Did Phil Ivey’s Lawsuit Against Full Tilt Benefit Players o

Posted by James Guill on Jun 02, 2011 Posted in Legal Poker News, Poker Player News | 1 Comment »

On Tuesday, Phil Ivey dropped a bombshell on the poker world when he announced that he is sitting out the 2011 WSOP due to Full Tilt not returning player funds.  Furthermore, Ivey filed a suit in Clark County District Count on Wednesday against Tiltware, LLC.  Ivey claimed via his statement on his website and Facebook that he did this to facilitate payments back to players.  However, after looking over the lawsuit many feel that Ivey may be doing so for purely personal motivations.

Point – Ivey is Only in This for Himself

The complaint filed by Ivey has six causes of action.  They are:

1.  Injunctive Relief (He wants to get out of his non-compete covenant with Full Tilt)
2.  Breach of Contract (Claims Full Tilt lied about online poker legality)
3.  Breach of Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing
4.  Declaratory Relief
5.  Negligent Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage (Full Tilt’s non-payment of funds to players affects Ivey’s prospective economic advantage)
6.  Tortious Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage (Ivey’s ability to get third party endorsements is hurt and hindered by Full Tilt)

Ivey is seeking $150 Million in damages as part of the second cause of action.  So how exactly is this helping the players?  From the looks of the lawsuit, it appears that Ivey is trying to get out of his non-compete agreement and trying to get personal damages.  Other than how the non-payment of funds to players has affected his marketability, there is no mention as to helping players get funds back in this article.  From the appearance of this suit, it looks like Ivey is trying to cut ties from Full Tilt and get a judgment against them.

Also, how does this help players?  Ivey is seeking the same amount of money that is reportedly owed to player.  Considering that Full Tilt has already announced that they are having to raise the capital to pay players, this does not seem to bode well for either the company or players in receiving their funds.

Counterpoint – Ivey’s Statement and Subsequent Lawsuit Will Help Players

Phil Ivey is the first major endorsed pro that has taken a stand against the big three regarding Black Friday.  In his statement, he said that the did not feel that it was right to play while other players were still waiting to get funds.  In addition, he decided to take legal action that should serve to pressure Full Tilt to work towards a solution to the problem.

The amount of $150 Million in damages is an interesting number.  Reportedly, that is what players are earned and this figure seems to be a type of symbolic gesture from Ivey to Full Tilt saying “whether you pay them or pay me, you are going to lose $150 Million.”

This lawsuit has the potential to benefit players in multiple ways.  First, it should prompt some type of action from Full Tilt and maybe even the DOJ.  Next, this will open the door for other players to potentially take similar action.  Often, once one person takes action against a major company, others will come out of the woodwork.  This added pressure can be nothing but a good thing to player.

According to reports from the WSOP, many of the Full Tilt pros that showed up yesterday with patches on have subsequently removed them.  Whether this was done in response to Ivey’s lawsuit or because of the negative press associated with wearing the patches remains to be seen.  Tom Dwan has come out and openly supported Ivey for his decision, but at the same time Dwan feels justified in playing as he has promised to repay any money he received from Full Tilt to players should they choose not to play.

Regardless of what side of this story you sit on, right now this is the major story in our industry.  The negative PR alone from this should prompt Full Tilt to take some type of action.  How that action benefits players remains to be seen, but it will be interesting to see how the next few days unfold in the poker world.

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One Response to “Did Phil Ivey’s Lawsuit Against Full Tilt Benefit Players or Just Ivey”

  1. Vaslily Petroff says:

    7. Mud-slinging was never a rage with the poker crows or so I thought till black Friday happened. Then it became a sport most entertaining to watch for some in Vegas while others drew blood biting through their nails, waiting in sweet desperation on what happens to the individual player money that is part of Fulltilts’ frozen account and if there ever will be a possibility of a refund and when? After all, FTP can’t open their tables until the refunds claims are met. Meanwhile there are reports of mass migration to sites like 888poker, party and friends. Who wouldn’t? Unlike FTP, 888poker is regulated and is even listed in the London Stock Exchange; it is cool when gambling is legally permitted.

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