Some celebrities and prominent businessmen play in private games in Beverly Hills (which I play in on occasion myself).
About 4 years ago, a losing player in these games was embezzling money from his hedge fund and is now in jail. A lawsuit now exists against players who played in those games and got checks from the embezzler.
Lawyers for those swindled by the embezzler claim these poker winnings were “ill-gotten gains” from an illegal casino and want the money back. Well, as a poker player, this fries my case.
These poker players did nothing wrong. They didn’t know the guy was embezzling funds. A lawsuit exists ONLY because these are very successful people. (I’m sure there are checks from the embezzler to Nevada casino’s. Do you think the lawyers are suing them?)
Celebrities and prominent businessmen can’t go to regular casino’s and play poker. They would be besieged by autograph hounds, picture takers, and what they won and lost would be tweeted to the world.
They like to play poker like millions of others, so they must play in private games – either in a hotel suite or a private home. Money is taken out for hotel expenses and food but pots are not raked in these games.
Everyone settles up by check at the end of the game (which was a paper trail for the lawyers). And how’s this? One guy in the game lost a couple million over the course of the year. One night he won $200k but the embezzler lost $300k. He wrote out a personal check for $100k to another winner and took a check from the embezzler for $300k – and now is being sued to get it back!
These people may settle the suit to avoid publicity, but just on principle, I hope they don’t. They did nothing wrong.