Dutch poker star Marcel Luske is suing online poker giant, PokerStars in a dispute over who actually owns the rules to poker. The suit, which was filed in Nevada, alleges “fraud and/or misrepresentation” by the poker giant in their use of Luske’s publication, International Poker Rules.

Luske, who is one of poker’s biggest stars, has long advocated for the use of a standardized set of rules for international poker tournament play. That passion was born out of years spent traveling from international tournament to international tournament and discovering that each one had its own set of rules.

In 2002, Luske began remedying that situation when he organized the International Poker Federation (and later the Federation International de Poker Association (FIDPA). Under the auspices of these groups, Luske created, and copyrighted, The International Poker Rules (IP Rules). These rules have been adopted by a number of major tournament, casinos and card rooms, including PokerStars (which also sponsored Luske.)

During his time with PokerStars, Luske struck an agreement allowing the company to use his rules during their tournaments, according to an articel on CDC Gaming Reports. This arrangement, which was never formalized in writing, also involved a $25,000 annual payment for using his rule book.

Everything was fine and dandy until PokerStars dropped Luske’s rules in 2013 in favor of their own set of rules. In his court filings, Luske argues that PokerStars didn’t bother actually writing their own rules; they merely copied his.

Luske further argues that his relationship with PokerStars, and their $25,000 annuity, prevented him from accepting offers from other parties interested in using his rules.

So far there’s been no word on when the case will be heard before a judge.


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