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Thread: UK player Neil Strike scams UK poker community for over 160,000

  1. #1

    UK player Neil Strike scams UK poker community for over 160,000

    Neil Strike, a regular in UK and Euro poker circles has been outed as having scammed over 160,000 from other players.

    Scottish poker pro Willie Elliot has written about it in detail on his blog:

    Unfortunately a number of players have known about this for a few months but it's only just been made public today.

  2. #2
    Anyone who's name sounds menacing I refuse to lend to, they should have known.

  3. #3
    Posted on Facebook by David Maudlin:


    I've been done before. It'll no doubt happen again.

    This time I've decided to make it public to avoid anybody else experiencing financial loss.

    Neil Strike appeared on the poker circuit a couple of years ago. I met him socially for the first time on a night out in Leeds. Shortly after that Neil was like many others - another poker player from the same area going to the same games.

    I've never really been a close friend of his.

    However, as time went on, he approached me to do some work for the syndicate. This is quite normal. He helped us with some account stuff and whilst I had some concerns that he did have a flutter, I wasn't too concerned. If I made a prerequisite that you have never gambled to join our syndicate, there probably wouldn't be anyone in it - me included.

    There were a couple of situations that will sound familiar to many. He owed me money and was delaying payment. Excuses were as daft as they normally are but I always got it in the end. However, when he cashed for ~20k in Monte Carlo in 2016, he made out that PokerStars had delayed payment. It became so farcical that I offered to publicly embarrass them into paying him but as time went on it was obvious that there was no delay at all from Stars! It was just another lie to join, what we now know to be, an endless list of them.

    I decided from a syndicate point of view that I would have little involvement with Neil. He owed me personally but it wasn't an amount that was making my life difficult at all.

    Then, over a period of time, a number of people came out of the woodwork. It would be unfair to name them. That's there business. If they choose to add to this thread and hold their hands up, that's up to them.

    Firstly, in Vegas last year, a few of us were having a beer and a friend asked for my 'advice' regarding someone we both mutually knew. He went on to say that this person owed him money. I read it like a book and asked him "is it Neil Strike". The look on his face confirmed my guess was correct. This person had been particularly patient and indeed himself was finding himself in an awkward spot with a major poker company awaiting funds owed to him (supposedly for a Las Vegas trip). However his patience continued and he was extremely supportive to Neil who clearly had a major gambling problem.

    Neil owed me Euros and I was due to travel to EPT Barcelona in August 2016. Not only did he agree to pay me the Euros, he said he'd be joining me on the trip. He was waiting for a large sum to be paid from an ex-business partner. He said that it was all resolved and whilst he didn't have the original money he owed me he promised I'd get it as soon as all money had been paid to him. He made it clear to me that he'd borrowed cash from his partners mother to ensure that I had my Euros.

    I then got told on the Barcelona trip by a fellow player that Neil had received the money already! I questioned him about this on the trip and he said he'd received 'part' of the cash.

    Once I had returned from Barcelona, a short while passed and I was faced with the same question from someone who I consider to be a good pal - "Dave, I know you've been in this spot but can you advise me ok how to deal with a delicate issue regarding money"

    I asked the person the same question (does Neil Strike owe you money?) and was equally amazed that I'd called it. From where I was sitting it wasn't difficult. Now remember in all of this that whilst this guy had an obvious issue, he was no good friend of mine. During his time in the syndicate I'd repeatedly talked about the dangers of gambling and what it can lead to.

    Time passed and it was clear I wasn't receiving any cash back from Neil. I asked him how much of a 'hole' he was in. He named a couple of people that he owed - not including the two I already knew about.

    He then asked me if he could meet with me at my home. That afternoon wasn't exactly what I was expecting.

    I was presented with a lengthy list of people he owed - some I knew, some I didn't. The total amount exceeded 200k, no I haven't made a mistake - 200k.

    I was gobsmacked. What made matters worse, his partner was completely oblivious to it. He asked for my help. I said I could help him work his finances out and help control his 'ins and outs' but that would be the level of my help. I so wish I went with my gut feeling on this and stuck to that.

    What then happened over a course of a few weeks was that a few friends - a couple of very close ones - asked me to help. My position as head of my syndicate meant that we could potentially take advantage of Neil's betting accounts.

    I'm missing a lot of boring detail here but I eventually agreed to get involved. I requested a number of points to be agreed first:

    1) I had complete control of all finances in and out of his accounts

    2) I needed a full and exhaustive list of all people owed money. Amounts, dates etc.

    3) His partner was made fully aware of the situation.

    Points 1 & 2 were provided. I had control in his bank account. I had no reason to believe that the list of creditors that he provided was not compete. The third point too extra persuasion and he regularly told me he couldn't agree to that. I confirmed that my involvement was completely conditional of it and had to happen. It was quite apparent to me that if we were ever going to succeed in my plan we would need his partner on board.

    On a Sunday afternoon I received a phone call from Neil. He told me that he was with his partner and had explained everything to her.

    He then passed her the phone. I spoke to her. She was heart broken, devastated, inconsolable.

    Even though it my only day off on the week and Neil lives 30 miles away, this needed to be dealt with. I suggested me traveling to them which I did.

    When I arrived, Neil's partner was rightfully upset, angry and was trying to deal with it the best way possible.

    I agreed, in principle, to help them. I needed a lot from them as well and they agreed to everything. They had little choice really.

    Whilst I don't want to go into detail of the plan that we had, all of is creditors were aware of it.

    However the accounts didn't last long and we found ourselves in a position where Neil's costs were exceeding his earnings.

    In the new year I managed to get Neil another job that he could do alongside the work he did for the syndicate. However that would not be enough. I discussed at great length the possibility of him placing bets in shops and handling cash. I installed strict guidelines including nightly 'cashing up' with his partners mother.

    This work managed to get the 'pot' back into a positive. At last, I could see progress.

    I then created an office position for him to work some Saturdays. This work was fairly well paid and offered him more guaranteed income.

    Alas, all of my efforts were not enough for Neil.

    Today (Friday 10th Feb) Neil was asked to come to the office. He arrived and everything was going fairly normal. I asked him why he hadn't banked yesterday. He made excuses about slips still to collect. I had little to be alarmed about at this stage but still asked him where the slips were.

    "With Jean (his partners mother), everything - cash and slips - are in the safe"

    I needed this confirming and rang Jean openly whilst we were all in the office. Jean didn't have anything belonging to me in the safe.

    Neil changes his story. "Everything is at my house - I knew you'd be mad if I told you they weren't in the safe"

    "Do you want me to go and get them?"

    I knew he was lying. So I told him that we'd both go get them. I cancelled my morning out with Caz and Neil and I left. We went through the facade of putting on our coats, then our shoes and we're even in the car.

    I looked at him and said "the cash and slips don't exist do they?"

    He turned on the water works and that was last I saw of him.

    Phone off. Gone. To be frank, I honestly thought he'd go and jump off a bridge.

    Some of my family might find this strange and 'out of character' but it really wouldn't bother me. If, when i'd first been asked to help him I'd said no and he'd done it, I'd blame myself. But now, after everything I've done he goes on to do this to me.

    I've received one text today from him. I'll copy and paste it in its entirety.

    "I'm alive and safe. I'm not going to harm myself although many would wish I did. I just need time alone without banging at the door or being screamed at down a phone or publicly humiliated til I get my head round it.

    I never stole as much as I owe, but the debt has gone up with each winning day.

    I stole/used 2,500 to pay a debt that stopped me getting harmed, and is no excuse just a fact. This debt is from before we got together and couldn't be included in the group debt.. Then i used the dollars to try get it back. I haven't placed a bet for days and that's why the debt is what it is now, because they've been winning days.

    I'm really sorry I've let the only people who cared about me down. I do just want to curl up and die, but I ain't doing that, that I can PROMISE!!

    I've made a phone call re work and seeing about it on Monday.

    By the messages ive started receiving I know everyone is aware of the situation, and I'll have to deal with it.

    Dave I know it means nothing, but I am sorry, really am.

    I'm also aware this message can be copied/pasted and used for any use you want."

    So there it is, he tells me there was another person who he owed 2500 to who was going to harm him!

    If he has the chance to come clean about a debt of ~200k why would he not include someone who might hurt him that was owed 2500. No - it doesn't add up, does it.

    I've worked with everyone that is owed cash. The daft thing is - and it's the most craziest thought ever - I actually feel guilty about what they're owed!

    Some of them today have sent me some extremely kind words to me. Thank you for that.

    I've also been in touch with a very close friend of mine throughout this whole episode. He's owed a large amount - much larger than what I'm owed - but he has his own issues to deal with currently.

    I sat with Caz today, just after this had all happened. She knows exactly how I feel in these situations. I go to the bathroom and just check in the mirror to see if the word 'mug' is there on my head. I think it is to be frank - it's just I'm the only one that can't see it.

    However, in life, I've chosen to be a decent man. The amount of people that have told me: to get to the top you have to trample on people.

    That's just not me. I'm on way to the top, I'll get there and I'll stay there. I'll get there my way - by being decent and by continuing to offer my help and skills that those that need it. When they bite me, like Mr Strike has, I'll get over it. And move on.

    Off to Las Vegas Wednesday, wish me luck.

    Much love.

    DM x

    PS - I don't usually expose anyone that crosses me or owes me. It's not what social media is for. I've made an exception in this case.

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