If you see Samuel McMaster Jr., 59, at the poker table this year, do not bother him. He is working off his criminal sentence. The convicted con artist accepted a plea bargain after defrauding 20 victims — and agreed to play poker to pay off his debt.
Since the Internal Revenue Service recognizes poker playing as a legitimate occupation, McMaster was able to pledge to gamble to pay his debt to society.
He was originally indicted on 44 counts each of sale of unregistered securities, sale of securities by an unlicensed broker-dealer, fraudulent sale of a security; 44 counts of fraud or embezzlement and one count of racketeering. He faced 549 years in jail. He stole over $400,000.
McMaster has six months in his “play to pay” plea bargain.
Luck better be a lady because if he fails to make just two payments, he has to return to face up to 12 years in prison. His best prior showing at the card table was 2nd place at the Bellagio — winning him a total of $12,550 for that tournament.
The fascinating thing will be what he uses for stakes. Since he pleaded guilty and is in debt to this victims, where does he get the scratch to play?
If you are playing with him, you might want to refrain from using such common poker terms as “busted” and “under the gun.”