Poker pro Justin "BoostedJ" Smith was sentenced to probation this week for his involvement in an illegal gambling ring tied to Russian organized crime. Flushdraw.net reports that Judge Jesse M. Furman sentenced Smith to two years probation, with the condition that Smith spend the first three months in home confinement. He was also ordered to serve 200 hours of community service.
Smith, 26, pled guilty in August to a single charge of aiding in an illegal sports gambling business. He was purportedly a small cog in a $100 million sports gambling operation, allegedly placing bets for friends through the website operated by the betting ring's bosses. Smith originally faced up to five years in prison but his plea agreement* resulted in a reduced sentence.
Other well-known poker players charged in the case were Abe Mosseri, Bill Edler, Vadim Trincher, and Peter Feldman. Trincher, a former World Poker Tour champion, was allegedly one of the leaders of the illegal enterprise. Edler and Feldman have yet to enter a plea agreement.
Smith climbed his way through the ranks as an online poker player, but he made a name for himself on the World Poker Tour with three final tables in as many years. He took third in the 2009 WPT $15,000 Bellagio Cup for $464,870, and followed that up with a runner-up result in the 2010 WPT $10,000 Bellagio Cup ($594,755) and a fourth-place finish in the 2011 Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic $100,000 High Roller ($289,440). In total he has more than $2.1 million in live tournament winnings.
Smith was mostly absent from the tournament circuit in 2013, although he did play a handful of events at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. He tweeted last week that 2013 was the most "impactful" year of his life "by far." He wrote, "Gotta take any opportunity to attain some knowledge to move forward better. Keep moving."
*It was originally reported in this story that Smith was a cooperating witness in this case, but it has since come to our attention that he was not. The story has been corrected.