Poker players’ problems with the law

Bebb-Jones playing poker before his arrest...

Professional poker player Marcus Bebb-Jones has been jailed for 20 years in the United States after confessing to the murder of his wife in 1997.

At the time, Bebb-Jones was running a hotel with his wife in Colorado and admitted that he murdered his wife after she had left him following an argument.

After having gone on a spending spree in Las Vegas, where his son was taken into care after being found alone in a hotel room, Bebb-Jones moved back to the UK where he began to play regularly in casino and online poker tournaments.

His wife’s skull was found in a national park in 2004 and nearby flowers that were also found on the undercarriage of the couple’s van around the time of the murder caused police to issue a warrant for his arrest and extradition to the UK. After several appeals and court cases, Bebb-Jones confessed to the murder and was finally sentenced this week at Garfield County Court.

But Bebb-Jones isn’t the online poker player to have had brushes with the police, while few have committed quite as serious an offence as him.

Greg Raymer: Prostitution

Just last month former World Series of Poker winner Gregory Raymer was one of six men arrested for attempting to contact a prostitute after an ad had been placed on a website by an undercover police officer.

At the time of writing, Raymer has posted bail and is awaiting trial. According to legal eagles, it would appear that he’s going to be found guilty without too much trouble.

Paul Sexton and Steve Diano: Illegal Sports Betting

This offence may not be a massive surprise as poker and sports betting are fairly well linked but in most of America it’s illegal nonetheless. Sexton is a former Full Tilt Poker pro and is reported to have acted as a money collector in a huge sports betting operation.

Diano was a World Series of Poker regular and acted as a bookmaker where bets could be placed over the internet. It was later revealed in the indictment that both men are linked to online bookmaker Pinnacle Sports, which obviously is no more.

Tobey Maguire and others: Fraud

Even Spiderman himself has had problems with poker and staying the right side of the law, although admittedly this isn’t entirely his fault. In 2011 Maguire was sued for $80,000 after winning money from a hedge fund manager at a high stakes poker game.

However, the money that he’d won was gained illegally with Brad Ruderman, the hedge fund manager, being convicted of wire fraud and investment fraud. Other high profile people who were also sued included Nick Cassavetes, director of The Notebook and record label owner Cody Leibel while Ben Affleck and Leonardo DiCaprio are also rumoured to have been involved in some way.