William Gustafik

The Ten Most Wicked Stories of 2007 - Part V

We know. You've refreshed our site 1,000 times today screaming aloud, "Dammit Entities! Fucking put up numbers 1 and 2 already!" But all good things are worth the wait. So we apologize since this probably wasn't worth the wait. Whatever. Fuck off.

2) Absolute and A.J. Green Give Online Poker A Bad Beat. So, why isn't the Absolute Poker scumbags-super-user-AJ-Green-dipshit our #1 story? Because nobody seems to care anymore. After an initial dip in active players, Absolute's numbers rebounded quickly. The outcry died down. Life went on. Obla di obla da. That's too bad, because: 1) at a time when we're fighting UIGEA legislation, this scandal gives plenty fuel to the fire over the legitimacy of online poker, 2) all of those donks or 9/11-type conspiracy geeks got to say, "I know it! I lost all of that money because people were cheating against me!", and 3) some long-haired a-hole like AJ Green could take online poker players for $7M or so. That just ain't right. Watch Mark Seif's comments on it here, and Dan Druff's thoughts here. Read more here and here.

01_count1) Phil Laak Extorted, and Murder in the Panorama Towers. That's right, we have dual Most Wicked Stories of the Year. Why? Well first, as we noted in our first "top stories" post, doing things two at a time reminds us of how we liked our woman back in the day. But also, both of these stories are messed up enough that they could make really good Lifetime movies. For a recap on both:

:: Some Brit ex-pat living in Thailand named Tom Grant posted a web page claiming that he befriended Phil Laak seven years ago, bailed him out of some trouble, went into an import/export business (drugs) with Laak and then after a snafu, claims that Laak sought to have him and his wife killed for $30,000 for no good reason. He threatened to release damaging evidence to back up these claims, then took down the site after Laak (likely) paid him off. Crazy shit. Read more about it here and good work from Bill Rini on it here (unless his site is still down, which it appears to be now).

:: William "The Manipulator" Gustafik, a 44-year-old Las Vegas chiropractor and poker professional, was found stabbed to death in his condo unit at the Panorama Towers, a luxury high-rise just off the Vegas strip that David Williams moved into as well as Antonio Esfandiari. Turns out his wife, Jill Rockcastle, did it, as she admitted in a 10 page letter, partly because she was sick of him losing money at poker. Naturally, killing someone is a much easier way to resolve a problem then just leaving the guy. Read more here.

All right, that's it. Happy and healthy 2008 to you all. And finally, a little Keeley Hazell to set your year off right here.

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Jill Rockcastle Admits to Killing Bill Gustafik, Throws Him Under the Bus in 10-Page Letter

We suppose we don't need to use "alleged" murderer anymore when referencing Jill Rockcastle.

Gustafik2_2In a shocking, to say the least, 10 page letter (link below) emailed to friends and family and written sometime before she attempted to kill herself in California this week, Rockcastle admits to stabbing her husband, Bill Gustafik, to death in their Las Vegas condo last Friday night after a series of arguments involving, among other things, buy-ins into Vegas poker tournaments, including the Bellagio 5-Star World Poker Classic and the WPT World Championship.

But that is by far the least interesting thing she has to say in her lengthy account of Gustafik, their life together and the moments leading up to his death. Rockcastle presents a sordid tale (and completely unsubstantiated accounts) of drug abuse, gambling addiction, a custody dispute and corruption (and much worse); all which hints at the potential beginnings of a Sandy Murphy-like media circus when Rockcastle is brought back to Vegas on murder charges.

While this kind of story is right up the alley for any James McManus wannabes, or James McManus himself, we're thinking of leaving this story alone (or at least significant commentary on it) for principled reasons including, but not withstanding: (a) It doesn't involve Keeley Hazell, and the 49-year-old Jill Rockcastle isn't even Sandy Murphy-like doable; (b) We have a longstanding policy that we just came up with a minute ago about not perpetuating perceived negative societal stereotypes of poker players even if her account and the likely media maelstorm makes it inevitable; (c) we don't have time for this kind of crap and (d) there's no fun in talking about someone who was killed by his wife.

Of course, this is all subject to change on a whim.

LINK TO JILL ROCKCASTLE'S 10-PAGE LETTER (on another website because we don't want her wacko beans spilled on our site and think anyone who copies and pastes it onto their site, other than InsideBayArea.com who first published it, is a jackass for some reason or another)

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Gustafik's Widow Locked Up, Awaits Murder Charges

JillrockcastleThe widow/alleged murderer of tournament poker pro William "Bill" Gustafik is now in a California jail after being discharged from a San Luis Obispo hospital. Jill Rockcastle (at right in the best pic we've found of her so far) now awaits transfer to Nevada on murder charges.

To recap, Las Vegas Police first got a call from an anonymous "male subject" at 7:31 pm last Friday that a deceased male was inside a condo unit (#2300) at the Panorama Towers, just off the Vegas strip. Police immediately suspected Rockcastle and wanted to speak with her but she fled to California where she checked into a B&B and was found unconscious in an apparent suicide attempt.

While we're being emailed rumors about the homicide that are undoubtedly 100% true, as all rumors are, we'll hold off on those right now and just say that Rockcastle was into body building like her husband, played poker, inherited some cash, seemed a bit off kilter to some and may or may not have been a Playboy bunny years ago (although we're hearing no on this now) and that from everyone we've talked to Bill Gustafik was pretty much liked by everyone who met or knew him, except his wacko wife last Friday night when she stabbed him to death, allegedly.

Gustafik3_2Gustafik, a regular on the WPT circuit and at the WSOP, can be seen on the Ultimate Poker Challenge "Cash Poker" TV series (in photo at left). He played the February 1 event, which aired recently and also featured Todd Brunson, Chad Brown, Hoyt Corkins and Layne Flack.

After the jump is another photo of Gustafik from his "Cash Poker" TV show appearance, which we know Rockcastle attended (that may or may is not be her seated behind him with the big hair...if you know for sure, let us know).

Continue reading "Gustafik's Widow Locked Up, Awaits Murder Charges" »

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Poker Player Stabbed to Death in Vegas Condo, Wife in Custody

BillgustafikWilliam "The Manipulator" Gustafik, a 44-year-old Las Vegas chiropractor and poker professional, was found stabbed to death this past Friday in his condo unit at the Panorama Towers, a luxury high-rise just off the Vegas strip that David Williams just moved into.

According to the Associated Press, the operators of the towers said that the building's security hadn't been breached and it appears to have been a domestic dispute between Gustafik and his wife Jill Rockcastle. Rockcastle was found Monday unconscious in a motel room in San Luis Obispo and is now in custody.

Of note, Gustafik speaks about his wife on several occasions in his PokerPages profile, saying he is a "devoted husband," and that "[w]ith my beautiful wife by my side and my 9 yr old daughter giving me tips, nothing can stop me." He also states that if "I could change anything in the world: My wife would play live and not just online even though she wins."

We assume he'd also like for her not to kill him.*

Gustafik has won $165k in tournament winnings during the past year and a half with his biggest cash at the WPT Shooting Star in March 2006, where he took home $80k for 10th place.

* Wicked Chops Poker strongly believes that people should be presumed innocent until proven guilty, unless they look really crazy.

UPDATE: Jill Rockinsale is facing murder charges for the fatal stabbing of her husband Bill Gustafik. She was immediately a suspect after the stabbing and the police were hoping to speak with her but she fled to California, checked herself into a B&B and it looked like she was preparing to check herself out of life when the police came upon her. Rockinsale is not the mother of Gustafik's 9-year-old daughter, thankfully. Read the most recent news story here.

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