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Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

Poker Perv Reprieve

Written by Tom Somach in Poker News

A professional poker player who was facing deportation from the U.S. has won a temporary reprieve.

Shahram “Sean”=9D Sheikhan of Las Vegas was facing deportation to his native Iran for a conviction in the U.S. for a sex crime against a child, but an immigration judge ruled this week that the deportation hearing could not proceed, because there is insufficient information about the case to do so.

Sheikhan, a professional poker player who has won over a million dollars playing tournament poker, served nine months in prison and five years probation after being convicted of misdemeanor sexual battery against a 17-year-old girl in 1995.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency, which seeks out foreigners living in the U.S. who have been convicted of sex crimes against children and tries to deport them, wanted to send convicted child molester Sheikhan back to Iran.

Sheikhan, 38, who is married to an American and has a child, was arrested in August by ICE agents and held in a Las Vegas-area detention facility for five days before posting $10,000 bond and being released.

The efforts by ICE to deport Sheikhan and other foreign sex offenders living in the U.S. is part of the U.S. government’s War on Terror.

The judge’s decision does not mean that the Iranian poker pervert is out of the woods, however, as ICE officials can appeal the ruling to a higher court.

As for Sheikhan, he can afford a good lawyer–he has won over half a million bucks playing poker professionally.

He finished third in a lowball tournament at the 2007 World Series of Poker (WSOP) last July and won $206,676.

At the 2006 WSOP, he finished second in a stud tourney and won $171,080.

At the 2003 WSOP, he finished second in a stud tournament and won $65,100.

At the 2001 WSOP, he finished third in a stud tourney and won $50,440.

In addition, he has finished in the money at five other WSOP events and a World Poker Tour (WPT) tournament.

Sheikhan is not the only professional poker player who has committed a sex crime against a minor.

Thomas “Amarillo Slim”=9D Preston Jr. pled guilty to a sex charge several years ago after sexually assaulting his own young granddaughter.

(E-mail Tom Somach at [email protected])

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