Skip

Spiderman feels the sting...
June 23, 2011 7:27 AM   Subscribe


 
From the article:

Bradley Ruderman was a corrupt hedge fund manager and fellow underground poker player. He essentially stole money from his clients that he then used to gamble in these elaborate games, which are said to have a buy-in of $100,000.

The fact that this isn't the focus of the article, rather than Tobey Maguire's involvement, exemplifies a big problem with media today.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:30 AM on June 23, 2011 [35 favorites]


This is EXACTLY why I don't play in any hundred thousand dollar buy-in poker games.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 7:34 AM on June 23, 2011 [26 favorites]


I picture Angelina Jolie standing behind Brad Pitt while he plays, distracting the other players with salacious micro gestures.
posted by stinkycheese at 7:34 AM on June 23, 2011 [10 favorites]


I think there is a good chance that guys at this level did think ahead to assure that these games are legal. The armed guard bit is just there to get an emotional rise.

What do you expect from a movies.com link?
posted by Ardiril at 7:34 AM on June 23, 2011


I picture Angelina Jolie standing behind Brad Pitt while he plays, distracting the other players with salacious micro gestures.

Per the FPP, I think the recommended usage is the Brad Pitt.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:35 AM on June 23, 2011 [13 favorites]


Hedge Funds are the backbone of our new economy, and hedge fund manager our new priests. Why do you hate America, EmpressCallipygos?
posted by orthogonality at 7:35 AM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Totally not surprised that Tobey Maguire is a good poke player. He just looks so harmless and nice...that's the face of a hustler right there.
posted by jnrussell at 7:36 AM on June 23, 2011 [8 favorites]


I imagine this is how Tobey Maguire felt after winning all those millions.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 7:36 AM on June 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


What do you expect from a movies.com link?

Ahhhh, somehow I missed that it was movies.com. Well, that explains why they made teh starz the focus.

However, a question -- any word as to whether the mainstream media covered the "hedge fund guy was stealing his clients' money to play poker" angle for stories of their own?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:37 AM on June 23, 2011


Er, poker, that is.
posted by jnrussell at 7:37 AM on June 23, 2011


Amazingly, the Brad Pitt is not even mentioned in the movies.com article. What is the point of that youtube link then?
posted by Ardiril at 7:37 AM on June 23, 2011


"I picture Angelina Jolie standing behind Brad Pitt while he plays, distracting the other players with salacious micro gestures."

. . . or brings like, twenty of their children and lets them run around to distract everybody.
posted by exlotuseater at 7:37 AM on June 23, 2011 [8 favorites]


So, Tobey Maguire was playing himself in The Good German?
posted by smrtsch at 7:38 AM on June 23, 2011


Man, I hate how poker is portrayed in TV and movies...splashing the pot, string bets, table talk. It gives people bad poker habits before they play their first hand.
posted by jcreigh at 7:39 AM on June 23, 2011 [10 favorites]


Touch more meat here.

The gist of it is that under CA law, since the poker games were not legal somehow, that the winnings can be seized by the courts. Which is what the investors are trying to do. They really don't care that it's Toby who won the money (hell, probably was spread around through others), he's just a name involved with it so it makes the news.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 7:42 AM on June 23, 2011


And since all of this went down in LA, the hedge fund is taking advantage of a CA law that says any winnings from unlicensed poker games are deemed ill-gotten gains and can be legally seized.

Hmm I wonder which law they are talking about here. I was under the impression that in California, poker is considered a skill game (not gambling) and that home games are legal as long as there is no rake. Also even if this is considered illegal gambling, it seems crazy that someone who loses money in an illegal gambling game would somehow be able to legally recover their losses. That would be like getting ripped off of millions of dollars in a drug deal and asking the courts to make the drug suppliers give you your money back. I would think that if the money was seized by anyone it would be seized by the government.
posted by burnmp3s at 7:42 AM on June 23, 2011


I hate how poker is portrayed in TV and movies...splashing the pot, string bets, table talk. It gives people bad poker habits before they play their first hand.

Good for you though, no?
posted by nathancaswell at 7:42 AM on June 23, 2011


I would think that if the money was seized by anyone it would be seized by the government.

Heh, reminds me of that classic parenting technique: "You kids have five minutes to figure out how to share that toy. If you're still fighting in five minutes I'll take it away and neither of you will have it."
posted by orange swan at 7:47 AM on June 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I picture Angelina Jolie standing behind Brad Pitt while he plays, distracting the other players with salacious micro gestures.

Ditto with Matt Damon massaging Tobey's thigh under the table. It's all just part of the game!
posted by hermitosis at 7:48 AM on June 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


From Old'n'Busted's ABC link, "A-listers DiCaprio, Affleck and Damon are not being sued, though according to records they were at some of the matches." So, they are targeting Maguire for his winnings and ignoring other participants? That does not strike me as a winning hand.
posted by Ardiril at 7:50 AM on June 23, 2011


I imagine this is how Tobey Maguire felt after winning all those millions.

I think this is how he feels now.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:51 AM on June 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Man, I hate how poker is portrayed in TV and movies...splashing the pot, string bets, table talk.

Don't splash the pot.
posted by mhum at 7:52 AM on June 23, 2011


jcreigh: Man, I hate how poker is portrayed in TV and movies...splashing the pot...

I've seen a lot of movies with poker scenes but don't recall seeing a single one feature a sloppy bathroom break.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 7:52 AM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


From Old'n'Busted's ABC link, "A-listers DiCaprio, Affleck and Damon are not being sued, though according to records they were at some of the matches." So, they are targeting Maguire for his winnings and ignoring other participants? That does not strike me as a winning hand.

The whole thing is a cover, they're still pissed about Spiderman 3.
posted by dismas at 7:52 AM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man, I hate how poker is portrayed in TV and movies...

My biggest pet peeve about this is that half the time they don't know how an "all in" works.

"I raise to one hundred thousand! What's that? You can't match my bet? I guess you'll have to fold."
posted by ODiV at 8:00 AM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tobey Maguire? I hardly know 'er!
posted by doublehappy at 8:04 AM on June 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


Also even if this is considered illegal gambling, it seems crazy that someone who loses money in an illegal gambling game would somehow be able to legally recover their losses. That would be like getting ripped off of millions of dollars in a drug deal and asking the courts to make the drug suppliers give you your money back. I would think that if the money was seized by anyone it would be seized by the government.

I think the people trying to recover the money weren't doing the illegal gambling, but rather money stolen from them was used in the poker games. So they're trying to recover their losses by going after who the money ended up with.
posted by kmz at 8:08 AM on June 23, 2011


So they're trying to recover their losses by going after who the money ended up with.

It sounds like the equivalent of my boss suing MetaFilter for my lost productivity.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 8:10 AM on June 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


I guess they had that casino night after all, Mr. Kotter.
posted by madajb at 8:12 AM on June 23, 2011


It sounds like the equivalent of my boss suing MetaFilter for my lost productivity.

Stolen money never becomes un-stolen, no matter how many hands it passes through. If the money was stolen in the first place then it will have be given back.
posted by atrazine at 8:15 AM on June 23, 2011


Stolen money never becomes un-stolen, no matter how many hands it passes through. If the money was stolen in the first place then it will have be given back.

Oh? What if the money was used to pay taxes?
posted by joecacti at 8:18 AM on June 23, 2011 [8 favorites]


Ditto with Matt Damon massaging Tobey's thigh under the table. It's all just part of the game!

"Move your hand." (Hand is removed.) "No, I meant around."

I never thought I would get to quote Third Rock from the Sun
posted by griphus at 8:18 AM on June 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


The armed guard bit is just there to get an emotional rise.

LOS ANGELES: Leonard DiCaprio was found dead this morning in an abandoned warehouse. Initial police investigation suggests that the actor, aged 36, was killed with two gunshots to the base of the skull in the course of a high-stakes underground poker game.

"[DiCaprio] called out of turn four times," said an anonymous, Academy Award-winning source. "Four times. That [actor] got exactly what was coming to him."

Martin Scorsese is expected to audition candidates for a replacement muse within the week.
posted by Your Disapproving Father at 8:18 AM on June 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Do you remember the scene in Oceans 11 where the Brad Pitt takes a bunch of Hollywood kids for everything they've got?

I didn't remember that scene but having watched it now I'd like to know how I was to know they are "Hollywood kids". Also, Pitt is teaching them, not hustling them.
posted by DU at 8:26 AM on June 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I picture Angelina Jolie... with salacious micro gestures.

I often find myself picturing the same thing.

::sighs happily::

Wait? What are we talking about? Illegal poker games? Huh? What's going on?
posted by quin at 8:27 AM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, wait, Angelia Jolie is using her microgestures on Tobey's mcquire? Where does the poker fit in?
posted by Apropos of Something at 8:27 AM on June 23, 2011


perhaps the hedge-hoged guy tried to reason with toby and co. about those "debts" or a little bird might sing...to the good press of Maguire and his compadres.

oh shame,O'sin, hollywood stars have secret poker game, frikkin poets have secret card games.
posted by clavdivs at 8:27 AM on June 23, 2011


there is no poker game.
posted by clavdivs at 8:28 AM on June 23, 2011


Also, Pitt is teaching them, not hustling them.

Until Clooney shows up. Then he's hustling them.
posted by quin at 8:28 AM on June 23, 2011


What's an example of salacious micro gesture? That tiny kiss thing they do in movies? Something involving fingers?
posted by DU at 8:28 AM on June 23, 2011


Until Clooney shows up. Then he's hustling them.

Oh riiiight.

Those guys, sheesh.
posted by DU at 8:29 AM on June 23, 2011


Man, I hate how poker is portrayed in TV and movies...splashing the pot, string bets, table talk. It gives people bad poker habits before they play their first hand.

I particularly like the "how do you like THEM apples" expressions on their faces when they make a bet.
posted by Billiken at 8:30 AM on June 23, 2011


The salaciuos micro gesture has it's origins in the fine writings of Rex Stout.
posted by clavdivs at 8:30 AM on June 23, 2011


I didn't remember that scene but having watched it now I'd like to know how I was to know they are "Hollywood kids".

Because they are moderately famous actors and Pitt calls them by their real first names.
posted by aldurtregi at 8:36 AM on June 23, 2011


I'm not a lawyer nor do I have any knowledge of California law but I did have a regular home poker game for a few years. My understanding is that these games are legal at any stakes unless there is a rake. You can play 1000/2000 at home with against Teddy KGB and there is no problem but if you're playing .25/.50 and take money from the pot for the house it's an illegal game.
posted by cmfletcher at 8:41 AM on June 23, 2011


Avoiding the rake is why these guys were playing at home.
posted by Ardiril at 8:43 AM on June 23, 2011


If you want some real high stokes poker, try watching High Stakes Poker on gsn. Hundreds of thousands of dollars flying off the table with similarly priced rebuys throughout the season. Gives you a small impression of just how large some of the big poker player's bankrolls are.
posted by jmd82 at 8:44 AM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Zomg, I need that Spider-Man high-stakes poker game comic yesterday. It's the mask, it foils all tells!

Also the Angry Waiter informs me that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck tip the casino staff generously when they're in Vegas, so they get my general vote of gambling approval as Nice To The Waiter guys.
posted by nicebookrack at 8:46 AM on June 23, 2011


Exactly how are they going to prove how much was won by Toby? This is not the sort of thing I would think where elaborate records of wins and losses are kept, especially who won how much from whom. Anyway, way to go Toby.
posted by caddis at 8:46 AM on June 23, 2011


I wish the article delved (well, delved at all, into anything of substance, but, well...) into the plaintiff's legal strategy. I seriously doubt the law was written to compensate the losers in illegal poker games. They probably threatened to go public with it if Maguire didn't kick back his winnings to them.

Dude, you lost at poker to Maguire more than once already. Now you want to do it again?

Good for Maguire calling Ruderman's bluff.
posted by Xoebe at 9:12 AM on June 23, 2011


Amazingly, the Brad Pitt is not even mentioned in the movies.com article. What is the point of that youtube link then?

Tobey McGuire is one of the "Hollywood kids".
posted by smackfu at 9:14 AM on June 23, 2011


The New York Post of all places explains the legal theory in their article:
Private home games in California are not illegal. But the games Maguire and Ruderman played were against the law, the suit claims, because they were organized by a paid event planner.
posted by Jahaza at 9:17 AM on June 23, 2011


Exactly how are they going to prove how much was won by Toby? This is not the sort of thing I would think where elaborate records of wins and losses are kept, especially who won how much from whom.

Actually to remain square with the IRS, you have to keep detailed records of wins and losses in poker games to figure out your net income. If McGuire wasn't reporting millions of dollars of poker income, he has more problems than just this lawsuit.
posted by burnmp3s at 9:17 AM on June 23, 2011


The Salacious Micro-Gestures

I think I have an album by them.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 9:20 AM on June 23, 2011


Makes one wonder how good Ruderman's records are.
posted by Ardiril at 9:23 AM on June 23, 2011


I wish the article delved (well, delved at all, into anything of substance, but, well...) into the plaintiff's legal strategy. I seriously doubt the law was written to compensate the losers in illegal poker games. They probably threatened to go public with it if Maguire didn't kick back his winnings to them.

Dude, you lost at poker to Maguire more than once already. Now you want to do it again?


Again, the plaintiffs did not play in the poker games. Ruderman stole money from them and used it to play in those poker games.

Whether they really have a case or not, I can't say, but people keep thinking it's the poker loser trying to get his money back, and it's just not the case.
posted by kmz at 9:27 AM on June 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


nicebookrack, the issue you want is Spectacular Spider-Man volume II, #21. Wolverine claims in a different issue that Spidey still has tells because he fidgets so much, though.
posted by bettafish at 9:29 AM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


kmz, we get your point, but you are ignoring the chain. For the investors to get back their money, the poker winner must forfeit--which is essentially the loser getting his money back. Otherwise, if the plaintiffs just sued the loser, the money would simply come from the loser.
posted by Ardiril at 9:43 AM on June 23, 2011


Amazingly, the Brad Pitt is not even mentioned in the movies.com article. What is the point of that youtube link then?

Tobey McGuire is one of the "Hollywood kids".

In that clip? No he's not.
posted by cooker girl at 9:45 AM on June 23, 2011


Oh, Topher Grace isn't Tobey McGuire?
posted by smackfu at 9:52 AM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Topher Grace isn't mentioned in the article either. ;-P
posted by Ardiril at 9:54 AM on June 23, 2011


From Ruderman's deposition: "the missing hedge fund money is absolutely not stashed in the Caymans, no it's all lost - LOST! - to that tricksey Toby McActor." (okay, I just made that up.)
posted by klarck at 9:57 AM on June 23, 2011


I'm curious about the legal question too (if not curious enough to do any research).

Basically I see it going down like this: if you sell, say, a bag of Doritos in good faith at the usual price, and it turns out the sketchy-looking hedge fund manager who bought them was actually using stolen money, you don't have to return the money to the hedge fund. On the other hand, if a sketchy-looking hedge fund manager just gives you a pile of money to keep under your mattress, and it turns out to be stolen, you definitely have to give the money back, and you should probably wash your mattress.

So what if you win a bunch of money from the sketchy hedge fund manager in a poker game, and then keep the winnings under your mattress? If the poker game was legal, it feels more like the Doritos scenario. But if the poker game was an unlawful transfer of money in the first place, it feels more like the mattress scenario. That's what I imagine is going to be thrashed out here.

(Footnote: The difficulty of telling a legitimate Doritos scenario from a "here hide this money for me" scenario in a high-stakes poker game is probably one reason the state takes such an interest in private gambling in the first place ... I mean, suppose I rob a bank and, during the course of a high speed chase, lose everything I stole in a game of skill with Tobey Maguire. He's on a cell phone, and we're betting who can recite the most digits of pi, so as far as anyone can prove he has no reason to know the money is stolen. Maybe he hears sirens over the phone, but it's L.A. So I drive by his house, toss the money through his window, and by the time anyone figures out what happened he's used the money to buy an island in the south Pacific.* Can the bank take the money back from him? If so, why can't the hedge fund take back the money here? If not, isn't that a problem?)

* Which is his right as an American.
posted by jhc at 10:21 AM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


the poker winner must forfeit--which is essentially the loser getting his money back

I don't think you can look at it that way when neither was it his money nor will he be getting it back.
posted by neuromodulator at 10:22 AM on June 23, 2011


Let's try a different approach then. If it is a clean game and dirty money, then Maguire should sue Ruderman. Since Maguire already has the cash (which is liquid) in hand, Maguire would then be suing for possession of something he already has. The liquidity of cash is what buggers everything up.
posted by Ardiril at 10:28 AM on June 23, 2011


New plan: Steal $100k. Put it all on black. If I win, give back the $100k. If I lose, direct the victim of my theft to the casino. It's foolproof!
posted by ODiV at 10:40 AM on June 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


What I hate about poker in movies:

"We need to show the audience that this guy is a really good poker player."

"How do we do that?"

"He gets a royal straight flush. That's like the hardest hand to get."
posted by justkevin at 12:21 PM on June 23, 2011 [15 favorites]


Perhaps tie investors are including Maguire on the suit simply to cover all the bases, preventing the embezzler from laying the blame on Maguire who after-all ended up with the money.
posted by Authorized User at 1:12 PM on June 23, 2011


I hate people who say 'royal straight flush' too.
posted by Ardiril at 4:40 PM on June 23, 2011


"Fellas! Fellas! Check this... all... red!"
posted by bwg at 5:55 PM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, tonight in lovely Korea I'll be headed to the foreigners-only casino (legal for me, but not for SK citizens) for some big action.

Nightly tournament, 10,000 won buy-in.

10,000 won!
posted by bardic at 11:25 PM on June 23, 2011


jhc: Basically I see it going down like this: if you sell, say, a bag of Doritos in good faith at the usual price

What if instead of it being a bag of Doritos it was a shipping container full of a boxed up ready for retail Doritos and instead of him just being some guy he's actually the COO of a major grocery retailer?

Just because some assets are harder to turn into cash for a lot of us it doesn't mean they shouldn't be treated like cash right? This is money laundering 101 stuff.
posted by public at 1:59 AM on June 24, 2011


(By which I mean, no the receiver of the cash should never have to return it, regardless of the mode of transfer.)
posted by public at 2:02 AM on June 24, 2011


hermitosis: "Ditto with Matt Damon massaging Tobey's thigh under the table. It's all just part of the game!"

But did Matt Damon do it wearing his best poker face from Rounders?
posted by bwg at 4:53 AM on June 24, 2011


I'm sorry, but there is only one game acceptable at a table with me, Matt Damon, and Toby Macquire. And cards aren't involved (unless Messrs. Damon and Macquire insist).
posted by Goofyy at 4:57 AM on June 24, 2011


"He gets a royal straight flush. That's like the hardest hand to get."

This is why Rounders is such a great movie. The last hand of the final scene is a completely realistic scenario -- Damon starts with 89 suited, and raises from the small blind in heads up poker. That's a completely reasonable move. He then flops a straight, and slow plays the hand to get his opponent (who has a habit of pushing him around) to try to bully him out of the hand. By doing so, he extracts the maximum amount of money possible.

No royal straight flush on the river required.
posted by tocts at 5:16 AM on June 24, 2011


tocts: "This is why Rounders is such a great movie."

I'm a fan of it too. As a rounder, Damon's character is smart enough to know when to hustle and when to back off, while Worm never figures it out.
posted by bwg at 8:41 AM on June 24, 2011


« Older Digitized Darwin   |   Broken Doll Pose Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post