Poker Pro Not Named Richard Lee Nabbed for Illegal Gambling Operation

JamesgiordanoHigh-stakes poker player James “The Mortician” Giordano, of Miami, Fla., was arrested Wednesday for spearheading a billion-dollar-a-year gambling operation that authorities said was the largest they’ve ever encountered and rivaled casino sports betting, basically making Richard Lee’s San Antonio-based online gambling scheme seem rinky-dink and half ass, as most things are in San Antonio.

The arrest of Giordano, who recently won the $1,000 buy-in this summer at the Bellagio Cup II, was the result of a year long sting after police got a tip from a suspect in a separate organized crime probe. That tip eventually led to a covert operation at a New York City hotel where Giordano was staying while in town for a wedding. While out, the NYPD went into Giordano’s room and made a digital copy of his laptop’s hard drive, which revealed “a network of 2,000 bookies who had taken more than $3.3 billion in cash wagers since 2004 from tens of thousands of customers nationwide.” Apparently the scheme involved a website called Playwithal.com where bookies would assign bettors a secret code to track their wagers and results through the site.

The 52-year-old Giordano was picked up in Miami by FBI agents, who the AP reports had to “scale the walls of his fortress-like Florida compound.” Also nabbed in the raid was Frank “The Knitter” Falzarano, a former scout for the Washington Nationals who authorities arrested at his Long Island home. Word has it Falzarano was the operation’s top earning bookie.

If anyone is wondering why this post isn’t as snarky as most posts we do, besides the mafia name generator bit that is, it’s because the story involves two guys name Giordano and Falzarano, one who lives in a fortress-like home in Miami, the other in Long Island and they ran a billion dollar gambling operation through a site called Playwithal.com. The name of the site alone scares the bejeezus out of us because we’re pretty sure it’s an inside joke about some guy named Al who was given a cement foot bath and tossed into the East River. And if either Giordano or Falzarano are reading this, Al deserved it and we totally think you’re getting the raw deal on all this, and if you ever want to find us, you can ask for us by our street name “The Slapper.”

Photo courtesy of Bluff, obviously.

 

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