Sex Offender Disqualified From Epic Poker LeagueSeptember 7, 2011 11:56 am
The inaugural Epic Poker League got off to a shaky start in August after Chino Rheem won the competition, while a number of fellow pros were busy complaining about being scammed or short-changed by the player, including Will “molswi47” Molson, Tom “durrrr” Dwan, Ben Lamb, and Joseph Cheong.
Now a few weeks later, and the drama continues after Michael DiVita qualified for the EPL Main Event after finishing 8th in the EPL Pro-Am event, only to later be blocked from registering for his tournament seat at the Palms Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on Monday.
Michael DiVita was subsequently stripped of his $20,000 seat at the Main Event and refunded his original $1,500 buy-in for the preliminary qualifier, before being escorted off the premises. His prize was then transferred to 10th place finisher Jamie Kaplan.
At the heart of the controvery, allegedly, is the fact it was brought to the attention of the Epic Poker League that Michael DiVita is a registered sex offender with a conviction dating back to 1991 for; “Assault with intent to commit a specified sex offense, annoy or molest child under 18 years of age, sexual battery and sexual battery involving a restrained person.”
It also transpires that Michael DiVita was arrested in 2008 on a similar charge which was then dropped after the victim refused to testify.
It has since been speculated that the decision to disqualify DiVita was probably taken outside of the EPL’s Standards & Conduct Rules, and probably came in response to pressure brought to bear from other players in the league.
As season one of the Epic Poker League enters it’s second month of operation, the series of poker tournaments is also getting known for producing some pretty epic off the table news stories, too.