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Judge Dismisses Case Against High-Stakes Poker Player Paul Phua

With Case Dismissed, Phua Presumably Can Resume Playing Poker Immediately


The government’s improper collection of evidence that resulted in an illegal gambling indictment against high-stakes poker player and wealthy Malaysian businessman Paul Phau has finally resulted in the case against him being dismissed.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, a federal judge in Nevada made the ruling Monday. Last July, FBI agents seized evidence from Caesars Palace, where Phua was staying and allegedly operating a World Cup betting scheme via the Internet.

Phua was set to stand trial this month.

Six co-defendants pleaded guilty and didn’t receive any prison time, while another case was dismissed. Phua’s son was among those charged.

Will Phua Now Head To The Rio For The Ongoing World Series of Poker?Thanks to the indictment, Phua was barred from playing poker in Las Vegas casinos. It’s unclear when he will resume playing. He has competed at the WSOP in the past.

His connections to the poker community were valuable after his arrest in Las Vegas. Phua and his son saw poker pro Phil Ivey post $1 million toward their bail. Poker pro Andrew Robl also put up a seven-figure sum to help get the accused out of jail.

In a court document filed on Friday, lawyers for Phua addressed the collateral the government had in its possession, saying that it should be returned. They made reference to the money put up by Ivey and Robl.

Although the Government has thus far refused to admit it (despite this Court’s request that it take a clear position), this case is not going forward to trial on June 15. Retaining the collateral securing Defendant’s bail will cause significant inconvenience and economic harm. Potentially for years, the individuals who posted bail for Defendant will be without those funds. During that time, Defendant’s plane will lose material value and it will be unavailable to him to use for his business. In these circumstances, there is no basis to refuse the return of the collateral.

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