Sickie Manager Fired After Poker Tournament Success

Sickie Manager Fired After Poker Tournament SuccessA Sydney train station manager has failed to have his job reinstated after being caught pulling regular sickies in order to compete in various poker tournaments across Australia and the  Philippines.
A RailCorp employee for 15 years, John Maklouf was sacked last October after regularly missing work between April and November 2010, with 17 days of sick leave taken between August and November alone. However, despite obtaining doctors medical certificates for “hip pain” and “stress,” Mr Maklouf was well enough to compete in seven poker tournaments in Darwin, Melbourne, the Gold Coast, and the Philippines.
After warning him several times, RailCorp bosses became suspicious and Googled Mr Maklouf’s name only to discover some very interesting information on their ‘ailing’ employee. Apparently, John Maklouf had earned $139,682 from playing in poker tournaments,$112,325 of which was won in 2010 during his ‘sickly’ year.
John Maklouf’s successes during his time taken off work include a 3rd place finish at the $2,200 ANZPT II Sydney for $37,910, and taking 2nd place at the $2,200 ANZPT II Canberra for $60,635. John Maklouf’s winning run was even picked-up by a media article in which he was described as a hot contender for the ANZPT Player of the Year.
Defending his actions after being sacked, Mr Maklouf said he was unwell during those times but was “driven by the need to play poker competitively,” which  provided him with a “release” and made him “feel good” about himself. He also claims to have suffered an anxiety attack after being refused leave to take advantage of a $5,000 Philippines poker tournament package he had won online.
Nevertheless, the Transport Appeals Board seemed unimpressed and rejected Mr Maklouf’s argument, stating: “The board is amazed [he] considered that it was okay to go off sick and attend poker tournaments when he had been advised by his doctor that he was unfit for duty, yet he considered that he was fit enough to fly and compete in what must be a highly charged and competitive environment playing for potentially serious financial reward.”

Other news:   Poker Hall of Fame nominees announced

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