Posts Tagged ‘lawsuits’

Signed, Sealed, and Undelivered

by , Jul 30, 2012 | 6:14 pm

Just when the poker masses had all but given up on the latest rumor about PokerStars settling with the DOJ … In just a few sentences published early on Friday in Poker Player Newspaper, Wendeen Eolis threw fuel on smoldering embers of hope for those still dreaming of someday seeing monies attached to Full Tilt Poker.

And though some are beginning to doubt yet again after more than one full business day, Wendeen’s assertion that Stars had indeed settled with the DOJ, and that Full Tilt players will be paid back in full (and rather soon!) was enough to make this rather vocal skeptic do a double-take and re-think. I know Wendeen chooses her words carefully, and she wouldn’t move in like this without the goods unless she has gone completely off her rocker — a possibility she addresses in a follow-up PPN update.

So while the poker world awaits some semblance of official word … I‘m gathering up $60 to pay off a few possibly lost bets, as I’ve had probably a 170-degree POV flip — and now see a DOJ vs. Online Poker endgame that might-could actually include PokerStars resolving its civil matters at the same time Full Tilt and UB players get made whole!

Probably a good time to put out the disclaimer, I’m not a lawyer but … Even though I still see the notion of criminal indictee #1 buying his freedom by offering to take the assets of criminal indictee #3 off the government’s hands for a fire-sale price as rather ridiculous, here’s some recent DOJ-SDNY hand history that I believe supports what Wendeen might be suggesting:


Shoes Your Daddy

by , Jun 25, 2012 | 1:14 pm

beth shak shoes

Beth’s Defense: You can have these pumps when you pry them from my cold dead hands.

I try not to care about certain poker “gossip”, but sometimes you read stuff about poker players and you can’t help but wonder who’s really screwing whom. (And how!)

Such is the ongoing case of Shak vs. Shak. The two got divorced three years ago, but now Dan is suing Beth alleging she didn’t tell the him or the court about a stash of shoes valued at about the equivalent of a One Drop buy-in. While some speculate that it’s a sign Dan has fallen on hard times, we can only guess that there’s far more subtext in play — with someone possibly calling someone else a slut and/or bitch. You know, he-said-she-said with money.

Though still a “poker pro” to the mainstream media, Beth currently runs a shoe blog and online shoe shop and has made appearances on the reality TV show, Millionaire Matchmaker.

Dan, meanwhile, is scheduled to play the WSOP One Drop tournament next week — and is in fact an “ambassador” for the $1 million buy-in, partially tax-deductible event.

Tribal Casinos in the Balance

by , Jun 23, 2012 | 12:52 pm

A lawsuit seeking closure of the tiny Gun Lake casino in Michigan could have a major effect on the nation’s Indian casino market, an industry that posted $26.73 billion in revenue in 2010, according to the Indian Gaming Industry Report.

Analysts say this week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision to remand the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals could make it more difficult to fund tribal casino projects or even delay some projects until the matter is settled. The $160 million resort targeted in the lawsuit is in Wayland Township, 20 miles south of Grand Rapids. It was developed and is managed by Las Vegas-based Station Casinos LLC.

“The decision has the potential to change how the federal government takes land into trust for tribes,” said Steven Light, co-director of the Institute for the Study of Tribal Gaming Law and Policy at the University of North Dakota. “It’s potentially a huge problem for expansion of gaming for recently recognized tribes.”


Should I Sue Full Tilt, et al?

by , Jul 12, 2011 | 8:38 pm

To catch you up to date … Phil Ivey dropped his lawsuit because (choose one or more):

a) He had a change of heart and realized he was wrong. Apologies accepted, hugs exchanged.
b) His attorney advised him that he was putting himself at risk by potentially taking the stand.
c) Sitting through a even just a deposition could prove less profitable than sitting in a cash game.
d) He settled, obv, meaning Ivey and Full Tilt somehow got square, even if you did not.

Meanwhile, French regulators ARJEL yanked Full Tilt’s gaming license in France, Ray Bitar says his feelings are hurt by Wicked Chops insinuations that he’s no longer CEO of Tilt (as if! scroll down to bottom) and everyone seems to have forgotten that the leaders of AP/UB are apparently on the run with however much player cash and T-shirt swag they can stuff on a southbound plane.

With all that, whether in a nick of time or too little too late, a group of New Yorkers is suing Tilt class-action style, with a complaint that looks like it was cut-and-paste together from DOJ press releases and 2+2 threads.

Can we expect a rash of lawsuits to come? Should they?

The PPA has put out a legal guide for anyone considering court-action as a way to get an everated online poker site pay up:

The PPA’s legal team has prepared a legal analysis of the options available to individual players who still have not been able to access their online poker funds held on account.  The document, “Legal Rights of Players with Unpaid Account Balances – A PPA Information Guide” seeks to provide our members with facts and information about how individuals can seek to claim their online poker account money.    We hope you find this document useful and informative.  Should you have further inquiries about players’ funds you can contact our Litigation Support Network at: [email protected].

The document attempts to explain the complexities of forfeiture law, as well as what the remedies are for someone who believes the government unjustly seized their property. I feel like I’ve seen this seizure list a dozen times … but what’s new to me is realizing the government asserts they flat out own the companies — Full Tilt, PokerStars, AP/UB, et al … regardless of whether or not players got their money back.

Eskimo Yes, Jesus No (Ep 08)

by , Jun 10, 2011 | 11:54 am

Please forgive any apparent smugness of prescience … I didn’t know about the appeals court ruling when Pauly and I recorded an episode two days ago, where we addressed certain ironies about neither Clonie Gowen nor the people who may or may not have wanted to squash her being at the WSOP.

Pauly published yesterday, and even though we’ve got a fancy autofeeder here at Pokerati, I did not … but LOL(ish) … this episode was next in the queue:

Dan and Dr. Pauly hang out in the hallway and try to figure out what the 2011 WSOP is missing…

2011 WSOP – Episode 8: Eskimo Yes, Jesus No (4:22) – Dan and Pauly try to pinpoint which pros are noticeably absent (Clonie, Jesus, Howard Lederer), while Eskimo Clark sightings have been rampant. They also try to figure out where the old Bat Beat Bar and Lounge went and why its been replaced by a oxygen bar.

For more episodes, visit the Tao of Pokerati archives.

Appeals Court: Judge Kinda-Sorta Erred in Clonie Case vs. Full Tilt

by , | 11:39 am

Not sure yet what exactly this all means … but the case of Clonie Gowen vs. Team Full Tilt (that strangely never got to trial) is still alive in some capacity. A federal Appeals court ruled yesterday that the lower federal court — Nevada District — did indeed make errors in dismissing her claim against Ray Bitar, Howard Lederer, and various companies connected to Full Tilt.

Clonie Gowen’s lawsuit of course, was the first of what would prove to be many against various Full Tilt entities — at the time dismissed not just by a Las Vegas judge, but by the “poker world” and industy as a whole. Since then the belief that Full Tilt could do no wrong has definitely reversed itself … in American courts as well as the court of public opinion.

Clonie was seeking $40 million as a part-owner of Full Tilt. But my how times have changed … If she does finally get her day in court, certainly the valuation would have to be reassessed … and these days, were an American court to way declare that yes indeed you are an owner of Full Tilt, would that be a win?

Read below for a summary of the decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco:


Ivey’s Lawyer (Ep 06)

by , Jun 5, 2011 | 8:14 pm

Dan and Dr. Pauly are back with a new episode…

2011 WSOP – Episode 6: Ivey’s Lawyer (4:17) – Dan and Pauly chat about the Ivey drama that transformed the opening days of the WSOP into the “World Series of Phil Ivey.” Dan also shares some inside info on Ivey’s lawyer, renown criminal attorney David Chesnoff.

For more episodes, visit the Tao of Pokerati archives or subscribe to the Tao of Pokerati feed.

Curious claims in Ivey v. Tiltware, LLC

by , | 4:52 pm

Comes now Phil Ivey with a complaint against Tiltware, LLC and a number of as-yet unnamed individuals and corporations. The suit is dated May 31st and was filed in the Nevada District Court on June 1st. It sets out six of what are styled separate causes of action, inluding breach of contract and tortious interference with prospective economic dealing, but some of the causes seem more like requested remedies than distinct causes of action compelling relief. In any event, the pith and substance of Ivey’s claim appears to be:

  1. that Tiltware breached its contract with him on a number of fronts;
  2. that certain contractual covenants are over-broad, oppressive, and contrary to public policy; and,
  3. that Full Tilt’s actions separate and apart from the contractual breach have damaged Ivey’s reputation.

For this, Ivey essentially wants in excess of $150,000,000 in damages and a declaration that the non-competition covenants in the contract are void. Ivey’s contract with Tiltware is not included with the filings, which isn’t unusual, but presumably a copy will come out if this action grinds on long enough; that should be a compelling read when it surfaces.


Ivey Hires the Phil Ivey of Vegas Lawyers to Take down on Full Tilt

by , | 2:13 pm

david chesnoffIf you haven’t read it yet, here’s the civil complaint of Phillip Dennis Ivey, Jr. vs. Tiltware LLC and 10 Team Full Tilt John Does and/or Roe corporations. It’s a narrative tear-jerker for sure, the surface of a tale that scratches beyond matters of non-compete clauses and mishandled player monies.

The attorney who filed the suit, David Chesnoff, is kinda a big deal. He’s the former law partner of Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, has been an ABC Legal News analyst, and recently secured walks for Bruno Mars and Paris Hilton on cocaine charges. Other celebrity clients have included Vince Neil, Jamie Foxx, Mike Tyson, the Jackson family, Leonardo DiCaprio, Shaquille O’neal, Andre Agassi, Martha Stewart, Suge Knight, Nate Dogg … the list goes on and on — mostly criminal cases, some civil. But beyond having an A-list media component to his practice, Chesnoff is also a semi-regular high stakes poker player in Las Vegas — no stranger to the banter in Bobby’s Room and thus the inner workings of the poker world — with a remarkably successful record, legally, against the Feds.


Barry Greenstein on the Phil Ivey Defection

by , Jun 4, 2011 | 4:07 am

A Scot named Gingertoys with a new site called interviewed Barry Greenstein, who discussed Phil Ivey … providing a bit closer glimpse at the angst and anger surrounding Ivey’s decision to file a $150 million lawsuit against Full Tilt and skip out on the 2011 WSOP.

Have a listen:

The stuff we hadn’t heard before begins about 50:40.

After declaring that he “helped [Ivey] probably more than anyone” as he was coming up, Greenstein addresses his closeness to the situation and how much has yet to be told: “I’ve got friends on both sides at the moment … There’s more stuff behind the scenes that isn’t coming to light.”

In the interview, Barry talks of a phone call where Ivey — generally emotionless on TV and in public — is screaming for nearly 5 minutes. “I couldn’t get a word in edgewise.”

He also reveals the key to Ivey’s game being his “adapting to what his opponents are doing, and in real time figuring out a way to beat it.” I think Greenstein’s talking about poker here, but it could probably just as well apply to any off-table actions where millions of Ivey dollars are at stake.

He also says Ivey’s decision to skip the 2011 WSOP was independent of the lawsuit … that not only does Ivey want to be breaking records, but also he has several million dollars worth of bracelet bets he’s potentially surrendering.

Ivey Drops Drama Bomb by Suing Full Tilt, Skipping the WSOP

by , Jun 1, 2011 | 10:48 am

The 2011 WSOP officially kicked off and Day 1 was certainly without any drama, especially regarding a pair of Full Tilt pros.

2011 WSOPEpisode 2: Ivey Drops Drama Bomb by Suing Full Tilt and Skipping the WSOP (6:07) – Change100 joins Benjo and Pauly as they discuss the strange happenings on Day 1 of the WSOP. Phil Ivey became the only thing people discussed the Rio after a rather bizarre series of posts appeared on his Facebook page after he revealed his lawsuit against Full Tilt due to their lack of action getting money back to their players. Also, Benjo explains the scene when James Bord harassed and threatened John Juanda.

For more episodes, visit the Tao of Pokerati archives or subscribe to the Tao of Pokerati feed.

Poker Pros, Chuck E. Cheese, and the End of the World

by , May 22, 2011 | 12:23 am

This week’s online gambling news included several poker pros as the latest victims of “Black Friday”. Plus, some of the stupidest stories we could find… with a Chuck E. Cheese lawsuit and the end of life on this planet!

Bennett v. Cake Gaming

by , Apr 11, 2011 | 9:50 am

Today I’m blogging about a Notice of Civil Claim against Cake Poker. You can see it here. The claim was filed last week with the Supreme Court of British Columbia in New Westminster (a suburb of Vancouver). I found out about this claim on

I’ll make full disclosure up front: I have acted for a party that, in the past, had interests adverse to Cake. I have not acted for anyone involved with, and I have nothing to do with, this lawsuit.

Who’s suing whom and why? Two individuals, Ryan Bennett and Francois Piette, and their partnership and a corporation controlled by them are seeking damages from a number of parties apparently associated with Cake. These parties include Cake Poker (Canada) Inc. and certain of its alleged affiliates (including Cake Gaming N.V. and Yummy Interactive (Canada) Inc.). Also named as individual defendants are Nicholaos Mellios, Christopher Ruck, and Ian Winter, who purportedly own a “substantial interest” in the Cake Gaming network and are collectively alleged to be “responsible for all major decisions regarding” the network. Finally, some other individuals said to be direct or indirect shareholders in the network were added as defendants.

The basic claim is that, in 2001, Bennett and Piette formulated “an advanced business [and] marketing model” unlike any other model then being used by an Internet poker site. This initiative by Bennett and Piette is called the “Legacy Project” in the statement of claim. Apparently, “[t]he Legacy Project included a network marketing component whereby customers/players are compensated for referring other customers/players to the Legacy Project and who then receive a portion of the referred customers’/players’ winnings. It also proposed using photo real images on the website. These were then unique ways to obtain and retain customers/players.” So: the plaintiffs claim that they invented what is essentially an affiliate model for Internet poker.


GamingCounsel’s Weekly Briefs

Jersey intrastate score, Quebec’s online casino, Zynga in the City,
Lame-duck luck & Righthaven retreat

by , Nov 23, 2010 | 12:33 pm

Here are my thoughts on the most interesting stories in the gaming sector over the past week or so:

  1. New Jersey Moves Forward on Intra-State Gaming – Yesterday, Monday, November 22nd, the New Jersey State Senate passed S490, the succinctly-named “An Act permitting Internet wagering at Atlantic City casinos under certain circumstances and amending and supplementing the Casino Control Act.”The vote was 29-5 in favour. This bill authorizes Internet wagering at AC casinos; it would allow New Jersey residents and persons located outside of the US to place wagers on casino games by means of the Internet. All games that are permissible in a bricks and mortar AC casino could be offered over the Internet under this bill. S490 also provides for the imposition of a tax on such intra-state Internet wagering, monitoring and regulating the Internet offerings, and licensing fees. Now the bill will be taken up by the State Assembly’s Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee. New Jersey has elections in November of each odd-numbered year, so there is still considerable time to see this bill through to passage by the Assembly. It is looking more and more like the legislative i-gaming action in the US for the next little while will be at the state level and perhaps not in Congress. []
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  3. Quebec Launches Government Gaming Site – Loto-Quebec’s new Internet gaming site,, went online last week. (It looks terrible, which is to be expected of a government-run casino site.) as of next week, Quebecers will be able to wager up to Cdn$9,999 per week on sundry interactive games. The poker offering will eventually share liquidity between Quebec and British Columbia, but only Quebecers are supposed to be permitted on Loto-Quebec’s site. [Montreal Gazette]
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  5. New Zynga Game – Zynga, the popular social gaming developer, released CityVille. I haven’t played yet, but apparently it’s SimCity meets FarmVille. It will go live globally in the next few weeks. More proof that Zynga (and the social gaming sector, more generally) are key things to watch in the gaming industry as we go forward. [TechCrunch]
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  7. The Status of Congress – Congress is currently in the lame-duck session between election day and the start of the 112th Congress in January. Frank Fahrenkopf, President of the American Gaming Association and as keen an observer of the gaming industry in the US as anyone, said during G2E in Las Vegas last week that he doesn’t see online gaming legislation passing during the lame-duck session, but he left open the possibility that Internet gaming legislation could pass. No surprise, but Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV) thinks that, if anything passes during the lame-duck, it may be limited to legalizing Internet poker only: [Las Vegas Sun; Las Vegas Review-Journal]
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  9. Las Vegas Cut-and-Paste Lawsuits – Righthaven LLC is a firm in Nevada that has sued dozens of parties over posting content on the Internet from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Some have alleged that Righthaven’s actions have been abusive. Comes now Righthaven with an indication that it will narrow its litigation campaign after a Nevada judge ruled that a realtor’s use of part of an LVRJ article constituted fair use. (The realtor reproduced 8 sentences of a 30 sentence news article on his blog.) See: This is fascinating enough by itself, but the Nevada attorney who is a principal of Righthaven (Steven Gibson) is the same lawyer that is a member of the law firm Dicknson Wright PLLC, an international law firm with a respected gaming practice and now with a Las Vegas office. [Wired]

Attorney Stuart Hoegner regularly follows international gaming law; you can follow him @GamingCounsel on Twitter.

Rabbit Hunt

by , Oct 26, 2010 | 9:59 am

Episode 23
The Rabbit Hunt is here, with special guest Corwin [vital]myth Cole and they’re talking about the latest WSOP-C and WPT news, Poker Hall of Fame inductees, the latest poker court cases in South Carolina and Illinois, and Ladbrokes Poker’s new anonymous tables.