Three Poker Players Have $26k Confiscated by Customs in Bahamas

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usaIf you are flying from out of country back into the United States after a poker series, you should definitely take this story into account before making any final decisions about what to do with your winnings.

This story relates to three poker players who were playing in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) in the Bahamas, and were headed back after the tournament series had ended.  They were going through customs in order to get back to the United States, and had their winnings carried on with them.  Now, between the three of them there was $26k, but the law states that players cannot travel with more than $10k in cash.  The three players thought that they were in the clear, as they split the $26k between the three of them, which meant that all of them were under $10k each.  The only problem with this though, is that the law actually says that the $10k limit is for entire families.

The three players who were involved are all related as well, and it included 18 year old Sean Ruane, 23 year old Michael Ruane (his brother), and their cousin, 18 year old Thomas Freeman Jr.  They headed through customs, and the youngest brother became nervous and started sweating, which led to the officials at customs looking more in-depth at the situation.  When all was said and done, the three were detained for falsely declaring the amount of money that they were carrying with them.

Fortunately for the three of them, the Deputy Chief Magistrate Carolita Bethell who handled the case, wasn’t incredibly hard on them.  She did make them sweat a bit before laying down their final sentence though.  In the end, while the three players’ defense attorney was asking for the judge to waive the custodial sentence, the players decided to plead guilty to the charged that was given to them.  What this meant was that the players were forced to give up the money that they attempted to bring back to the United States.  The reason for this was because of their clean records, and the fact that they did not “waste the courts time” since they pleaded guilty.

Two Former World Champs Win Side Events at PCA

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2012 Pokerstars Caribbean AdventureCurrently in the Bahamas, the popular talks around town are about the current PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.  Whether it is the $100k entry High Roller event that drew in a first place prize of over $1 million, or the PCA Main Event which is nearly its way down to the final table, people are talking about this incredibly popular tournament series which has started 2012 off with a bang.  What many people aren’t talking about though is the fact that we have now seen two former World Series of Poker Main Event winners take down side events at the PCA this year as well!

The first big time player to take down a win was Jonathan Duhamel, who was in the news just a few weeks back for some non-related poker news, as his house was the target of a home invasion and a robbery.  Duhamel has recovered from everything though, and has pulled in some nice results at the 2012 PCA.  First off, Duhamel had a nice fourth place finish at the High Roller event, in which he took home a payday of $313,600.  Then came his win at the $5k No Limit Hold’em 8-max event this week, in which he had to beat out a star-studded final table that included Jason Mercier, Pius Heinz, gold bracelet winner Kevin Stammen, and two online poker pros in Owen Crowe and Laurence Houghton.  Duhamel beat out 157 other players, and won the first place prize of $249,830.

Cada’s win on the other hand came from the $2k No Limit Hold’em event, that drew in 348 players.  Cada won $175,550 for his strong run, and he beat out a player who many people feel is on the rise in Michael Telker in the end.  The final table of this event also included two well-known pros in Shannon Shorr who finished in 4th place, and a PokerStars pro in JC Alvarado who wound up in 6th.

Both Cada and Duhamel are two of the more liked poker pros in the game, and also two players who could be looking at having some impressive years in 2012.  Keep an eye out for them at some of the coming poker tournament series’ in the next few months, including the WSOP!

Randy Lew to Attempt to Break World Record at PCA

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2012 Pokerstars Caribbean AdventureMany people in both the online poker world and the live poker world know the popular name Randy “nanonoko” Lew.  He is an online juggernaut and has brought in some incredibly impressive results in recent years.  In a bit of interesting news, Lew will attempt to become a Guinness World Record holder, by breaking a poker record at the 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure tournament.  As far as the world record goes, no one, not even Lew knows exactly what world record that he will be looking to break.  The reason for this is that both PokerStars and Lew have decided to let the poker world make the decision for them.

The decision will be made on the popular online poker forum, Two Plus Two.  PokerStars VIP Manager “PokerStarsCaleb” posted that they were looking for a world record for Lew to break this upcoming January.  It can be a wide range of things, but the general idea behind the record has to be something simple and straight forward that even someone who doesn’t play poker could understand.  They also are hoping that it can have something to do with online poker in some way, which will be interesting as it is a live poker tournament.

While there have been many different ideas coming out for the world record, PokerStars and Lew are looking for something that stands out above the rest.  PokerStars has offered to give the person who comes up with the best suggestion a free entry into the $215 Sunday Million on their site this upcoming weekend.  When all of the world record options are up, both PokerStars and Lew will make the decision in the end.

Lew is incredibly popular in the game of poker, and has hit Supernova Elite status four years straight up until 2011.  His streak came to an end when Black Friday hit unfortunately, but he is back in action after he moved to Vancouver to continue playing on PokerStars.  Now, the action at PCA will kick off at the Atlantis Resort and Casino in the Bahamas on January 5th.  This event is a part of the always popular European Poker Tour, so keep your eye out for Lew in it!