Joe Stiers' Full Explanation of Ban from Caesars Properties

4 years ago
Player gives full timeline of events leading to the ban
02 Apr

In an article published couple of days ago, we've reported about Joe Stiers, a young player who's been barred from entering Caesars' properties. The reason that was stated in the original report by the Baltimore Sun was card counting and it was mentioned that Stiers has every intent to fight this ban as it would make it impossible for him to play in the WSOP. Being a professional poker player, this would have a serious impact on Joe's' career.

It seems now that Baltimore Sun's report was only partially true and omitted some important details, at least according to the video testimony posted by the man himself yesterday. Stiers felt this explanation was necessary because the original article was lacking important details.

The first time Joe entered the Horseshoe casino was in September of 2014 and he walks away with almost $9k profit from the blackjack tables. However, later that month he visits again, loses it all back and then some and, since poker games are not very good there, he figures there isn't much reason to return.

However, he starts receiving matchplay coupons to the amounts of $475 and this is what lures him to visit again. This part was only briefly mentioned in the original article, but it is a very important part of Stiers’ own story. He claims that coupons kept coming in even after he was (later) banned, which was rather confusing – if he was banned, why are they inviting him back?

Stiers was first asked to leave the Horseshoe on December 19 2014 after playing some blackjack and roulette, trying to use his match coupons, but he was not given any real explanation and was told he’d be contacted with more details.

The major incident

However, nothing happened and Stiers clearly did not think this was a very serious matter as he returned about a week later to play in a poker tournament. He was able to register and got his seat at the table after a while (as he entered as an alternate), and everything seemed in order. But some 90 minutes later the security came around and demanded that he leaves the casino, refusing to return his buy-in.

After the police arrive, as Stiers refuses to leave without being reimbursed, he is escorted to his car, being told that he is also banned from all Caesars’ properties, including AC and Las Vegas – the decision that he believes the Horseshoe has no authority to make.

Despite these unpleasant occurrences, which included Stiers being pushed around by the security, which led to him falling to the ground twice (although he was not injured), the special offers from the casino keep coming to his home address.

Going back

As Stiers explains, this led him to believe that the decision from December was just a mistake and since casino was inviting him back, he returned on two occasions in January. First time things went without any incidents but on the second visit, Stiers shows his comp card and this alerts the security.

The police and the security take him to the back room where he is, for the first time, explained that he is being banned because he was drunk during one of the previous visits (the one where he was removed from the poker tournament), falling on the floor and making a scene. He tries to explain that he wasn’t drinking and that he fell on the ground because the security guy was pushing him around.

After some back and forth, the Horseshoe staff backs into their earlier statement that they are not obliged to give a reason for banning someone. After this police escort him to his car and give him trespassing quotation.

One last time

Upon Stiers’ complaint, Maryland Gaming Control Agency orders Horseshoe to reimburse his buy-in from December 2014 which they do. Together with the check, there are some more special offers from the casino.

However, his player card is revoked and he is unable to register for any WSOP or WSOP Circuit events. Stiers tries to get this decision revoked with the management but that gets him nowhere.

The final incident takes place on February 27 2015 when Stiers, once again, decides to register for a WSOP Circuit event at the Horseshoe and, to his surprise, they let him buy-in. however, not long after he sits down to play, the manager pulls him aside and tells him he is not allowed to play.

A police officer arrives to the scene once again and, according to Stiers’ statement, he is being verbally harassed and ill-treated by both the officer and the casino security guy, whose name he quotes as Darrin Griffin.

More detailed info can be found in the 2+2 thread and in the embedded video, but this story seems more complicated than the original report made it out to be.

There is another account in there about being banned from the Linq earlier in 2014 for card counting / being associated with a known card counter, and this could be the originating point of this entire mess.

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Ivan Potocki is the editor in chief and one of the lead news writers for PokerTube. His natural flair and enthusiasm for journalism combined with a deep poker knowledge make him an exciting contributor for PokerTube.The experience garnered playing poker professionally for several years and the knowl...Read more


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