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Phil Ivey Shocks the Poker World

Phil Ivey Shocks the Poker World

Phil Ivey hasn't played a single hand at the 2011 WSOP yet has managed to become the center of attention, announcing during the first day of play on May 31st that he was not only sitting out the entire 2011 WSOP but was suing online poker site Full Tilt for $150 million. Ivey first revealed the bombshell news via a series of messages on his Facebook page, which led many to believe at first it was a hack or a hoax; confirmation came a few hours later that it was indeed the real deal, with the details of Ivey's lawsuit made available the next day in court filings.

While Ivey claimed in his Facebook statement that he felt it was unfair for him to play in the WSOP while US players were still waiting for their funds to be returned by Full Tilt, his lawsuit largely deals with Ivey's personal claims against Full Tilt. He alleges that the company has caused damage to his reputation and future economic prospects by its actions after the US government indicted Full Tilt on April 15th, and also claims the company is unwilling to let him out of a non-compete cause in the contract he originally signed. 

Full Tilt fired back quickly the next day in a press release that claimed: "In an effort to further enrich himself at the expense of others, Mr. Ivey appears to have timed his lawsuit to thwart pending deals with several parties that would put money back in players’ pockets. In fact, Mr. Ivey has been invited — and has declined — to take actions that could assist the company in these efforts, including paying back a large sum of money he owes the site."

The most shocking part of the squabble isn't so much the sniping itself but that it's being done so publicly, since most disagreements of the sort in the world of professional gambling are settled behind closed doors, without airing dirty laundry in public, much less potentially in a court of law. The fact that Ivey would turn against his former business partner and friends so publicly has caused many players and industry insiders to question just how desperate the situation may really be at Full Tilt, as Ivey's move is pretty much the last resort to use when all other options fail.

02-Jun-2011, 08:01

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