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Michael Borovetz admits to being locked in a cycle of scamming travelers to fuel his gambling addiction after his arrest by the New Jersey Port Authority last week. Borovets was charged with theft by deception for bluffing a man at the Newark Airport into giving him $200 for a hotel room.
Borovetz, 43, is an accomplished poker player who won a World Series of Poker Circuit gold ring and boasts nearly $600,000 in live tournament winnings. He is also a graduate of Penn State with a degree in Chemical Engineering. Despite his education and success in poker, he claims his gambling addiction drove him to lose all his money at the pits.
On April 3 Borovetz approached a 55-year-old Princeton man with a sob story about how his flight was canceled and he was stranded at the airport. The man withdrew $200 for Borovetz from an ATM at the airport then immediately began to suspect he had been scammed.
The unnamed man took his story to the police. After a short investigation, Borovetz was found in a hotel room at Newark Airport Marriott. The Port Authority confirmed that Borovets used the same scam to take money from victims at the airport last June.
According to Borovetz, he has used the scam far more than officials are aware. In a thread on the poker forum 2+2 that grew to 163 pages long, Borovetz admitted to scamming the original poster and detailed how he had been tricking travelers into funding his gambling habit for the past 15 years.