Layne Flack’s Statement: Not Guilty!

by , Mar 7, 2009 | 10:47 am

Lara Miller of the PR firm Diamond Draw Management has issued a statement from Layne Flack. Here it is in full: 

I attended the Draw Party at Pure on Friday night and then met with my brother, who had flown into Vegas for Heads Up. I was under the impression that I was to play in the last bracket the next evening at around 8 pm. I was pulled over for speeding and refused a breathalyzer test as I have been instructed to do.  I have no idea why I was written a ticket for failing to yield to an emergency vehicle. There were no emergency vehicles around, besides the police car. A test, given by the Las Vegas PD, later revealed that I had a blood alcohol content of zero. I also took a blood test, as I have nothing to hide. I was held for the mandatory 6 hours and released. I always go out of my way to not drink and drive. I regret that I was not able to play in NBC Heads Up and hope to be invited next year to play in this prestigious event.

There’s little reason to doubt Layne Flack’s version of events at this point. Refusing a breathalyzer test isn’t that unusual, because the blood tests are more accurate. 

If his blood-alcohol level was really zero, then the DUI charges would likely be dropped. That leaves two other relatively minor charges (speeding and the failure to yield to an emergency vehicle), which means that Layne Flack could come out of this untimely little episode with nothing more than traffic tickets — and a missed opportunity at the NBC Heads-Up Championship.

Clarification 1: Layne Flack was not in a car accident. Some of the earliest reports of this situation came from a statement that Mori Eskandani gave to some reporters at the NBC Heads-Up Championship, saying that Flack had to withdraw because he had been in a car accident. He wasn’t. (11:00 am PT)

Clarification 2: Lara Miller has followed up to say that Flack claims he had just one drink at Pure that night. Also, Flack took the blood test to prove that he was not just alcohol-free, but drug-free as well. (11:30 am PT)

Update 1: Andrew “good2cu” Robl blogged that he “ended up getting quite drunk” with Layne Flack that night, taking shots of tequila. This side of it seems to be turning into a he said/he said situation, where the tie will ultimately go to the results of the blood test. (12:00 noon PT)

Update 2:  Andrew Robl has edited the Layne Flack story out of his blog without an explanation. (6:30 pm PT)


38 Comments to “Layne Flack’s Statement: Not Guilty!”


  1. Kevin Mathers
    says:

    Would the timing of the test be a factor in determining Layne’s blood-alcohol level? It seems refusing a Breathalyzer gets you an automatic 6 hours in jail.


  2. BJ Nemeth
    says:

    I’m not sure what you mean by “timing of the test.” Are you talking about the delay between a field test and a test down at the police station? That can be a factor if you are borderline legally impaired (0.08 or so), but if Layne really passed a blood test with a BAC of 0.00, then the delay doesn’t seem like it would be a factor.

    As someone who rarely drinks under any conditions, I’m not familiar with all the specific rules that kick in when one refuses a breathalyzer. I only know that you have the option to refuse a field breathalyzer test, and they will give you a more-accurate blood test at the police station.


  3. Kevin Mathers
    says:

    BJ,

    That was what I was meaning to say.

    As to why would he refuse to submit to a Breathalyzer, it seems that officials in Texas refuse 100% of the time.


  4. Lara
    says:

    I want to stress to everyone that Layne took a blood test, he has been clean for a while, and he took the test in part because he wants everyone to know that he IS clean. From what I understand, blood tests will show other substances.


  5. DanM
    says:

    I’m pretty sure it’s 12 hours you have to stay in there for anything at all related to alcohol. But you never know … Nevada laws and criminal justice procedures are still pretty new to me.

    Also, once you are taken to jail, you’re there for the duration, no matter how innocent they figure you out to be … you have to go through the booking process. So they tend not to issue breathalyzers once you are in jail. They give blood tests, and the results of those take a couple weeks to come back.


  6. Kevin Mathers
    says:

    I can believe Layne’s been clean from certain drugs, believing he hasn’t had alcohol is a completely different story such as this video from Saturday night at the Commerce.


  7. DanM
    says:

    FWIW, I’ve been working on a post about the party at Pure for a couple days now, and here’s what I wrote about Layne, prior to any knowledge of his no-show:

    — Layne Flack seemed to be on his best behavior, trying to impress some girls with a dice-rolling game. Maybe the good shit hadn’t kicked in yet?

    Really, he was definitely not one of the memorably intoxicated people there that night.


  8. Ed
    says:

    I smell a conspiracy. Someone did not want him in the Heads Up match. Maybe WCP can look into this and grill a few people.


  9. Kevin Mathers
    says:

    It appears Nevada law says that you’re able to be released if your BAC is under .04, if you were using drugs you’d have to stay for 12 hours (this was from 2007 though).

    Ed,

    David Oppenheim is probably more experienced in playing heads-up than Layne Flack. I’d spin the conspiracy theory that way.


  10. BJ Nemeth
    says:

    My understanding is that routine blood tests can be analyzed fairly quickly. The ones that take days (or weeks) are for doctors who are doing in-depth analysis to find (or rule out) specific evidence of diseases.


  11. BJ Nemeth
    says:

    Kevin —

    I hung out with Layne Flack for a short time that Saturday night at the Commerce, and he had definitely been drinking. But the big difference that night was that he was staying at the Commerce hotel — no driving necessary. According to his statement and Dan’s observations, he may actually change his drinking habits based on whether or not he’ll be driving. (Which is great news.)

    Most of the time we see videos of Layne Flack, he is on the road at a poker tournament, with no need for driving. So that could definitely skew our view of his drinking habits.


  12. Kevin Mathers
    says:

    Excellent points as always BJ, I just want to add for the record the blog of Andrew “good2cu” Robl who was also at Pure.

    Edit: Layne mentions he thought he was playing in the last bracket of the evening, which makes sense when you look at the bracket, it is in the bottom right hand corner. I assume he’d have been given the courtesy of a phone call if he hadn’t turned up at that time, especially when you hear about Matusow breaking his glasses 30 minutes before his match against Dario Minieri, and the subsequent delay as his girlfriend got him his spare pair.

    Anyways, it looks like David Chiu got screwed out of being in this event 3 times (Winning the WPT Championship, Hevad Khan replacing Ivan Demidov and David Oppenheim replacing Layne Flack). Talk about FML


  13. DanM
    says:

    Refusing to take a breathalyzer is indeed smart to do … all my lawyer friends have insisted as much. Once they’ve pulled you over and have you doing sobriety tests, you’re pretty much going. (Because even if you blow a 0, they’ll assume it’s drugs then, and take you in for bloodwork.)

    From a legal perspective, you have little to gain from complying with their request for tests, even if you truly do have nothing to hide.


  14. BJ Nemeth
    says:

    Wow … the plot thickens! I think Andrew’s blog entry is worthy of mention in the original post. Thanks for the link, Kevin.


  15. DanM
    says:

    I swear I’m not looking to beat up on Layne, but since we’re breaking it down … +21mph? That’s pretty fast … and unless it was on the highway, unusual.

    Standard speed limits around LV are a pretty rapid 45 mph. And you just know not to be speeding (or swerving) in the wee hours because cops are all over the place looking for drunks.


  16. Kevin Mathers
    says:

    BJ,

    The way this thing’s going, the clarifications may take an entire page.

    Dan,

    As someone who doesn’t drink (or drive), the logical opinion to me would be to submit to a test to prove your innocence. For the other 99.99%, the suggestion that your lawyer friends give is better advice.


  17. BJ Nemeth
    says:

    In my younger days, I was clocked going faster than 21 mph over the speed limit several times, and that was in hilly, curvy Georgia. When I first moved to Vegas, I had to resist the urge to drop the pedal to the metal on all those long, flat straightaways.

    Going 76-79 on a 55 mph highway is hardly unusual, especially at night without traffic. He also could have been doing 56-59 in a 35 zone or 46-49 in a 25 zone; some cops enjoy trapping people at the lower speed limits.

    I have never, ever been driving after drinking. But if I were asked to submit to a breathalyzer, I have talked to enough lawyers to refuse the field test and demand a blood test.


  18. F-Train
    says:

    BJ,

    “Some of the earliest reports of this situation came from live updates at the NBC Heads-Up Championship, where it was mentioned that he was in a car accident.”

    Your statement is a little unclear. To clarify it, the live reports did not mention that Flack was in a car accident. The live reports mentioned that Mori Eskandani stated Flack was in a car accident.

    That make seem like semantics to you, but to me it’s a crucial distinction, since your statement in this post can easily be interpreted to state that the live reports were “sloppy” when in fact they were carefully and precisely worded and sourced. We even added to the end of that report that there were rumors in the room that led us to believe Eskandani’s statement might not be true that we hadn’t been able to confirm the rumors at that time.


  19. BJ Nemeth
    says:

    Excellent point F-Train, and I’m fixing it now. Semantics are *everything* to me!


  20. DanM
    says:

    Does anyone else find it terribly ironic that Wicked Chops just happened to take Layne Flack’s picture on the red carpet that night mugshot style?


  21. California Jen
    says:

    Did anyone notice that Layne’s official statement begins by mentioning that the draw party was on Friday night? Ummm, it was Thursday night.


  22. BJ Nemeth
    says:

    I totally missed that!

    But to be fair, days of the week don’t hold much distinction for me (or Layne, probably), and it certainly *felt* like a Friday with the evening draw party. Back in 2005, the NBC heads-up draw party was held on Friday night, with the entire tourney scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.


  23. California Jen
    says:

    I would just think that a one-paragraph statement, released on behalf of a player who has a shaky reputation in the biz and is trying to keep from being dubbed a screw-up in this situation, might consider getting the facts straight. Oh well…


  24. DanM
    says:

    It looks like Robl has changed his post, no longer including the part about feeling guilty about taking shots (plural) with Flack.


  25. BJ Nemeth
    says:

    I’ve updated this post for the fourth time to reflect the change in Robl’s blog. Kevin was right; the updates/clarifications are quickly eclipsing the length of the original post. (Though none seem worthy of a fresh post of their own.)


  26. Lone Rhino
    says:

    Once again Layne Flack proves he’s The Andy Dick of Poker.


  27. DanM
    says:

    ***(Though none seem worthy of a fresh post of their own.)***

    BJ, you’re a little out of blogging practice, so we’ll cut you some slack. The methodology to handling these kinds of “stories” isn’t rocket science … you just have to remember:

    1) a blog is different than a forum
    2) a post is different than an article
    3) the process of gathering “facts” in pursuit of truth is often messy business.

    ***Once again Layne Flack proves he’s The Andy Dick of Poker.***
    I think that’s a pretty good characterization, LR.


  28. Poker Shrink
    says:

    Layne was caught golfing with Russ Hamilton and now booked for DUI and missing the National Heads Up Championship. I say, cut him no slack and hang him out to dry. Off with their heads!

    In fact, forget the Back-to-Back Flack, which was not true anyway and go with Layne “No Slack” Flack.


  29. BJ Nemeth
    says:

    Dan — What did I screw up in the methodology? Have I been treating this story like a blog, a forum, a post, or an article? I really don’t know …

    Poker Shrink — When you say, “Hang him out to dry,” you bring up an interesting point. Since poker is generally open to anyone with a buy in, how do you punish someone for their actions (Layne Flack, JJ Prodigy) if they don’t rise to the level of breaking specific rules of the game?

    Yes, JJ Prodigy has been expelled from certain sites, but there’s nothing keeping him out of WPT or WSOP events, for example.


  30. Kevin Mathers
    says:

    Seems the easiest way to punish them is not be invited in made for TV events (such as the PAD and NBC Heads-Up). The only thing preventing JJ from playing in most WPT events and the WSOP is his age, I believe he’s only 19.


  31. menacing_1
    says:

    F-Train, you may want to fix your post about the blinds starting at 5k/10k in the finals. They started at $3k/$6k.


  32. BJ Nemeth
    says:

    LOL … yes, of course there’s always that age thing for another two years or so. 🙂

    JJ Prodigy invitation into the Bluff Challenge was likely his last; he certainly won’t be on anybody’s short list, long list, or worst-case-scenario list.

    Layne Flack is a different story. The same behavior that makes some people want to punish him is what makes him compelling for other people to watch. And ultimately, TV shows are about the ratings.

    Of course, sponsored players also risk losing their sponsors, but Flack is no longer with Full Tilt.


  33. DanM
    says:

    I agree with Mathers … it makes perfect sense for a television production that struggles with whom to invite to say, you know what, sorry, but we have plenty of other options. Go win a few bracelets (or gold medals) and maybe we’ll reconsider the risk of you being a party-too-hard no-show.

    And then one day when there are enough blacklisted players, they can get them all together for a sit-n-go amongst the ostracized: Layne Flack, Amarillo Slim, David Sklansky, Eskimo Clark … who else?

    That would be a really good game, actually.


  34. DanM
    says:

    @menacing_1

    I love that people come to Pokerati to point out errors to PokerNews reporters. (I’m sure Ftrain really appreciates the public heads-up, too.)


  35. Zero
    says:

    Has Flack ever explained his association with the online poker cheater Hamilton?


  36. BJ Nemeth
    says:

    Layne Flack and Russ Hamilton have been friends since long before the scandal. Hamilton has (had?) a lot of friends in poker, because until the last six years or so, it was a very small community.


  37. menacing_1
    says:

    Was using every available resource to reach him. F-Train is a great reporter IMO and he was not at fault here…was just given some wrong information which he corrected when the error was made known to him.


  38. DanM
    says:

    ***F-Train is a great reporter IMO***

    I agree. All the guys covering this event were good, but halfway into day 1, it was clear that F-Train was tops.