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Thread: FreeRolls Poker Club - Scams employees working WPTDeepStacks Houston event.

  1. #1

    FreeRolls Poker Club - Scams employees working WPTDeepStacks Houston event.

    Hey everyone, I debated on whether or not to create a separate account or not as this will put my name, but I don’t really care.

    WPTDeepStacks entered a contract with FreeRolls Poker Club to hold a WPtDeeaptacks event in Houston from 9/25 - 10/1. I came to the event to deal and realized things were messed up and we’re going to go terribly wrong if I didn’t. Nobody at FreeRolls Poker Club had a clue on how to run a professional Multi-flight MTT.

    Below is the official statement I have made about the event and the aftermath.

    The key thing to note is this, employees were told the checks would be available on 10/15. We showed up and the owner told ia the club was broke and investors backed out.






    WPTDEEPSTACKS Statement.

    The following statement & views of the dealings about WPTDeepStacks Houston & FreeRolls Poker Club is NOT an official statement made on behalf of either of the mentioned party. This is a personal view/opinion on how things were managed, and things that I witnessed myself. I will be as honest as possible with the knowledge that I have.

    My name is Lee Bradbury. I was the official Tournament Director of the WPTDeepStacks Houston Event hosted by FreeRolls Poker Club.

    I have been a traveling poker dealer since July 2018. A friend of mine from Houston contacted me about possibly DEALING the WPTDeepStacks Houston event. He got me in contact with the General Manager, Dexter Baier.

    A few days prior to the event starting Dexter called and asked if I owned a suit, I advised I did. He asked me if I would be interested in FLOORING the event for a couple of the days. I explained I had no flooring experience but was comfortable enough with the TDA rules that I could if he needed me, I asked who the TD was. He said that he was going to give anyone who wanted to be a TD/floor, the chance to do so. I immediately said that was a terrible idea and pretty quickly found out there was no plan.....

    A few of the things that were wrong off the top:

    - The dealers were unsure how much they were getting paid. Multiple people were told “between $15-$20/hr depending on experience....also no one was clear on WHEN the staff would be paid


    - Over staffing. On Day 1A I started off with 3 tables, ended up opening 2 more, but had 24 dealers staffed. A few volunteered to leave at the beginning, and a few trickled out pretty early, but I ended up having to fit 18 dealers on a 5 table string. In the end, payroll ended up being EXTREMELY higher than what it needed to be because Dexter would let employees sit around when they weren’t needed for dealing (I was not allowed to send dealers home without going to Dexter)

    - No chip security. The chips for the event were kept in racks in the “dealer break room” that was left unlocked and unmonitored during the ENTIRE event. Every single staff member had access to these chips.

    - The dealers set up their own trays and were not verified by a member of management at any point. Dealers could have purposely or accidentally gave too less or too many chips.


    The PokerAtlas system for total # of entries was being controlled by the cage. During Day 1A the players were constantly asking if the total # of entrants were correct. I had personally witnessed 1 player bust, rebuy, and the total # of entrants did not increase, so I asked a lady at the cage about this.(I don’t have any of the cage ladies names). Her response was that they were only adding to the # of entrants on unique buy-ins and not reentries.

    I immediately went to Dex and told him that that’s the wrong way to do things and that things won’t match up in the end. I was told to “stay in my lane”...the cage and money isn’t anything I need to worry about.

    At the end of Day 1A, it said “75 entrants” on the tournament clock, but there were approx* 2.43 million chips in bags (81 entries).

    Day 1B was the same story, the clock at the end of the day showed something like 118 or 119, but there were approx* 4.17 million chips in play (139 entries).

    *I say approx, because we raced off the 100 denomination chips at the end of each Day1

    On Day 1C at the beginning of the day Trent made an announcement that there was $220,000 in the prizepool.

    So the prize pool at that point matched the total # of chips in play, so I figured that issue was solved.


    **Another important note, is that on Day 1A or day 1B (I honestly can’t remember), I do remember Trent announced that he had secured another $850,000 investor for the FreeRolls Poker Club


    MOVING ON TO DAY 2.

    The morning of Day 2, Dexter talked to me that morning and was saying that they counted the money in the cage and only had $750,000 for the prize pool but that they had already announced the prize pool of $790,000.

    The total # of chips in play matched close*** to. 23.7 million (790 x 30k)

    *** the total # of chips in play in Day2 = 23,325,000. I do know that several people double bagged and that some chips were forfeited, but I personally never saw those bags and was never told what they added up to


    Dexter wanted to chalk up the 1.2 million chips discrepancy up to chips being introduced into play that shouldn’t have & incorrect color ups.

    Is this possible? I guess, but the larger denomination chips (25k & 100k) chips didn’t get put into play until very late stages of the tournament....if this is what happened, it all leads back to the lack of chip security



    Other issues with the tournament:

    - The word “tips” were not allowed to be used. Instead of the players being able to leave tips for the dealing staff, they had to purchase “show me love chips”...however the ladies at the cage were “too busy” to handle that, so instead a dealer was put by the exit promoting these chips...HOWEVER, there was a jar at the cage that said “tips” and this tips were split only among the staff in the cage. From my understanding this was not explained to the players. (Keep in mind from my understanding members of the cage included Trent Daniel’s wife and Charles Potter’s wife)....I’m not aware of how much the cage collected in chips but I know for a fact it took away from the dealing staff.
    - Also in regards to tips, there was not a dealer present during anytime that anyone at the final table got paid. It was reported that dealers received a total of $8,100 in tips TOTAL for the event.



    - The players that bagged, did so we Ziploc bags. I had to improvise a system where not only the player counted their stack, but so did the dealer and a member of the floor staff, and another player at the table.

    - Day 2 seat assignments was never made prior to the players showing up for Day 2. I had to improvise and had players do a random seat draw by using the seat cards. Then dealers (not sitting at a table) would go find the players bag and bring them their bag. This caused Day 2 to get started almost 1.5 hours late.


    DAY 3 (Final table)

    When the first few players busted, they had to wait for over a hour to get paid, I was later told this was because Trent was running around trying to get money to be able to pay all the players because of the prize pool discrepancy.

    WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THE EVENT?

    The event was over on 10/1. Dealers were asking when are we getting paid and nobody had a clear answer.

    On 10/8 there was a mass text sent out from FreeRolls CFO Joanne Melton that payroll dates would be on the 1st & 15th of each month. It was communicated to us then to expect our checks on Monday 10/15.

    On Monday 10/15 @ 10:42am CST another mass text from the same # was sent out that checks would be available from 4pm - 5:30pm at the club that afternoon (10/15).

    I personally showed up at around 4:45pm and walked in to Trent Daniel telling everyone that the prizepool was short and that he used all the available funds to make the prize pool right and to make payments to WPT. He stated that at 1pm on 10/15 that he had an investor meeting to get more money for payroll, but that investor backed out and refused to give anymore money.

    WHY DID HE WAIT UNTIL 3 HOURS PRIOR TO PAYING HIS DEALERS TO HAVE THIS MEETING? I asked this exact question and his response was “because our investor meetings are on the 1st and 15th of every month. So what was being doing between 10/1 & 10/15?!?!?

    During this meeting, he asked everyone to give him 36 hours to try to figure out how to make this right. This was around 6pm on 10/15.

    On Wednesday a few people were updated that they had another investor meeting that afternoon and would know more later that day. Later that night, I received a call from Rackel (the new Poker Room manager?) that they secured funding and would start paying people out on Thursday and hopefully have everyone paid in full no later than Friday or Monday.

    I have not had the chance to ask anyone if they did indeed get any money on Thursday as I worked all day, but personally I did not receive any money on Thursday (10/18). I will follow up with some of the dealers tomorrow see what they say.

    There are several things that I have left out as in my personal opinion I don’t that that matter much, about procedures that were done wrong, and other things that were just plain out of whack, but will do my best to answer any and all questions directed at me.

    I will also make another post regarding further personal conversations that I’ve had with various members of FreeRolls staff but those will be solely my personal feelings and opinions and didn’t want to get them mixed in with the facts of the tournament and payroll situation in itself.

    Thanks for reading.

    Lee Bradbury

     
    Comments
      
      JohnCommode: Really interesting. The poker world is such a mess now. Druff should have you call in for one of his shows.
      
      sah_24: what a shit show ... sorry for your bad luck
      
      duped_samaritan: good report

  2. #2
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    This is indeed a total mess.

    Sounds more like complete incompetence and disorganization than outright scamming, but obviously some innocent people got screwed here, including AHoosierA.

    There were earlier problems here. In April, there was a controversy because apparently WPT Deepstacks Houston didn't get the proper permission from the city of Houston to operate, and yet they allegedly solicited investments claiming to have such permission: https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/2...ouble-1710038/

    It is not clear to me what ultimately happened regarding this.

    Texas has fairly strict laws against gambling, hence the big underground poker club scene there, as well as "legal" rooms like these which operate via loopholes in the law. Basically Texas law prohibits collection of rake, time charges, seat charges, and tipping of dealers. Therefore, some of these "legal clubs" will charge a membership fee, and then people will be playing "rake free" poker. That's the reason for the "Show Me Love" tokens for tipping -- another attempt to dance around the law against tipping dealers.

    This by itself isn't a big deal, as Texas law is Texas law, and I understand people wanting to play poker and circumvent it. However, in addition to making legal poker clubs less financially viable, these laws also tend to attract shady/irresponsible people running such clubs who don't have the proper experience, and there also isn't any kind of government oversight like exists in states with legalized poker.

    It's still not clear to me where the extra money went from the prizepool. Clearly the number of chips indicates some missing buyins, and AHoosierA personally witnessed a rebuy without the number of entrants being increased. So where did that money go? I'm assuming it was stolen by people who realized the whole thing was a shitshow and too disorganized to track down the guilty parties.

    This left owner Trent Daniels scrambling to quickly acquire the money missing from the prizepool, and when he couldn't get it, he probably took the money intended for payroll and used it to fix the prizepool.

    Shady all around.

    What responsibility does the WPT have in this?

    Sadly, none.

    They are simply licensing out their name, and it has long been established that brand licensing does not equate to financial responsibility. This is actually how Trump made a lot of his money in recent years (prior to his run for President). He would license out the Trump name to third party businesses (condos and hotels) all over the world, get paid handsomely, and yet have no ownership or risk in the projects.

    It is important to never place trust in an event simply because it purports to be "WPT". There have been several WPT-branded businesses which have gone under and screwed people, and none of these were actually owned or operated by WPT.

  3. #3
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Reportedly Trent Daniels will appear on Sports Talk 790 AM Houston tonight at 9pm PDT to discuss the entire matter.

    You can listen here: https://www.iheart.com/live/sportstalk-790-2257/

  4. #4
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Also, according to Facebook group following the situation, some dealers/staff have received partial payment, but many are still not paid in full.

    So it does look like Trent Daniels is trying to pay people, but he likely lacks the complete funds to do so, and it also appears he's not being fully honest with people about the entire situation.

  5. #5
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Karl Ferry on Facebook posted this:

    Yes I [was] with a dealer all night he was paid a check for 40% of what was due to him, get this when tips were counted no dealer representative was allowed in the room to verify. We were told the was $8100 in tips on $790k prize pool but we have since learned that JJ who final tabled told people he tipped $5400 himself so something is really not even close to adding up..... I would love to have the final table release what they tipped!!!!
    So that's not good. They're claiming only $8100 in tips were received, yet one guy who made the final table tipped $5400 alone (or so he says), which if true probably means that money was also stolen from the tip pool.

    It also appears that Ray Henson is attempting to advocate for the screwed dealers/staffers (not sure what his role is, but he might just be trying to help because of his connection to the Houston poker scene), and is aggressively pressing for everyone to be paid in full.

  6. #6
    Every player that made the final table was paid in a back room where the only people present was the player, and ownership of FreeRolls.

  7. #7
    I was told i would be paid $25/hr. I worked 85.5 hours.


    I received $600 (cash) on 9/28 from the GM Dexter Baier.

    I received $250 (cash) on 10/16 from the GM Dexter Baier

    I received. $200 Western Union from CEO Trent Daniel on 10/16.

    Today at this time I have received no additional payments

    Promises to be paid in full continues to get pushed back at every single deadline that Trent Daniel has given himself.

  8. #8
    Cubic Zirconia
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    Reading all of this makes my head hurt. I'm sorry this was such a disaster OP... I've been in the dealing industry for a few years now and it amazes me how horrible things are behind the scenes.

  9. #9
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AhoosierA View Post
    I was told i would be paid $25/hr. I worked 85.5 hours.


    I received $600 (cash) on 9/28 from the GM Dexter Baier.

    I received $250 (cash) on 10/16 from the GM Dexter Baier

    I received. $200 Western Union from CEO Trent Daniel on 10/16.

    Today at this time I have received no additional payments

    Promises to be paid in full continues to get pushed back at every single deadline that Trent Daniel has given himself.
    Have you been paid further?

    Ray Henson said that Trent was going to go on some podcast with him yesterday and explain everything. Then I saw others saying that Trent claimed he paid everyone at this point?

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