Two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Brent Carter has been charged with a federal crime for allegedly threatening the New York State Gaming Commission on multiple occasions.
The 72-year-old Carter appeared in US District Court in Albany last week for arraignment. Carter pleaded not guilty to the charge of conveying false information and hoaxes, according to the Times Union of Albany.
Complaint alleges suspicious mailings, threatening voice messages
The criminal complaint describes Carter having mailed a white, powdery substance from his Las Vegas residence to the New York State Gaming Commission in Schenectady on four separate occasions between April 2019 and January 2021.
Though resembling something more sinister, the substances sent included sugar, drywall, birdseed and other non-harmful materials. Previously, in October 2018, Carter left a threatening voicemail for a commission employee.
The message referenced the mass shooting in Las Vegas a year earlier, when 60 were killed and hundreds injured.
“Well it looks like the shooter in Las Vegas missed you guys,” said Carter. “As long as you’re not available, you should be made permanently not available.”
A second voicemail left in November 2018 was more specific about having “the Office of Inspector General people eliminated [for] their dirty deeds.”
The mailings began a few months later, with the most recent delivered late last month containing talcum powder.
That latest mailing came after investigators interviewed Carter about his phone calls and letters in Las Vegas in Oct. 2020.
Threats and arrest follow 40-plus year grudge
The complaint details both Carter’s threatening behaviors and what appears a long-standing grudge against the New York State Gaming Commission.
In 1976, the commission suspended Carter’s license to compete in horse racing due to cheating allegations. Later, the commission cleared Carter of the charge and reinstated his license. However, he continued to maintain a grievance against the regulators.
Details from an October 2020 interview appearing in the affidavit suggest Carter continued to operate under the mistaken idea that the commission did not lift his suspension. Carter also claimed the commission did not respond to his messages, when in fact they had sent him several letters confirming the lifting of his suspension decades before.
The interview also suggests Carter did not appreciate the seriousness of his messages to the commission.
“I think sometimes if you try to make a point by being funny, you can create more trouble,” Carter had told investigators.
Two-time WSOP champ faces up to five years in prison
Carter won WSOP bracelets in 1991 and 1994. He also collected a World Championship of Online Poker title via PokerStars in 2008.
According to the Hendon Mob, Carter has accumulated nearly $3.1 million in tournament winnings. The earliest record of his winnings dates back to 1986, with the most recent purse coming in 2015.
Carter’s biggest prize came in 1995. During the WSOP Main Event, won by Dan Harrington, Carter claimed just over $300,000 after finishing third out of 273 players.
Following Carter’s not-guilty plea last week, a magistrate judge released him with conditions.
According to the US Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of New York, the charge Carter faces carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison followed by a three-year term of supervised release plus a fine of up to $250,000.