If you’ve ever worried about being cheated out of your money in a betting scam, then the story of Cory Zeidman will give you the ‘I told you so’ moment that so many feel about the now-disgrace former WSOP bracelet winner. Zeidman, aged 61, was this week charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering as a sports betting scheme that allegedly defrauded people out of $25 million dollars was revealed in court documents.

A Shadow Career in Poker

For several years, Cory Zeidman played poker at the highest level. After a career that began in 1997 in terms of ranking titles, Zeidman’s achievements touched the heights of a WSOP bracelet win in 2012. Skilled in stud games, Zeidman reached his first WSOP final table in a $1,500-entry Seven-Card Stud event, coming eighth for $8,481.

In 2004, Zeidman came fifth in the $5,000-entry Seven Card Stud World Championship, winning $44,000 and better was to come eight years later in 2012 when he took down the $1,500-entry Seven-Card Stud event for $201,559.

Zeidman’s success at the poker felt included stunning hands, such as the infamous cooler he put on Jennifer Harman at the 2005 WSOP Main Event when his had a straight flush that beat Harman’s full house. With close to $700,000 in live winnings, Zeidman cashed as recently as March when he played a $400-entry Pot-Limit Omaha 8 or Better event at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown in Florida and came 12th for $960.

A Sports Betting Scandal

Zeidman now faces a highly uncertain future. The former WSOP bracelet winner allegedly ran a sports betting scheme that was fraudulent between 2004 and 2020, with his bracelet win coming right in the middle of that period. Indicted for wire fraud, Zeidman’s alleged money laundering conspiracy was operated from Long Island and Florida as he took people for up to $25 million.

Over 15 years, Zeidman, who is due to appear in federal court in Miami had a leadership role in the so-called Phoenix Organization and allegedly put out radio advertisements that advertised a ‘white-collar approach to gathering sports information [with] wagering as investing, not high-risk gambling’.

Promising information that could be used to win bets on sporting events, Zeidman and his co-conspirators ‘niche’ was that they knew the outcomes of certain events. Zeidman’s crew allegedly claimed that they had inside information and ‘falsely claimed that there was no risk associated with their wages’. According to the charges, after taking people for their hard-earned money, over $25 million in fees were said to have reached the group over 16 years.

How Long Could Zeidman Serve?

“[Zeidman] persuaded them to drain their retirement accounts… so he could spend it on international vacations, a multi-million-dollar residence and poker tournaments.”

In a press release, United States attorney Breon Peace said in a statement:

“As alleged, Zeidman defrauded his victims, stole their life savings and persuaded them to drain their retirement accounts to invest in his bogus sports betting group, all so he could spend it on international vacations, a multi-million-dollar residence and poker tournaments. Today’s indictment serves as a reminder to all of us to be wary of so-called investment opportunities that purport to have inside information, as they are really a gamble not worth taking.”

The punishment for wire fraud in a woolly area, but with Zeidman facing charges of ‘conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, as well as conspiracy to commit money laundering’, the amount of $25 million in alleged stolen fees could be pivotal when it comes to sentencing. Jail time, if handed down, goes up in two-year stages for each amount of money stolen in wire fraud cases, and with Zeidman is being prosecuted by Federal Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony Bagnuola, Charles P. Kelly and Diane Beckmann, up to $25 million of mail and wire fraud carries a maximum prison sentence of up to 20 years. Over that amount is 22 years and rising.

Celebrations of bracelet glory are 10 years old and looking back, seem like they belong to a different er… and a different man from the one accused of fraud today.




Arthur Crowson

Arthur Crowson writes for GambleOnline.co about the gambling industry. His experience ranges from crypto and technology to sports, casinos, and poker. He went to Douglas College and started his journalism career at the Merritt Herald as a general beat reporter covering news, sports and community. Arthur lives in Hawaii and is passionate about writing, editing, and photography.

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