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Nancy Matson Claims First Gold Ring at WSOP Circuit Bicycle Casino

Nancy Matson had a little dream of cracking GPI’s top 100 women, but she ended up with much more – gold ring and a five-figure payout

Nancy Matson, a Los Angeles-based video editor by the day, topped last night the 159-person field of the WSOP Circuit Bicycle Casino $1,125 No-Limit Hold’em for her career’s second largest five-figure cash and her first gold ring from the series.

The player had one specific goal when she entered the tournament – to collect some points that would help her enter top 100 of the GPI women’s ranking. At the end of it all, she did much better, ending up with the title.

The event played over two days and as mentioned earlier, it attracted 159 entrants who wanted to take a shot at the title and the first-place cash. They generated a prize pool of $159,000 which was split into payouts for the top 18 finishers, min-cashes starting from $2,130.

Day 1 of the event wrapped up with the lucky 18 hopefuls who were to receive a share of the prize pool. As Matson herself said in her post-victory interview, she ended the day with an OK stack and did somewhat well throughout Day 2. Then, when the final table was set, she started picking up some chips and gaining some momentum and confidence.

The player said she felt as the dark horse. Nobody really knew her, while there were some WSOP Circuit regulars at the table. She said that her being the least known player among the final nine actually helped her, because her competitors could not always read her bluffs.

Final Table and Two-Handed Finale

Matson was about mid-stacked when the unofficial final table was set. As mentioned above, she started picking up pace when there were nine players left and kept that momentum until the end of the tournament.

Former gold ring winner Todd Rebello was the player whom Matson faced heads-up. Rebello won his first gold piece from the series back in 2008. He topped the field of a $300 buy-in tournament at Caesars Atlantic City for his piece of WSOP Circuit paraphernalia. However, the $1,125 No-Limit Hold’em that was completed last night at the Bicycle Casino in the Los Angeles area was not his take down.

Rebello had to settle for the $26,530 payout he received for running deep in the event and finishing runner-up to Matson.

The eventual winner told WSOP Circuit staff that that was probably her last $1K tournament of the year. Matson said it was a little dream of hers to crack GPI’s top 100 women. The player thus did not play for a win as much as she was trying to collect as many points as possible to make her little dream come true. She will now sit and wait to see how what is left of the year will go for the other poker playing women around the world and to hope for the happy outcome of her still being among GPI’s top 100 when 2018 is over.

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Nightclub Owner Sues Ocean Resort Casino, Claims Boss Seeks Buyers for the Boardwalk Property

HQ2’s former co-owner had his contract terminated after approaching Ocean Resort Casino’s boss over sexual allegations made by employees

The owner of Ocean Resort Casino, one of the two casino resorts that opened doors in Atlantic City this past summer, seems to have landed in hot water as a former partner at the property’s HQ2 club is suing him for fraud and other wrongdoings.

In court papers filed December 6 with the New York County Supreme Court, Joseph Morrissey claimed that he was ousted from his ownership of the beach- and nightclub after confronting Ocean owner Bruce Deifik over sexual harassment allegations made by HQ2 salon employees.

Mr. Morrissey, one of the major nightlife scene players around the United States, was approached by Mr. Deifik this past spring to assist in raising $10 million for Ocean’s renovation. Mr. Deifik bought the property early this year from its former owner, Florida developer Glenn Straub, for around $200 million.

Mr. Morrissey was promised a one-off payment of $50,000, if he agreed to help the casino’s new owner raise the above-mentioned desired sum. After his assistance, the nightlife guru was offered a contract, under which he would assume the role of the club’s manager and would have “… the non-assignable authority and full power to take all action and to do all things reasonably required to perform the obligations of manager…”

Mr. Morrissey was offered a yearly salary of $200,000 and 30% of the club’s profits. In addition, he would have received 49% of the proceeds of a potential sale of HQ2.

Court papers further read that Mr. Deifik entered in early June a mezzanine loan agreement with JP Morgan as the lender, but Mr. Morrissey’s contract was not listed in that agreement.

Relationship Gone Sour

In the lawsuit, Mr. Morrissey said that his relationship with Mr. Deifik began to sour after the former confronted the casino owner in relation to sexual harassment claims made by club employees.

According to court papers, a female HQ2 employee approached Mr. Morrissey telling him that she and several of her female co-workers felt uncomfortable with Mr. Deifik “routinely asking [them] to come see the great view from his presidential suite at the casino.” The female employee further said the club’s owner that she “felt uncomfortable with the long and heavy hugs extended by the married Deifik.”

She recorded her visit to the presidential suite on her mobile phone and showed Mr. Morrissey the video to validate her fears. She said she and her co-workers “felt obligated to drink and socialize with [Mr. Deifik] in order to be hired” at the club.

Mr. Morrissey confronted Mr. Deifik, saying that he made employees feel uncomfortable. To that, the casino boss responded by saying that this was his casino and he could bring to his room whoever he wanted.

The nightclub guru said in his lawsuit that he felt “bullied and humiliated” by Mr. Deifik after trying to confront him. Following that confrontation, Mr. Morrissey was informed that his contract was being terminated for cause but that he could keep his job if he “agreed to give up his ownership interest” in the club and “give up his profit sharing.”

According to court papers, Mr. Deifik was seeking to terminate Mr. Morrissey contract because he did not disclose that contract and the latter’s ownership interest in the nightclub in the loan agreement. Mr. Morrissey said that “upon information and belief”, Mr. Deifik is seeking to sell Ocean Resort Casino and is trying to eliminate anyone with ownership interest who could thwart a potential sale of the property.

The plaintiff is seeking no less than $10 million for all counts and causes of action listed in his lawsuit.

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WSOP Circuit Bicycle Casino $1,125 No-Limit Hold’em Draws 159 Entries, 18 Progress into Final Day

Sam Renshaw eyes first gold ring from the WSOP Circuit, leads 18 hopefuls into final day of $1,125 No-Limit Hold’em

Bicycle Casino in the Los Angeles area is currently the arena for WSOP Circuit poker action. The popular series arrived at the gambling venue earlier this week for its penultimate stop of this year.

Several gold ring tournaments on the schedule of the stop are already in the books and one more such tournament is just a single day away from crowning its champion.

The $1,125 No-Limit Hold’em kicked off Friday at the host casino. The tournament attracted 159 entrants for a prize pool of $159,000. The money would be distributed into payouts for the top 18 finishers, min-cashes starting from $2,130.

Day 1 of the tournament was packed with action, and it will be quite similar on Day 2 as all remaining players are into the money and will be striving to go as high in the payouts chart as possible. By the end of Level 16 of the tournament, there were 19 players left at the table. The remaining survivors decided to keep playing until there were just 18 of them and they were all in the money. Two hands into Level 17 the unlucky bubble boy busted to put an end to Day 1 action.

Who’s in the Hunt?

Of the 18 hopefuls, it was Sam Renshaw who bagged the largest stack last night. The player collected 460,000 in chips for a considerable lead over the rest of the pack. Renshaw is coming fresh off a third-place finish in a $600 buy-in Wynn Signature Series event. Early in November, the player finished 18th in the WSOP Circuit Harveys Lake Tahoe Main Event. Renshaw is vying for his first gold ring from the series.

Massoud Eskandari with 334,000 and Adam Swan with 322,000 rounded out the top three chip stacks. Notables still in the hunt for the gold ring and the first-place prize include Nick Phoenix, Alan Myerson, Brett Apter, Brett Murray, and Adam Hendrix.

All 18 players will return to the host casino today at 1 pm local time. They will play down until a champion is crowned. As mentioned earlier, each of the remaining hopefuls is guaranteed a minimum cash of $2,130. Each of the nine final tablists will leave with no less than $3,825. And the winner will be awarded $42,940 in prize money and the accompanying gold ring.

The $1,125 No-Limit Hold’em is the ninth event on the schedule of the WSOP Circuit Bicycle Casino stop. Next up is the $1,700 Main Event. The tournament starts on Sunday with the first of two starting flights and will run through December 12.

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Cordish Companies to Build $130-Million Mini-Casino in Pennsylvania

Cordish Companies presented a plan for a $130-million casino with 750 slot machines and 30 table games at Westmoreland Mall in Hempfield Township

While few details had previously been released about a proposed mini-casino in Pennsylvania’s Hempfield Township, representatives from Cordish Companies (and its affiliate Stadium Casinos LLC) presented earlier this week their plan for the facility during a hearing before the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

Cordish CFO Travis Lamb said during a 45-minute presentation before regulators that it was their main goal to create “a complete entertainment destination.”

Early this year, Cordish paid a $40-million license fee, seeking a gaming license to establish and operate a mini-casino in Hempfield Township. It then bought the two-level, 100,000-square-foot shuttered Bon-Ton store at Westmoreland Mall where it intends to open the facility. The company submitted its full license application with the Gaming Control Board this fall.

During this week’s presentation, the company said that the venue would include a gaming floor with 750 slot machines and around 30 table games as well as a 2,500-square-foot food and beverage area and a two-story bar. Mr. Lamb said that the bar would create a “wow effect” for visitors.

Cordish currently owns Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover, Maryland, among multiple other properties. Representatives for the company said that the Westmoreland casino will very much resemble their Maryland property, but while in Maryland they had to build something from the ground, their Hempfield development will require retrofitting the casino into an existing establishment.

Economic Impact

Cordish plans to invest $131 million in the Westmoreland Mall casino. The company said during this week’s presentation that they expect the amount of $81 million to be released as a direct output to the state and local communities. An additional $7 million would be generated for the local community as a result from the benefits realized from the creation of new jobs during construction and once the facility is operational.

About 710 full-time construction jobs will be generated, according to early projections. The company said that it would use local contractors and will hire local people.

Cordish also expects a one-off economic impact of $123 million to Westmoreland County during development.

The company also holds a license for the development and operation of Philadelphia’s second casino. The Gaming Control Board approved last month a two-year extension of the deadline for the opening of that gambling venue. The casino is now expected to open doors by the end of 2020 in South Philly’s stadium district.

Public Concerns

While town and county officials have expressed their support for the construction of the Westmoreland Mall casino, there were residents of the region who voiced multiple concerns about the facility’s social impact during this week’s hearing.

Supervisor Dough Weimer was among the participants to point to issues that could arise from the establishment of the gambling venue. Increased crime was one such issue. Mr. Weimer stressed on the fact that Hempfield does not have its own police force and relies on state police.

He further pointed out that increased traffic in the area could lead to more vehicle accidents, which would put additional stress on volunteer fire departments and these are already short-staffed.

Responding to those requests, Cordish officials said that they would work closely with the mall security and police to ensure that visitors are provided with a safe environment.

There were attendees who said that a public referendum should be held before a final decision is made on whether Cordish should be allowed to open its mini-casino.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will hold one more hearing on the mattertw. This one will take place in Harrisburg early next year and the regulator will review the proposal and issue its decision.

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Former Wynn Resorts Shareholder Sues Casino Boss Steve Wynn, Company, Board Members

A former Wynn Resorts shareholder seeks damages, claims Steve Wynn sexual harassment scandal devalued his shares in the Las Vegas casino giant

It has been more than ten months now since the publication of a Wall Street Journal report detailing a decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct by Steve Wynn, but lawsuits against the disgraced casino mogul, the company he founded, executives, and current and former board members have kept piling.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported earlier this week that the latest such lawsuit was filed on November 27. A former Wynn Resorts shareholder is now suing the company, Mr. Wynn, and other involved individuals, alleging that the sexual harassment accusations against the businessman devalued the plaintiff’s stock.

Mr. Wynn, Wynn Resorts CEO and President Matt Maddox, former Wynn executive Kim Sinatra, five former and four current board members were all named in the lawsuit.

Robert Bruce Bannister filed the lawsuit in Clark County District Court on November 27. Mr. Bannister claimed that the defendants violated their fiduciary duties. His lawsuit read that Mr. Wynn “engaged in a pattern of sexual harassment and abuse” and actively concealed his behavior, thus violating “the company’s policies and codes as well as various laws and regulations.”

Of the other defendants, the lawsuit read that they “knowingly, intentionally, and fraudulently violated […] their fiduciary duties of good faith, fair dealing, loyalty, due care, candor, and oversight as a result of the misconduct.” Mr. Bannister also claimed that executives and members of the board of directors failed to act properly to protect the company and instead took actions to protect Mr. Wynn.

The former shareholder’s lawsuit seeks damages, punitive damages against Mr. Wynn in excess of $15,000, and all expenses.

The embattled businessman stepped down from his CEO and Chairman at the company posts in February to be replaced by Mr. Maddox. Mr. Wynn and Wynn Resorts face multiple lawsuits in relation to the sexual misconduct allegations leveled against him.

Probe in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission launched a probe into the allegations against Mr. Wynn almost immediately after the publication of the Wall Street Journal report in January. The gaming regulator has been collecting evidence on whether Wynn Resorts had any knowledge of those allegations, how it responded to those, and whether it was suitable to operate a casino in Massachusetts.

The Las Vegas gaming and hospitality giant is currently building a $2.4-billion integrated resort in the Greater Boston area, but it seemed at one point that its license could be in danger due to the sexual harassment scandal.

The Gaming Commission initially planned to reveal the results from its probe later this month, but a Clark County District Court Judge has temporarily blocked the release of the regulator’s report. Mr. Wynn filed two legal complaints to the Nevada court last month, arguing that Wynn Resorts had communicated privileged information to MassGaming in relation to its probe and that he did not want that information to be made public.

Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez said last month that she wanted to hear more arguments whether the information communicated was indeed privileged. A date for a hearing has not been determined yet.

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