Casino players know that the house has a certain edge that prevents them from winning in the long run, and it is up to them to find ways to offset this advantage that the casino has over them. Some resort to advanced strategies, others count on experience and perseverance to prevail, and some people such as Navy Vice Adm. Tim Giardina, try to find ways around the game. The officer was recently suspended for using fake gambling chips in a poker game in Iowa.
The Vice Adm. was in charge of US nuclear fighting forces, which makes it even more surprising that he didn’t think twice before passing those fake chips around. He was suspended at the beginning of the month as the criminal investigation is still pending and the authorities confirmed the fact that Tim Giardina’s gambling habits came under scrutiny as early as July. One month before, the Horseshoe Council Bluffs casino discovered a couple of fake chips in a cash game and informed the police.
No information has transpired about the number of counterfeit chips, but apparently it was a one-time gig and no more fake chips were discovered in the months following. Horseshoe casino took them out of play immediately, but only after the players got the chance to cash in these chips. Giardina got away with his scheme initially, but the consequences were dire as he got suspended by Air Force Gen. Robert Kehler.
He also suggested that Tim should be reassigned and meanwhile he is not allowed to perform any of his duties at the Bellevue Offutt Air Force Base. On the bright side, the general has not been charged yet, but this can be a temporary measure as passing around fake casino chips is considered a felony in the state of Iowa. The consequences can be even more severe for the former deputy commander of the strategic command, who needs to wait for the final results of the criminal investigation.
The fact that a vice admiral who was in charge of all US Trident submarines would sink to such lows and attempt to defraud a casino is puzzling. Horseshoe Council Bluffs representatives didn’t disclose the amount they’ve lost as a result of Giardina’s actions, but it is hard to believe that the sum was large enough for a man in his position to compromise everything. As for the casino, it is only fair to assume that the publicity of this case will offset the losses and make this WSOP stop even more popular.