Dan Bekevac, the man behind the Midway Poker Tour scandal, has resurfaced at the MSPT Grand Falls.
The Midway Poker Tour scandal involved a charity tournament Bekavac organized in October 2020. The event stiffed the winners by about 30% of their payouts, thanks to a cascade of either bungling or malfeasance on the organizer’s part.
After the event, Bekavac went silent for three months before turning up to play in the MSPT Grand Falls this week. In an oddly poetic detail, the MSPT Grand Falls buy in is $1,100. That’s he same amount each Midway Poker Tour player coughed up.
Bekavac was reportedly angered when another player at the Grand Falls event asked him about the Midway payouts.
The Midway Poker Scandal
Bekavac rose to prominence and then fell to disgrace in October of last year. The Midway Poker Club on the PokerBROS app set up a live event in Illinois. This is the first in a series of suspicious decisions Bekavac made. Under Illinois law, the event could only pay out $500 in cash above the buy-in. So players would receive the balance of their payouts in precious metals. The Midway Poker Club claimed it would then have someone on-site to buy the metals back at full price.
What seemed at first like a cute gimmick went south fast when it turned out that the precious metal dealer wasn’t on site. Neither were any Midway Poker Tour employees. It got worse when players tried to sell their winnings. The silver had been bought at retail prices and the organizers passed that on to the players. Independent precious metal sellers do not pay retail prices. Not even to poker players.
Some players received cash payments to make up the difference later. But seven of the nine final tablists, including the top three payouts, remain unpaid, along with five other cash finishers.
Bekavac made a detailed apology in which he promised to make things right.
“I will do my best to make things right with all that were affected by the horrible events that transpired on Sunday, due mostly to my actions and my inactions,” he wrote in a long statement on the Midway Poker Tour website. he went back on this soon after with a very public nopology in which he claimed he did nothing wrong after all.
That was the last anyone heard until he snapped at a player for asking about that promise this week. There is some justice though. He played both day ones and struck out on both.
What has made players so angry about Bekavac’s appearance at the MSPT event is not so much the scandal itself as the immediate aftermath.
In the last three months, several other details have surfaced that speak to the organizer’s character. First, an agent of the Midway Poker Club came forward to describe the whole club as a “Ponzi scheme.” PokerBROS shut the club down, successfully closing the door after the horse had bolted with the stable-masters wife.
Additionally, the charity, 4KidsSake, for which the event was ostensibly arranged, left with about $600 in tips. They were supposed to receive half the proceeds from the tourney, but the organizers claimed operating costs had wiped the proceeds.
It turned out one of Bekavak’s previous business ventures was sued for producing counterfeit dice games. And someone claiming to be his ex referenced numerous off-the-books dealings in a 2+2 thread. In 2011 he filed for bankruptcy. In 2016, he was convicted of domestic battery/assault.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was that Bekavac was allowed to handle anyone’s money in the first place.
Image source: Twitter