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Ill-Fated Midway Poker Tour Organizer Dan Bekavac Wins Huge MSPT Event

Dan Bekavac, the man behind the disastrous Midway Poker Tour event in Chicago where players were paid in precious metals rather than cash, scored a big payday this weekend by winning his third Mid-States Poker Tour tournament.

The event was held at the Riverside Casino and attracted 1,094 entries. First place was $193,391, bringing Bekavac’s lifetime earnings to $483,984, almost all of which came from his three MSPT victories. A tweet from the MSPT featured a photo of a winner and claimed Bekavac won the biggest poker tournament in Iowa history, but made no mention of Bekavac’s past or the money he owes. yet to players who weren’t healed during the Chicago event.

Bekavac planned to join the crowded group of regional tour operators in the Midwest with the launch of the Midway Poker Tour in October by hosting a tournament in Chicago with a charity component. A state regulator paid a visit during the tournament, and Bekavac quickly worked to find a way to comply with Illinois state law that caps payouts on charity poker events.

The event turned into a storm of controversy when Bekavac attempted to circumvent the law by buying precious metals from a dealer and paying players in gold, silver and other metals. Players posted photos of their payouts and players and those watching the debacle on social media expressed anger at MPT’s lack of planning.

It was soon discovered that Bekavac had paid retail prices for the precious metals and the promise of an on-site dealer who would buy back the coins and bars never materialized. Players were unable to sell enough metal to recoup their prize money, and many claim the Midway Poker Tour owes them money to this day.

The poker community expressed its anger when Bekavac returned to poker for the first time playing an MSPT event at Grand Falls Casino in Larchwood, Iowa a few months later. Now that he’s won such a big prize, players are calling on him to pay back all the money owed by the Midway Poker Tour.

Coverage of the MSPT event was provided by Poker News, but there was no mention of Bekavac’s past in their posts or in the tournament summary on the MSPT website.

Chad Holloway, editor of Poker News, was eliminated in fifth place. Holloway was present during the Midway Poker Tour debacle, providing coverage for Poker News and had a fight with Bekavac at a previous event. Holloway openly criticized Bekavac on Twitter since the Midway event.

Bekavac has remained silent on social media and could not be reached for comment at the time of this writing.

Written by

Chris Wallace

Professional poker player, HORSE world champion, author.

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