cBorgata chip counterfeiter Christian Lusardi is out on parole. Christian Harder wins his first major title. Caesars legal woes come to an end. Online gaming coming to Pennsylvania soon. And more.

Flush with Freedom

Well-known cheater and poker laughing stock Christian Lusardi has been released on parole.

The poker world hates cheaters, but it loves stupid cheaters. Lusardi has been a well-known name in the poker community since his arrest in early 2015 for sneaking counterfeit chips onto the table at that year’s Borgata Winter Poker Open. It’s the sort of story poker players love because Lusardi’s incompetence manifested itself in so many separate ways that his plan never had much chance of success from the start.

The counterfeits were poor, for starters, and the tournament organizers had been receiving reports that something was up from early on. Despite the massive advantage he afforded himself, Lusardi busted the tournament fairly early in the money and received little more than a min-cash. But the aspect of the story that will cause it to go down in poker lore is how he was caught. Having busted and knowing that suspicions had been raised, rather than simply checking out and skipping town with his remaining counterfeit chips in his bags, Lusardi attempted to flush them down his hotel room toilet. Unsurprisingly, this caused a blockage, which was traceable back to his room and therefore to him; he was arrested shortly thereafter.

Although originally sentenced to five years in prison, it appears Lusardi served less than one before being released. As broken by the PokerFraudAlert forums and passed on by PokerNews, he was granted parole this past summer.

In a sense, his early release may prove a boon for the poker world, as his story is still fresh in the minds of the community, and so it’s likely that he’ll seek out a new direction rather than attempt to work his way back into poker incognito.

Quick Hitters

Christian Harder has won the inaugural PokerStars Championship Bahamas: the event formerly known as the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Until now, Harder has been one of the most successful professional poker players without a major title, a record he’s surely happy to be rid of.

– Caesars Entertainment has been going through convoluted bankruptcy proceedings for quite a while now. Though the legal nitty-gritty is of greater interest to investors than poker players, one big question throughout has been what will happen to the World Series of Poker, a brand held by Caesars. According to the latest update from Flushdraw, the dust has settled and it should be business as usual for the WSOP going forward.

– No poker ratings system is perfect, but a frequent complaint about the currently-popular Global Poker Index (GPI) is its emphasis on high rollers. The GPI has responded to those criticisms by revamping its scoring system to weight field size more highly and buy-ins lower than in the past.

– Progress on the US regulatory front has been slow generally, but Pennsylvania residents have a glimmer of hope: Senator Mario Scavello says the will is now there and he expects actual legislation to pass within a matter of months.