many” phone calls from others who potentially had been defrauded by Borovetz. Additionally, their investigation led them to find that Borovetz had a lengthy criminal past, including fraud convictions, that covered 13 states. Borovetz’s bond was set at $100,000 and, if convicted, he could face up to a year in jail on each count against him.
Borovetz Has Prior History
While it would be easy to dismiss the charges against Borovetz, he apparently has a prior history of such acts, especially in New Jersey. According to Daniel Smyth at CardsChat, Borovetz was arrested by the New Jersey Port Authority for allegedly bilking a fellow ferry rider out of $200. In April 2018, he was charged with “theft by deception,” but his comments after the arrest were what were the most interesting turn.
Smyth’s sleuthing revealed that Borovetz had allegedly admitted to such actions previously. In 2014 Borovetz, using the alias “PSUMike,” allegedly wrote a lengthy post on the chat boards at Two Plus Two regarding allegations brought on the forum. In that post, Borovetz admitted, “I just now read through the whole thread and let me state this emphatically: Everything the initial op has stated is 100% true.”
Smyth detailed out what Borovetz wrote on the Two Plus Two forum, which followed the modus operandi of the actions alleged by the Detroit authorities. Blaming a “gambling addiction,” Borovetz said he would:
1) Give story to try and [sic] get money.
2) Gamble money to try and [sic] win more money so I don’t have to go to airport anymore.
3) Lose all of the money in the pit and go back to #1 or win money, leave, come back the next day thinking I can win more money and proceed to lose it all.”
Borovetz a Veteran of the Poker World
Since 2004, Borovetz has been a stalwart of the tournament poker world. He has racked up almost $600,000 in tournament cashes ($598,958, according to the Hendon Mob Database), with a victory on the World Series of Poker Circuit in 2006 in Atlantic City as the highlight. Over the span of his career, Borovetz was able to rack up 16 cashes in WSOP sanctioned events, along with that ring victory in 2006, and was a fixture on the World Poker Tour circuit.
There is no word on whether Borovetz has made bail as of yet nor any information as to court dates for him. Poker News Daily will continue to follow the case.