Court Rules Marchington Can Collect WSOP Winnings
Imagine winning $1,525,000 in a poker tournament and not being allowed to it all. The casino holds back $152,000 of it because someone else claims it.
Nick Marchington was that player.
In July, he finished in seventh place on poker’s biggest stage. It was the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event, and the 21-year-old Brit made the final table, ultimately busting out in seventh place for a payout of $1,525,000.
However, the WSOP and Caesars Entertainment held back $152,000 of that payout due to a lawsuit filed by two poker backers who claimed that the sum was the 10% they were owed.
Marchington certainly cashed out for a giant sum, even without the $152K, but the point was that someone else laid claim to that money. It was an embarrassing situation, likely frustrating as well, for a player who just had the most exciting live tournament experience of his young life.
Such a shame that a huge personal achievement of mine has been tainted by the greed of others
— Nick Marchington (@NickMarchington) July 17, 2019
A judge lifted that hold last week. The $152K officially belongs to Marchington.
What Had Happened Was…
Back to the summer of 2019, Marchington cashed for that $1,525,000 at the WSOP at the Rio in Las Vegas. His seventh-place finish was good for the highest payout of his burgeoning poker career. And he made it happen at the Main Event, of all places.
That happened on July 14, 2019.
Within 24 hours, David Yee and Colin Hartley filed a lawsuit Clark County, Nevada. They claimed that Marchington committed fraud and breached his contract with them.
The contract was one between Marchington and the two poker backers. They worked for C Biscuit Stables, which offers poker staking, mostly in cash games but sometimes in tournaments as well.
Marchington sold 10% of his poker action for two events at the 2019 WSOP, and the two C Biscuit Stables backers took that 10% at a 1.1 markup. The events were to be the $5K NLHE Six-Max and the $10K Main Event. The deal happened at the end of May, just prior to the start of the WSOP summer series. Yee and Hartley agreed to transfer the money on PokerStars, Marchington received it, and he headed off to Las Vegas.
On June 28, before the tournaments began, Marchington told the backers that he may not play either event as promised. However, he did play the $5K Six-Max, and communication between the player and backers indicated that the stake stood for that event.
On the first day of the Main Event, Marchington made it clear that the C Biscuit Stables stake was no longer valid, and he was prepared to return the money to Yee and Hartley. The duo did send an intermediary to collect from Marchington, and the finances were settled.
I know and understand this was bad practice even though allowable, and I have apologised. Once I cancelled, there was no insistence the piece would still be booked when I made it clear I was still playing. Only arrangements for a refund after which we would be ‘done.’
— Nick Marchington (@NickMarchington) August 3, 2019
However, Yee and Hartley filed the lawsuit to collect on the 10% of Marchington’s winnings.
Marchington Gets the Money
In a document filed in the Clark County (Las Vegas) court on Friday, August 23, the judge lifted the hold on the $152K that had been denied to Marchington since the filing of the lawsuit.
The Brit was thereby allowed to collect the rest of his WSOP winnings.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, lawyers for both sides of the case refused to comment. It remains unclear as to why the judge allowed Marchington to collect the money in question or if the lawsuit is even still alive.
Marchington’s lawyers originally argued that the verbal contract was broken in time, and the backers had no claim to any of Marchington’s winnings.
Lawyers representing Yee and Hartley claimed Marchington bought in to the WSOP Main Event before returning the staking money, which means he used their funds to play the tournament. Therefore, they wanted their 10% — $152K – along with punitive damages and legal fees.
When the lawsuit was filed, the backers obtained a temporary restraining order on the funds. They had requested a permanent injunction, which was obviously not granted. And the judge’s order last week removed that restraining order, allowing Marchington to collect the money he won.
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