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Thread: Thomas Kremser stealing EPT side event player's money

  1. #1

    Thomas Kremser stealing EPT side event player's money

    In this interview (in Finnish) with seasoned poker reporter Juhani Tyrisevš, he brings up the topic of Thomas Kremser. The interview is published on Pokerisivut which is Finland's biggest poker community, and for whom Tyrisevš has reported from live events for since 2006. For those of you that don't remember, Thomas Kremser was accused of pocketing money from EPT side event's after players noticed four buyins had gone missing in a 5k euro side event in EPT Madrid 2011.

    Nothing ever came to light of this story. Investigative journalism is an unheard of in mainstream poker media.

    I took the time to translate the part about Kremser in the interview:

    Any other unforgettable events you have witnessed?

    [Paragraph about the 2010 EPT Berlin robbery]

    "Springing to mind is also a gig at EPT Madrid, when Pokerstars sacked tournament director Thomas Kremser. Stars had for some unfathomable reason made a seven year long deal with Kremser for the arrangement of EPT tournaments. At the time, his seventh year was underway, and in Stars' mind they were paying Kremser way too much. They wanted to negotiate a, for them, better contract, alternatively discontinue it. Kremser then got caught for a considerable swindle, and his career with the EPT ended then and there. Nobody knows for sure, was the decision to end the contract made before the theft was revealed, but the incident itself was clear cut. The case was discovered thanks to Juha Helppi. Helppi was one of three remaining players in a 5000 euro side event that was about to go on break for the day. The players were discussing a deal between them, when Helppi noticed, there were 80,000 chips more in play than there should be according to the number of entrants listed on the tournament info screen. It was undeniably clear that four players buyins had been embezzled from the prize pool. Pokerstars restored the 20,000 euro to the prize pool, but it is unknown, did that money come from Kremser or the company's own pockets.

    Kremser with wife, and a gentleman named Gerard manually, between the three of them, handled all EPT cash transactions for seven years, until Pokerstars developed a computerised system for it. My careful estimate is that Kremser and his collaborators have stolen hundreds of thousands euros along the way. I have no evidence, but by Kremser and company's methods it was in my opinion easy to embezzle money from specifically large field side events. In these events it was more difficult to keep track of the actual numbers of entrants. In the main events Mad Harper ran such a tight ship that Kremser never had the chance to cabal. Harper made the players list herself and always debriefed the floor to make sure everything was ran to precision. To Kremser and his companions, skimming off the top in side events that no one was watching over was much less riskful. At that time all buyins were made cash in hand, so the process in question is no more difficult than handing the chips to the player and putting this buyin in your own pockets."

    The tournament where Kremser finally was caught had only 123 player. Thus four buyins missing should be easily noticed.

    "The more players, the less the risk of getting caught. In that last tournament there were, besides few players, also big money in question, and so Kremser finally got busted. This is just speculation, but I believe that from the EPT's thousand and two thousand euro side events, hundreds of thousands of euros have gone missing along the way. Nobody can of course know for sure, other than Kremser and his partners in crime. Maybe it is somewhat telling that Kremser had the peculiar hobby of collecting sports cars."

     
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    Last edited by klinz; 03-30-2018 at 05:11 PM.

  2. #2
    Gold duped_samaritan's Avatar
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    Looks like he's still around the poker world.

    Ran a tournament series in Caribbean in 2015
    https://www.thedailyherald.sx/supple...thomas-kremser


    Won 200 bucks in a lol freeroll last summer
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  3. #3
    Kremser and his wife (who is a dealer) often MC'd and handled Euro television events. They would of had access to hundreds and maybe even thousands of side tournaments because they were often seen as the best TD group in Europe at the time.

    Another issue is that these casinos/poker sites don't make a big enough public deal of this to coordinate the 86ing of folks who do this type of shit uniformally. For example, I knew of a TD, Mike Ward, who was (as told me to by many Foxwoods regs) axed at Foxwoods in the same fashion Kremser was - with no warning or public reasons given by the casino, or reported to authorities - because it was rumored to have done the same thing these people did during rebuy tournaments (pocketing rebuy entries). The guy was TDing the PCA a few months later.

    Granted, this stuff might be hard to report to the authorities because once the money is gone, its hard to prove whether someone just pocketed it (unless they had it on their person) or they could always blame "system error/misplaced money", but until casinos, poker sites, authorities get their shit together, this stuff will continue....especially at lower events. I will say, newer tech like MyStack apps and poker accounting software should help curb this happening as often as it should.

    I often wonder how much over the years casino TDs have stolen, especially in the older days where we didn't have live reporting/internetforum nerds and and such.
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by klinz View Post
    In the main events Mad Harper ran such a tight ship that Kremser never had the chance to cabal. Harper made the players list himself and always debriefed the floor to make sure everything was ran to precision.
    Just a tiny correction, Mad (Madelaine) Harper is female. Kremser had the contract to supply all the dealers in EPT events, who would all be dressed identically in black and white and were reasonably well-trained. They were certainly better on average than WSOP dealers.

     
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnFanningsLimpDick View Post
    Just a tiny correction, Mad (Madelaine) Harper is female.
    My bad, personal pronouns in Finnish are gender neutral so in translation I just assumed she was a lad.

  6. #6
    NoFraud Poker Room Manager Belly Buster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by klinz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnFanningsLimpDick View Post
    Just a tiny correction, Mad (Madelaine) Harper is female.
    My bad, personal pronouns in Finnish are gender neutral so in translation I just assumed she was a lad.
    Finland ahead of the pack - I suspect this is where the rest of the world will be in 20 years time.

    Kremser ran a lot of the Euro tour stuff back in the day. Interesting to note he was on the take.
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  7. #7
    a little correction...

    in the radio show description i just read "a finnish poker director"

    but he is Austrian
    Winner of the $555 freeroll

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