It’s unfortunate to admit, but scammers have been (and probably always will be) a part of the gambling world, for as long as anyone can remember. Often, it’s up to the community to police the activity themselves, warning each other to stay away from untrustworthy players and be careful with their money. It’s much less common for the scammer to then own up to their behavior in a public forum.
That’s exactly what happened this week, as poker player and gambler Michael Borovetz confessed on the TwoPlusTwo.com forums to running an airport scam in Las Vegas. The admission came in a post that outlined Borovetz’s long-term gambling addiction and the issues it has caused in his life.
The story began with a post by someone going by the handle of “Gzesh.” In that post, Gzesh shared a story of meeting Borovetz at McCarran International Airport.
“He stated he had been in Las Vegas for about a month or so, showed me a hotel invoice ending the morning before, claimed he had been there for a job interview with DuPont and had been looking for an opponent,” the poster wrote.
According to Gzesh, Borovetz claimed he needed money to stay in town due to a flight that had been cancelled because of bad weather. Borovetz promised to pay back any money given to him, along with another $300.
“There was a wealth of detail provided, actually way too much, and the repeated insistence on repeated details were way fishy,” Gzech wrote. After becoming more suspicious upon further questioning, Gzech did not loan Borovetz any money. He would later search for more information on Borovetz on the Internet, and find out that not only was he a fairly well-known poker player, but had also been accused of running such scams in the past.
Responses to the post quickly confirmed that Borovetz was a popular TwoPlusTwo forum regular who went by the handle of PSUMike99. Others also discovered that Borovetz had been arrested by Los Angeles Airport police for a misdemeanor crime there in May, along with other arrests in the past.
While many expected Borovetz to reply to the thread, few saw his complete confession coming.
“Let me state this emphatically: everything the initial [poster] has stated is 100% true,” Borovetz wrote. “I am not going to come on here and try to minimize anything or justify anything. I have a serious compulsive gambling addiction which I think it is safe to say, has ruined my life in so many ways.”
Borovetz then talked about how he had been stuck in a cycle of scamming for money at airports, using that money to gamble in the hopes of running it up, then inevitably losing it and going back to the scams again. He went on to detail his life story over several posts, including explaining aspects of the scam (such as why he used his real name), and the fact that he had occasionally come into money that allowed him to pay back some victims. On Tuesday evening, he reported that he would be attending his first Gamblers Anonymous meeting “in years.”
“Haven’t gambled in 4 days, taking it 1 day at a time,” he wrote.
According to records at the Hendon Mob Poker Database, Borovetz has won approximately $575,000 in live poker tournaments, including a $66,240 win at a WSOP Circuit event in Atlantic City.