Posts Tagged ‘Tiltware’

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

by , Jun 10, 2011 | 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:


Curious claims in Ivey v. Tiltware, LLC

by , Jun 5, 2011 | 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.


Online Gambling News for the Birds!

by , Jun 3, 2011 | 12:43 pm

This week’s online gambling news includes stories from Canada, Australia, and the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas! we also have our interview with Professor I. Nelson Rose about his expert opinions on Black Friday! Also, J Todd makes friends wherever he goes… even at the top of the mountain!

The Ivey Chronicles

by , Jun 1, 2011 | 2:37 pm

The biggest story to come out of day 1 of the WSOP, almost fitting given the cloud of Black Friday, was that a major player within Team Full Tilt would not be playing. What we didn’t realize was that the player in question was in Phil Ivey, and that he had some very choice words for his (former?) employer Full Tilt poker. Before getting too far into things, the statement itself is below:

For many years, I have been proud to call myself a poker player. This great sport has taken me to places I only imagined going and I have been blessed with much success. It is therefore with deep regret that I believe I am compelled to release the following statement.

I am deeply disappointed and embarrassed that Full Tilt players have not been paid money they are owed. I am equally embarrassed that as a result many players cannot compete in tournaments and have suffered economic harm. I am not playing in the World Series of Poker as I do not believe it is fair that I compete when others cannot. I am doing everything I can to seek a solution to the problem as quickly as possible.

My name and reputation have been dragged through the mud, through the inactivity and indecision of others and on behalf of all poker players I refuse to remain silent any longer. I have electronically filed a lawsuit against Tiltware related to the unsettled player accounts. As I am sure the public can imagine, this was not an easy decision for me.

I wholeheartedly refuse to accept non-action as to repayment of players funds and I am angered that people who have supported me throughout my career have been treated so poorly.

I sincerely hope this statement will ignite those capable of resolving the problems into immediate action and would like to clarify that until a solution is reached that cements the security of all players, both US and International, I will, as I have for the last six weeks, dedicate the entirety of my time and efforts to finding a solution for those who have been wronged by the painfully slow process of repayment.

I think Wicked Chops said it best in their article on the subject: Holy shit. Not only was it not expected, but the strength of the words from someone that is in that category of “legally bound not to speak” adds extra weight to it. No doubt Ivey has, as @taopauly put it in his daily recap, “titanium balls.” That said, nothing escapes radar without some further reflection and critiquing, so here goes:


Full Tilt Sues Clonie?

High-stakes legal maneuvers

by , Jan 13, 2010 | 2:07 pm

The Full Tilt legal battles are heating up … and this time they are on the offensive, suing Cycalona Gowen in federal court.

Full Tilt (specifically Tiltware, LLC, out of California) is not seeking money from her beyond court costs and attorney fees. But they do want a clear declaration that she does not have the 1 percent ownership interest she alleges.

Click here to read Tiltware’s compaint against Gowen, filed on Friday.

So why would they be doing this? Well according to the Nevada lawyers I’ve spoken to, that’s hard to say …

Essentially, they’re looking for the court to rule against her without having a trial. She goes to court again on February 1, for the third and last time, with the court deciding if her Third-Amended Complaint has merits to proceed. But if Full Tilt wins, and the judge says, yeah, sorry, we can’t waste a jury’s time with this … then maybe they don’t win enough?


RE: Yet Another Full Tilt Lawsuit (Bots on Trial)

Case summary

by , Oct 4, 2009 | 6:24 pm

Here’s the actual Kennedy vs. FTP lawsuit, 19 pages, filed by Cyrus Sanai, a lawyer out of Beverly Hills.

And here’s the 2+2 thread from 2007 when the key plaintiff — Lary Kennedy (aka “pokergirl_z” on Full Tilt) — first spelled out her beefs that led to this lawsuit … mostly stemming from a series of heads-up matches against a Full Tilt player known as “TheComplainer”.

Kennedy is the real plaintiff. Greg Omoroy is just a guy who owned another account she used (which is a whole-nother issue altogether). And though they aren’t formally seeking class-action status, they do seem to be laying the groundwork for such a possibility — an aggressive legal play for sure.

Essentially, the allegations are that Full Tilt — with unfettered ability to label a player a bot, confiscate her money, and smear her name by calling her a bot — constitutes organized crime … being perpetuated by Californians against Californians, in violation of all sorts of California business and gaming laws.

They also say that “Playing Against the Pros” is tantamount to gambling against the “house” … there’s an added boogeyman with allegations that Full Tilt is running its own bots on the site … and a new-to-me company gets discussed, too: Verta Enterprises, out of St. Kitts.

On the surface, that seems less shakedown/extortion-y than other California lawsuits against Full Tilt. But the class-action possibilities suggest this suit is really looking for penalties in the hundreds of millions or more — you know, the kind of money the Feds have been collecting from longtime online gambling purveyors looking to get on the USA clean list.

If it turns out pokergirl_z was not a bot — and she claims to have video proof — it could be quite the expensive security goof.

Click below for further breakdown of the suit:


Jason Newitt Sues Full Tilt, Lederer, et al.

Another Ex-FTP Employee Suits Up

by , Sep 14, 2009 | 4:48 pm

The Full Tilt Poker legal team is busy. On the heels of the presumably still-unresolved Clonie Gowen $40 million lawsuit, another case was filed in the Nevada court system on September 11, 2009. This is the only information available thus far:

Jason Newitt
Tiltware; Full Tilt Poker; Pocket Kings Ltd.; Pocket Kings Consulting Ltd.; Raymond Bitar; Howard Lederer

Contract action. Plaintiff says he was unfairly fired, and that his distribution payments were unfairly ceased. Defendants then took control of his ownership.

Newitt was the former Tilt employee responsible for inadvertently forwarding Howard Lederer e-mail about Jimmy “Gobboboy” Fricke (the “freak and very weird dude”) — an “oops” that revealed a little something about Lederer and Bitar’s positions and powers within the Full Tilt money machine. Whether or not this had anything to do with Newitt’s dismissal and the subsequent lawsuit remains to be seen until we get our sneaky little hands on the court documents.

Clonie vs. Full Tilt: Case Dismissed?

Maybe kinda-sorta, but not really

by , May 7, 2009 | 12:59 pm

2+2 is speculating that “Clonie Gowan’s suit against Full Tilt dismissed” [sic].

PokerNewsDaily followed suit:

With the majority of the case being dismissed with prejudice and only Tiltware, Bitar and Lederer eligible for any further action, Gowen’s lawsuit appears to be dead at this time.

And then PokerNews reported “Gowen Lawsuit Against Full Tilt Dismissed”.

These hedlines are for the most part inaccurate, and at a minimum misleading. Clonie’s lawsuit is still alive … the courts have simply stripped out some irrelevant defendants while considering motions for expedited discovery, and her team has 30 days to amend their complaints around the still relevant defendants, i.e. Tiltware, Howard Lederer, and Ray Bitar. These recent rulings may be considered setbacks, but it’s not like she has to start from scratch to “refile”.

Read the court documents for yourself:

Gowen Motions Denied
Gowen Hearing Vacated

Now granted, these are a little confusing, so Pokerati has made half-hearted attempts to contact attorneys on both sides of the case, and have received no response from either. We’ve also contacted insiders on both sides of the case, whom literally say the exact same thing: “It’s definitely not over”. To be sure, on both sides, no one’s celebrating nor stomping about wildly screaming “Appeal!” bemoaning these most recent decisions.

In the meantime, to help us understand, Pokerati has brought in an independent, poker-savvy legal expert from a neighboring state to help translate:


Full Tilt Sued in California Court over Alleged UIGEA Violations

by , Apr 30, 2009 | 10:33 am

I’m still trying to figure out what it all means … who the plaintiffs are, and what they’re seeking. The best I can tell on first skim is that an LA attorney is representing himself, and seeking injunctive relief in an attempt to prevent Californians from gambling across state lines — i.e. James B. Hicks wants the site shut down.

This may or may not be connected to proposed legislation in California to allow players to gamble online within state lines.

Developing, obviously.

Click here to download and read the lawsuit.

UPDATE: Looks like this likely is a nuisance shakedowny kinda case … though personally I’m still suspicious that the proposed California intrastate online gambling bill might have something to do with it. From the Pokerati legal advisory team’s Cali branch:

This is really an attorney driven case under a California law called the “Unfair Competition Law” (UCL) that basically says, in part, that if any party is committing an act that is “unlawful” (i.e., violates a statute), that party can be enjoined from those unlawful acts and…..must pay the plaintiff’s attorneys fees. In other words, there probably is no harm to the plaintiff, but that may be irrelevant. This is really just a vehicle to get some attorneys fees paid.

Clonie v Full Tilt – The One with the Amended Complaint

by , Feb 4, 2009 | 9:23 am

Clonie Gowen filed an amended complaint in her lawsuit against Full Tilt Poker last month, according to Pokerlistings. The complaint added two additional defendants (Pocket Kings Consulting and Tiltproof) as well as adding seven causes of action in a response to the defendant’s motion to dismiss.

Those interested in reading the case can read the amended complaint and her motion for expedited discovery over at

Amended Complaint
Motion for Expedited Discovery

Clonie v Full Tilt – The Saga Continues

by , Jan 7, 2009 | 8:00 am

Attorneys for Tiltware, the parent company of Full Tilt Poker, filed a motion yesterday to dismiss Clonie Gowen’s case against them for $40 million as an alleged 1% owner of the company. For those interested in reading the motion, it can be read here.

Clonie vs. Full Tilt

by , Nov 15, 2008 | 7:38 am

Chewed up, spit out? Clonie Gowen is challenging the most fearsome of Full Tilt avatars in Clark County Court.

We all knew something fishy was going on with Clonie and Full Tilt, right? And we’ve always wondered how exactly Full Tilt operates — seriously it’s kinda a mystery, even to people who work for them — and now, with Clonie Gowen suing four different companies connected to the game so many play with the pros, we should find out quite a bit of interesting info.

As far as I know, this is the first time any online poker biz that operates in the grayish world of processing money from American players (really really light gray, but still … ) will have to show its stuff publicly. Even Ultimate Bet/Absolute, with all the audits and investigations hasn’t really had to show anything it doesn’t want to to anyone outside its own semi-corporate family.

Um, hole-card cameras in the courtroom?

Official court docs here.

Gowen v. Tiltware LLC, et al.,
Cycalona Gowen
Defendant: Full Tilt Poker, Tiltware LLC, Pocket Kings Ltd., Kolyma Corporation, A.V.V., Raymond J. Bitar, Howard Lederer, Andrew Bloch, Phillip Ivey, Christopher Ferguson, John Juanda, Phillip Gordon, Erick Lindgren, Erik Seidel, Jennifer Harman-Traniello, Michael Matusow, Allen Cunningham, Gus Hansen and Patrick Antonious

Case Number: 2:2008cv01581
Filed: November 14, 2008

Court: Nevada District Court
Office: Las Vegas Office [ Court Info ]
County: Clark
Presiding Judge: Judge Robert C. Jones
Referring Judge: Magistrate Judge Robert J. Johnston

Nature of Suit: Contract – Other Contract
Cause: 28:1332 Diversity-Other Contract
Jurisdiction: Diversity
Jury Demanded By: Plaintiff

They’re talking about it on 2+2, and the summary of her allegations below comes from the Hendon Mob: