Posts Tagged ‘obituaries’

Gaming Law Pioneer Joel Sterns Dies at Age 76

He set a course for casinos in New Jersey, expansion beyond Las Vegas

by , Feb 23, 2011 | 1:54 pm

joel sterns gaming lawyerA man who did the hard labor and bucked the odds in a way that greatly affected all of our lives, either directly or indirectly, has passed. Joel Sterns, senior director of Sterns & Weinroth in New Jersey and named a “Super Lawyer” by his peers in 2005 and ’06 … died Monday from medical complications related to heart disease. He was 76 years old.

Though Sterns’ accomplishments were vast, and included many positions in state and federal governments, he was best known for helping give birth to Atlantic City as we know it (or at least knew it until very recently) by setting the regulatory path in the ’70s that allowed for the first licensed American casino outside of Nevada.

According to Roger Gros, publisher of Global Gaming Business and owner of
Casino Connection International:

Joel was a gentleman, but fought hard for his clients, which was very difficult to do in those formative days. Remember, only Nevada had any sort of gaming law, and NJ didn’t want to simply copy that state, so it was like writing an entire book of laws. But Joel was up to the task.

Another Shootout in South Carolina: Player Killed

by , Nov 14, 2010 | 10:08 pm

photo: WYFF4 – Greenville
No charges have been filed, despite yellow tape identifying this site of a deadly poker game as a crime scene.

This time it was player-on-player violence … leaving one man dead and another injured after a gunfight broke out early morning at a warehouse poker game in Anderson County, SC.

Jermaine LeCorey Scott, 34, supposedly was losing in the wee hours of a game last week, and at some point pulled a gun on five other players. Though not clear whether or not the triggering incident had anything to do with a bad beat or involved accusations of cheating, police contend Scott was attempting to rob his opponents … even though he was not wearing a mask like most (99 percent?) armed poker robbers.

From local news reports: Channel 4 (with video), more Channel 4, Channel 7

Players supposedly called flagged down police at a nearby intersection around 7 am on Tuesday to report the shooting, and deputies arrived to find two men shot, lying on the ground in the empty warehouse, which may or may not have been cleared of poker supplies before their arrival. Scott died at the hospital from multiple gunshot wounds a few hours later. The other player, unnamed, had bullet wounds to his hand and a concealed weapon permit. Police investigators have ruled the deadly shooting a matter of self-defense — justifiable homicide — and say they have no plans to press any charges.


Paul Kitsos, Big Fashion Name and East Coast Poker Semi-Pro,
Dies en Route to WSOP

by , Jun 8, 2010 | 10:39 pm

photo: Jeanine Deeb *

Paul Kitsos, 55, was enthusiastically headed to Las Vegas from his home in Long Island, New York, with $11,000 in cash on him, when he died of an apparent heart attack mid-flight. According to his wife he was going to the WSOP, where his record indicates he had plenty reason to believe he stood a good chance of making a big splash.

For a little more about Kitsos’ life, here’s his obituary (with a few minor poker inaccuracies) in the New York Post.

And here’re his Hendon Mob results, which show about $389k in winnings from 19 tournament cashes in a 5-year poker career. Most recently he took 2nd in a $300 US Poker Championships event — the “Rounder Girl Bounty” tournament — and 2nd in a $1,375 event at the World Poker Finals at Borgata.

His biggest scores, $97k and $103k, came from two 5th place finishes — in the $5k WSOP-Caesars circuit main event in 2007, and the $5k Borgata Summer Poker Open main event in 2008. He has two cashes in the WSOP main event, finishing 468th in 2006 and 320th in 2008. Kitsos died with one 1st place victory under his belt, having bested a field of 231 to win the 2007 USPC Seniors event.


Chicago Poker Player Accused of Cheating, Shot Dead

by , Jun 7, 2010 | 5:50 am

Dude, how bad does this suck … Patricia Clark, a 51-year-old preacher from Chicago’s South Side, was supposedly a pretty good poker player. She went to a home game on Thursday to collect a $300 debt from “an old friend of 20 years”, according to her husband. The other players convinced her to stick around and play a bit. Four hours later, from the best we can tell from the Sun Times report of her death, she found herself involved in a four-way all-in, and took down an $800 pot.

At that point Rosie Morris, 46, got pretty pissed and accused Clark of cheating. She flat-out denied any impropriety, and demanded to be paid. Morris retreated to a bedroom, not to get her checkbook, but rather a gun. She then allegedly shot Clark in the back, and then unloaded three more rounds into her head and chest.

Clark died this weekend from her injuries, and Morris has been charged with murder.

Morris joins Joran van der Sloot and a few other poker players who have made the game at least part of their homicidal ways in recent years.

WPA Out of Business?

by , Jan 30, 2010 | 4:51 am

That’s the word we’re hearing … but no confirmation other than that the World Poker Association’s website — — has disappeared. A good idea with lots of support that never quite found its way before getting entangled in all sorts of internal political struggles that left a true grassroots coalition of players a dream that never quite came to fruition.

Tags: ,

RIP NeverwinPoker, 2004-2009

by , Nov 30, 2009 | 5:46 am, the filthiest, most offensive poker site on the internet — filled with racist, sexist, drug-addled degeneracy and perverse nudity that provided a voice for a notably vile, socially maladjusted segment of the poker world — is no longer, or at least no longer what it used to be.

Tony G and the semi-corporate interests at PokerNews, who bought a controlling interest in the “gossip site” two years ago, have turned off the infamously uncensored forum. It simply wasn’t “converting” supposedly.

But don’t expect thousands of black-cock refugees to suddenly flood 2+2. Neverwin pioneer Bryan Micon is launching a new site for his toxic flock of angry outcasts at

Meanwhile, PokerPages is somehow staying afloat — producing semi-regular new poker articles — despite declarations that they’d be fully out of business by the end of October.

RIP Hans “Tuna” Lund

by , Nov 6, 2009 | 12:36 pm

The day before the November Nine return to conclude the World Series of Poker Main Event comes word from Matt Savage on the passing of poker veteran Hans “Tuna” Lund earlier this morning of cancer at the age of 59. Winner of two WSOP bracelets, along with two appearances at the WSOP Main Event final table (2nd in 1990 and 3rd in 1992). The 1990 final table featured a heads-up duel with Mansour Matloubi, culminating in one of the more dramatic hands in WSOP history (apologies in advance for the tacky promotion running along the bottom of the screen):

WSOP – BAD BEAT – Mansour Matloubi vs Hans Lund

RIP PokerPages

by , Oct 1, 2009 | 3:01 pm

What has been a well-respected staple and in the poker media for years is now among the outlets that have bitten the dust. PokerPages announced today that it will officially close up shop on October 31, 2009.

The Closing of
by PokerPages Managment

It is with sadness and regret that we must announce that Poker Pages and all of its related services will be closed on October 31, 2009.

For many years Poker Pages has enjoyed providing the best source of poker related content, arguably the Internet’s largest and most complete live poker tournament results and listings database, as well as a place to play poker for free. These services will certainly be missed, but we realize that the most appreciated benefit of our products and services has been the community created by our user base. We thank you for the many great years you allowed us to provide you with the best poker content on the Internet and wish you all the best in your future poker endeavors. It has been a pleasure and a privilege serving you over the years!
-Poker Pages Management

Rumblings over the past year that the site was in financial trouble, combined with complaints from readers that the content was in desperate need of some organization and updates, made this announcement somewhat predictable. However, it is still sad for many of us who got our starts in the poker media by working at PokerPages. (My first WSOP reporting in 2007 was done for PokerPages, and it was where I dipped my toes in the waters of the blogosphere.) And it is certainly a sign of the tough financial times for the poker industry, as a site with such history and assets could not survive.

Here’s to the good years at PokerPages, and best wishes to those now out of work due to the shutdown.

RIP Bob Stupak (1942-2009)

by , Sep 25, 2009 | 4:14 pm

Las Vegas businessman, poker player, and one-time candidate for Lt. Governor of Nevada, Bob Stupak died today in Las Vegas of leukemia. He was 67-years old.

KVBC of Las Vegas printed the news release:


LAS VEGAS – Bob Stupak, who is best known for revolutionizing the Las Vegas Strip with the development of The Stratosphere, passed away today at the age of 67.

Stupak was with close family at the Desert Springs Hospital this afternoon when medical maladies, including leukemia, took his life at 1:15 p.m. Per Stupak’s request, he will be cremated and there will not be a funeral.


RE: Houston Poker Room Gun Battle (3)

More details emerge as fallen robber is buried

by , Sep 18, 2009 | 3:04 am

Barron Boutte, 1985-2009

The funeral for Barron Glenn Boutte is today in Houston. He’s the 24-year-old shot and killed while attempting to rob a Houston underground poker room earlier this month. His shooter is not being publicly identified, though police have determined Boutte’s death a matter of self-defense. Club 203, where the fatal shootout occurred, has been indefinitely shut down.

A few more details about the thwarted robbery, coming to us now secondhand, as opposed to thirdhand

Apparently the robbery suspects confronted a player leaving the game in the parking lot, and a scuffle ensued. The first shots were reportedly fired at the door to gain entry, and the robbers continued shooting into the air once inside. They did indeed shoot one patron in the leg when he was slow to get on the ground as ordered.

Boutte’s armed nemesis and several others were smoking in the break room when the melee went down. One robber supposedly told these players they’d better not be coming out without cash — thinking maybe they were hiding it — and that’s when the poker-room hero emerged brandishing his own gun.

Boutte was shot at least four times in the abdomen and made it out to the parking lot before falling and dying.

A nervous wave has washed over the Houston poker underground — with action slower than normal, and some rooms looking to hire visible security.

RE: Houston Poker Room Gun Battle

More details, some questions, progression of violence

by , Sep 6, 2009 | 5:50 pm

The story behind an underground game in Houston that broke with a flurry of bullets last week — resulting in one fatality and two others wounded — is starting to emerge. Filtering through braggadocio, legal ambiguities, and the inherent fuzziness of thirdhand sources, here’s what we definitely know, what we are hearing, and then some speculation about an “inside job”. And what this robbery may or may not have to do with similar ones in Houston, Dallas, Arlington, and San Antonio.

Included is a semi-thorough timeline tracking the progression of violent poker robberies across Texas over the past 2+ years. The casualty tally so far: 2 dead, 4 wounded by non-fatal gunfire, at least 1 pistol-whipping, >150 players in the middle of it all (surrendering anywhere from a few hundred to more than $10,000 at a time). 3 arrested so far.

The game currently being talked about was known as Club 203, located in a southwest Houston semi-industrial warehouse complex, nestled in a nook about a quarter-mile from the intersection of a highway and major thoroughfare.

The dead robber’s name is Barron Glenn Boutte. (Anyone recognize the name?) He was a 24-year-old black male. The official cause of death is homicide/multiple gun shot wounds. It’s not clear where Barron was from, though one mention of him on the internet does suggest Houston.

From the Houston Police Department:


PokerListings Founder Andreas Oscarsson Shot Dead

by , Aug 5, 2009 | 9:28 pm

Andreas Oscarsson, founder of

He was the first guy I met (at the 2005 WSOP) who taught me that not all affiliate-based “shill sites” were inherently bad. As a co-founder of, Andreas Oscarsson helped build a company that not only has been extremely profitable by funneling online players to major poker sites, but also has shown a commitment to solid, informative, and entertaining poker news reporting, tournament coverage, and reader service.

We are very sad and shocked to confirm that Andreas Oscarsson, founder of, has tragically passed away while visiting his childhood home in Sweden.

At this point, we do not have any details other than he was found dead in his bed on the morning of August 3rd. He had been shot.

Oscarsson cashed out of the full-time poker website biz two years ago — opting instead for more family time after the birth of his son — but remained an emeritus figure on the PL team, serving as an advisor and sometimes more. He was 36.

UPDATE: Apparently police have ruled out suicide. Sweden’s English-speaking newspaper:

Several relatives, including the 2-year-old boy, were in the house where the man was found dead on Tuesday afternoon, Thord Haraldsson, head of the police anti-crime unit in Trollhättan, told news agency TT. None of the man’s family members are suspected of being involved in the murder, however.

The man moved to the United States ten years ago but originally came from Trollhättan and had been on holiday in Sweden when he was shot dead, Aftonbladet reports. He had planned to leave Sweden on Tuesday.

“A forensics investigation has been conducted at the scene and a preliminary investigation has indicated murder or manslaughter,” said Robert Edh, commander of the police communication centre in Gothenburg.

Wow. Sad. Wow. It’s sometimes about way more than just poker.

More on Lee Munzer (1943-2009)

by , Jun 27, 2009 | 7:21 am


Steve Hall knew poker columnist Lee Munzer better than most of us … and respectfully honors his fancy for the ladies as Wicked Chopsian before Wicked Chops was cool existed.

And while you’re at PokerGossip … Steve also has a good piece — from a Brit’s perspective — on yesterday’s “God Save the Queen” bracelet goof. Check it out.

(Way) Outside the WSOP – Day 32

by , | 6:02 am

Recapping the rest of Friday night’s WSOP, and paying respect to the passing of Lee Munzer (1943-2009).

Habib Holds High HORSE Hierarchy

Day 1 of the $50,000 HORSE has 91 of the 95 original entrants remaining, with Hasan Habib holding the chip lead. The list of notables with chips is too many to mention, but you can see who else is remaining by checking out this link. Day 2 will begin around 2pm4pm with another sixfive levels of play scheduled.

Cantu Leads PLO 8 Final Table

The final table of the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha 8 or Better has been established and Brandon Cantu has maintained his lead, with the final table seated as follows when play resumes at 2pm:

Seat 1: Lee Watkinson – 412000
Seat 2: Steve Jelinek – 260000
Seat 3: William McMahan – 168000
Seat 4: Brandon Cantu – 1025000
Seat 5: Ted Weinstock – 250000
Seat 6: Aaron Sias – 353000
Seat 7: Jacqmin Mathieu – 552000
Seat 8: Ronnie Hofman – 76000
Seat 9: Tommy Vedes – 334000

Day 2 of Limit Holdem Shootout

64 players remain from the starting field of 571 in the $1,500 Limit Holdem Shootout. Among the first round winners: Jean-Robert Bellande, Nick Binger, Humberto Brenes, Dan Heimiller, Juha Helppi, Greg Mueller, Marc Naalden, Brock Parker, Tom Schneider, David Williams and Todd Witteles. Eight eight-handed tables will play down to a winner starting around 2pm Saturday, with the eight winners returning Sunday.

Saturday’s Donkament

The only tournament starting today is the penultimate $1,500 NL Donkament, starting at noon today with a projected field size of 2,800 taking the felt, which will surely delay the other three tournaments that are scheduled to start later this afternoon. Last year’s version of this event was won by David Daneshgar in a field of 2,693, taking down over $625,000.

Texas Poker Bill, Death of

by , May 18, 2009 | 11:45 am

Watching this almost makes me wanna cry. Do you realize how close we were to turning Texas race tracks into full-fledged poker rooms? I don’t think you do! But alas, in the end we were killed by something akin to an inverse filibuster … and all in the same week that Annie Duke got slowrolled on Celebrity Apprentice …

In what is arguably nearly as compelling drama, in the above vid Rep. Jose Menendez delivers last rites to HB 222 — but not before being ridiculed and taunted with terrible poker metaphors (delivered in practically Corky-like fashion) from the representatives who were ready to lead the fight against this bill on the floor.

While Texas poker players pushing for fully legal Texas Hold’em did not get the House vote they were looking for, Menendez’s address does mark the first time the game was ever made a real issue in the Texas Legislature. Having achieved such footnote status in the historical almanac, the insinuation on where we go from here is that next time both sides should gear up for a full-on battle spirited debate over a bill looking to create California-style card rooms … in a year where the threat of a veto carries less weight, no less.