The Poker Night In America cast and crew appeared to have a great time filming a grudge match and high-stakes cash game inside Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino in March 2017.
But at least one of the players involved is feeling a bit remorseful now. Especially since the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has stuck SugarHouse with the bill.
A $30,000 fine for unauthorized games
That bill came in the form of a $30,000 fine the PGCB levied against SugarHouse this week. The PGCB is also charging SugarHouse $2,500 in fees and penalties on top of the fine.
Apparently, the fee was initially higher. The final number is the result of negotiation between SugarHouse and the PGCB Office of Enforcement Counsel.
According to a press release, the fine stems from SugarHouse dealing two poker games that had not been authorized by the Board.
In one incident, SugarHouse staff dealt a few cash game hands of open-faced Chinese Poker.
The other incident occurred during a weekend at SugarHouse filled with Poker Night In America festivities. After filming ended, a high-stakes cash game included a hand of ten-card stud.
The hand was not a part of the Poker Night In America livestream or edited TV broadcast.
Video evidence of Polk and Kaufman
However, there is no denying the ten-card stud flip occurred.
Poker pros and grudge match commentators Shaun Deeb and Doug Polk filmed it on Deeb’s phone. Then they posted it on Polk’s YouTube channel.
The action saw Polk and commercial real estate manager Jeremy Kaufman each put up $42,000 on a ten-card stud flip.
It looked like Polk had the hand locked up when he made two pair, aces and tens. Kaufman held two pair, eights and fours, with just two cards left to turn over. That’s when the pair negotiated a buyout with Kaufman agreeing to pay Polk $25,000.
Kaufman then turned over his final two cards and discovered he would have made a straight. Polk bricked out and it turned out he would have lost the $84,000 pot had he not taken the buyout.
The video of the hand has well over 115,000 views on YouTube:
Deeb reacted to a post about the fine on Twitter this week, admitting he and others pushed SugarHouse staff to deal the hands. Deeb said the players have since apologized for getting the staff in trouble and taking advantage of their kindness:
Sadly yes I think the fine was more too we all apologized to the staff who got in trouble for us pushing them to allow it we took advantage of their kindness
— on hiatus (@shaundeeb) March 6, 2019
The Poker Night and SugarHouse connection
Rush Street Gaming subsidiaries own and operate both SugarHouse Casino and the production company behind Poker Night In America. In fact, the poker room at SugarHouse was known as the Poker Night in America Poker Room until recently. SugarHouse has since re-branded the 28-table poker room SugarHouse Poker.
Poker Night In America airs nationally on CBS Sports Network.
The action filmed on the weekend in question included a heads-up grudge match between poker pros Cate Hall and Mike Dentale. The match was spawned by an ongoing Twitter spat between the two.
It also included action from $25/$50 and $50/$100 cash games. The cash games featured Deeb, Polk, and other top pros including Phil Hellmuth, Olivier Busquet, and Matt Glantz.
A $2/$5 no-limit hold’em cash game with a lineup of local players was also part of the livestream.