A poker player was arrested earlier this week at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport for scamming travelers.
Michael Borovetz, a poker player with $589,958 in career tournament earnings and a World Series of Poker Circuit ring, is likely facing jail time after being arrested on two counts of false pretenses with intent to defraud, according to a New York Post report.
Borovetz, 44, had been actively running a specific scam for several years on travelers.
“Borovetz is known at airports across the country for approaching passengers with a sad story in an attempt to get money, while promising to pay it back,” airport officials said in a statement. “Once Borovetz receives the money, the victims never hear from him again.”
He is now in custody and his bond was set at $100,000. If convicted of the crime, he faces up to one year in jail on each charge.
In 2014, a poker forum outed Borovetz for running this specific scam at the Las Vegas airport. Borovetz himself entered the thread and admitted guilt, as well as giving his backstory explaining how he became a problem gambler that needed to scam travelers at an airport.
In one of his last posts in the thread, Borovetz said that it was time for a ‘permanent change to his life.’
The change never came. He was arrested at the Newark Airport for running the exact same scam in 2018. He ‘borrowed’ $200 from a 55-year-old New Jersey man, who subsequently reported him to Port Authority after regretting his decision to lend the money.
The authorities were able to confirm that this was not the first time that he ran this scheme and arrested him in his hotel room at the airport hotel.
Borovetz went on a poker podcast and talked about how he was in and out of custody throughout the last several years before being arrested Detroit this week.
It is unknown how much money he was able to steal from his victims. Borovetz’s last tournament cash was for $900 at the WPT500 Los Angeles in August 2018.