Buckley Plea Bargain may have larger impact on other Black Friday

Posted by James Guill on Dec 21, 2011 Posted in Legal Poker News | No Comments »

Brent Buckley accepted a plea bargain and pleaded guilty on Tuesday to Black Friday related charges.  As such, he became the first person to be convicted in connection with Black Friday.  While this may look like a minor conviction to some, it could mean more than many realize.  Let’s examine this further.

UIGEA Has More Bite Than Many Expected

Since April 15th, a common outcry was that the UIGEA was unenforceable and that they would never get any real convictions.  Buckley’s conviction is actually the 2nd overall for the law and the first for the Black Friday indictments.

This will give the DOJ a good amount of leveraging power over others that are indicted and will further bolster their case.  Any legitimate chance that any of those indicted has of getting charges dismissed likely flew out of the window with Buckley’s admission of wrongdoing.

Online Poker Legalization Will Not Save the Day

The most absurd assumption stemming from April 15th was that if some miracle was pulled off and online poker legalized, those indicted would walk.  Let’s throw out the arguments about this and focus on one simple truth.  Online poker is not getting legalized anytime soon.  It’s not happening by the end of 2011, and it likely will not happen in 2012.  (I would say definitely won’t happen, but there is like a 10% chance that it could in my opinion.)

Buckley may have wised up to this fact and did what he could to get this matter over with.  Even if he is sentenced to 18 months in prison, he likely will get out before online poker is legal.

More Deals May Follow

Now that Buckley has agreed to a deal and Ira Ruben is rumored to be working on one as well, I think you will see others follow their lead.  As such, I would be very surprised to see either John Campos or Chad Elie go to trial in March.  Their argument for dismissal failed and odds are they can get a good deal if they do so now as opposed to trying their luck at trial.  You have a stacked deck against you gentlemen.  Time to fold.

Finally, I really don’t see Buckley getting the maximum sentence for this.  I see him getting somewhere around  a year at max, or if they do give him the full amount of time, a good chunk will be suspended.  In the end, I think we will look back at this plea deal as being the beginning of the end of the Black Friday indictments, but not as many would hope for.

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