Judge Orders Man to Repay Debts with Poker

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Aug 10, 2010 Posted in Legal Poker News | No Comments »

poker debt
In a court ruling straight out of the Wild West, Samuel McMaster struck a deal with New Mexico authorities that allows him to remain free provided he makes monthly payments of $7,500 to the 20 victims he swindled in a securities fraud scheme. And the method McMaster will use to make restitution: POKER!

The 59 year-old stockbroker/poker player will still be forced to have his day in court and could face up to 12 years in prison for the 26 felony charges he has piled up. However, the severity of his sentencing likely has everything to do with his ability to repay the estimated $444,000 he stole from his clients.

The plea deal gives McMasters a 6-month stay of execution on his sentencing –basically a chance to prove he can repay his debts through poker—but if he misses two monthly payments he will have to return to court for immediate sentencing.  It is not clear if he will be playing at any ofthe online poker sites.

It’s unclear how strong of a poker player McMasters is, and it seems he only turned to poker after being banned from trading securities, but I find it hard to believe that he will manage to earn some $10,000/month — $,7,500 of which goes to repayment and I’ll assume he needs a minimum of $2,500/month to live on– from poker in what amounts to a do-or-die situation.


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