One of the reasons why the game of poker has increased in popularity is because of the constant media coverage it receives. Jay “WhoJedi” Newnum, a well known poker reporter who was at the Foxwoods Casino in December 2013 has been accused of robbing $700 in dealer tokes (tips).
Billy Shea, the president of the union that represents the dealers at Foxwoods, confirmed last week that Newnum was not only arrested but had also confessed to the theft.
Newnum has remained silent on the issue but recently released a statement saying that he has decided to take a break from the poker industry for an indefinite period of time.
Reports suggest that Newnum who was on duty covering the Foxwoods December Mega Stacks series, was suspected of stealing dealer tips. He was then arrested on-site and charged with 5th-degree larceny, which is a Class B Misdemeanor and has a maximum of six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
Billy Shea confirmed that Newnum was caught just before Christmas after video coverage was reviewed and subsequently arrested and charged with the crime of theft after he confessed to the crime. However, the day before Christmas, Newnum applied for Accelerated Pretrial Rehabilitation and the case was then disposed. Newnum was also banned from entering the Foxwoods Casino.
In a statement, Newnum said
First, let me say that it hasn’t been easy to stay silent. The Foxwoods Mega Stack Challenge ended early in the morning on December 16th. After flying home that same day, I agreed that I would not discuss anything with anyone. I have honoured and will continue to honour that commitment, but in light of third-party reports and the subsequent reactions, I wanted to make this limited statement. I would like to address the negative reaction against certain third parties, particularly Billy Shea, the union president who originally posted the story. I want to state clearly that any negative reaction against him or attacks against his character has not been condoned by me.
There were those in the poker community who did not believe these reports as Jay Newnum is a respected and well known name among poker journalists. However, further investigations into the matter suggest that Newnum could be guilty as charged. Newnum went on to say that
Yesterday, I called Mr. Shea personally. We spoke at length, not about what he had posted, but instead about the reactions from the community. I hold no ill will against him, as he simply did what he felt he needed to do as union president. It was a great conversation with Billy and I do appreciate him taking the time to speak with me. That being said, it seems for the best that I step away from the poker world indefinitely. I do want to say thank you to my family and my friends, both inside and outside of poker, who have been incredibly supportive during this time