Oct 22 2010

Lawsuit Filed Against Six Poker Professionals

written by: Will under News, Poker Law Comments: Comments Off

One of the dishonorable online poker practices that is often on poker players’ minds is collusion – or when two or more players act communicate with each other information about their hands in order to secure an unfair advantage over another player. According to Scott Crespo of Florida, this is exactly what six poker professionals did over the course of 700 online poker tournaments. The defendants named in the case include Tyler Reiman, Andy Seth, Ravi Raghavan, Faraz Jaka, Mohsin Charania and Benjamin LeFew. Normally, this would not technically be a matter for the courts. However, Crespo was able to cite a law in Illinois that states that cheaters in gambling must return the money they won to the person that was cheated.

There are really three charges that Crespo is attempting to bring against the six poker players. He accused them of accepting recruits for the purpose of illegal online gambling, participating in collusion and using a private residence in order to gamble. If convicted, it is unlikely that any of the poker professionals would face criminal charges. Instead, the matter is more likely to be pushed to a civil court where the players will be forced to return any money won from Crespo during the tournaments in question. Unfortunately for Crespo, obtaining a guilty verdict may be very difficult as it is difficult to prove exactly how much money he lost to cheating, if any.

One of the reasons that this case is being taken somewhat seriously is that it is likely that the poker players did live together at the time brought to light by Crespo. Apparently, the six poker players lived in the same residence – which they called the “Pokerhaus.” In addition, Crespo is claiming that the poker players not only communicated hand information with each other during poker tournaments, but used illegal poker software in order to gain further advantages over other poker players online. For many poker players against online poker regulation in the United States, this case could prove to be the nail in the coffin for regulation. On the other hand, cases like these have simply vanished before and this could be another lawsuit where the plaintiff fails to present enough evidence against the defendants.

As a result of the lawsuit, the PPA (Poker Players Alliance) has offered assistance to the accused in the form of legal assistance.

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