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Grand Forks blackjack dealer charged with gaming fraud

GRAND FORKS - A joker’s dream of a card shark who cheated so players won and the house lost is behind a felony case in local court.

A Grand Forks man faced a felony charge Tuesday that he cheated while dealing blackjack at a charitable gaming site to get bigger tips from winning players.

Jacob Tessin, 27, made an initial appearance on a felony count of gaming fraud with a top penalty of five years in prison.

Police said that between Aug. 1 and Aug. 5, as a blackjack dealer at TJ’s Sports Bar, 1210 S. Washington St. in Grand Forks, Tessin defrauded the bar and the charity sponsoring the game by breaking the card games’ rules so players would win and the house would lose.

His reward: higher tips from happy winners.

The Grafton (N.D.) Curling Club, the charity that benefits from the game, was a loser along with TJ’s, according to police.

Tessin is slated to appear next in court Feb. 24 when he can enter a plea.