Erik Seidel and Others Sue Alleged Super Bowl Ticket Scammer Ali Fazeli

April 13th, 2018 | by Jason Reynolds

Poker pros Erik Seidel and John Juanda are suing a fellow player for more than $1 million after falling victims to an alleged Super Bowl ticket scam.

Erik Seidel Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood Poker.

Erik Seidel at the 2015 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood Poker is one of three poker pros suing Ali Fazeli. (Image:

Following the indictment of high stakes gambler Seyad Reza Ali Fazeli (aka Ali Fazeli) back in March 2018, court documents obtained by Card Player show three famous players suing for damages. As per the documents filed at Clark County District Court. Juanda, Seidel and Zachary Clark each invested money in what federal agents have since called a Ponzi scheme.

Super Bowl Scam

The deal between the three poker pros and Fazeli saw them hand over a total of $1.3 million to become part of his ticket selling business. According to complaint, the accused had promised to spend $10 million on 2,800 Super Bowl 2017 tickets.

After guaranteeing Seidel et al that they would receive their stake plus a profit back after the NFL finale, Fazeli got them to transfer the money to his company, Summit Entertainment. The tickets were never purchased and, instead, the businessman used the money to fund his high stakes poker exploits.

Despite having $2.2 million in live earnings, Fazeli failed to cash in a recognized event in 2017. However, it seems he was able to stay active in big money events such as the Aria $25,000 by using the money Juanda, Seidel, Clark and others had invested.

Lack of Returns Raised the Alarm

Things started to unravel in July 2017 when Mel Sembler filed a $5 million lawsuit against Fazeli. The prominent Republican donor and his family gave the Summit Entertainment owner the seven-figure sum to buy and sell large blocks of tickets for the 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four.

Fazeli convinced Sembler the initial deal went well and persuaded him to maintain his financial interest for the 2017 Super Bowl and 2018 World Cup. But when the promised returns never materialized, Sembler took legal action.

An FBI investigation followed and Fazeli was eventually arrested on February 14, 2018, before being indicted on March 15. He now faces up to 40 years in prison, as well as multiple lawsuits not only from Sembler and the poker trio, but the Aria Casino.

To cover his mounting debts and continue the façade that he was a high rolling poker player, Fazeli was extended a $2.1 million credit line by the Las Vegas casino. Despite receiving $1 million back, the Aria is now taking legal action to recover the remaining $1.1 million.


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