ONLINE POKER SITE IN $1.2 MILLION PLAYER DISPUTE
ONLINE POKER SITE IN $1.2 MILLION PLAYER DISPUTE Pokerstars claims breach of tournament rules disqualifies plaintiff The world's largest online poker website, Pokerstars.com, is embroiled in a court case on the Isle of Man this week following a complaint by online player Natalie Telscher that the owners owe her $1.228 million in tournament winnings. But the Isle of Man-based online gaming firm claims that Telscher is not entitled to the winnings as she was disqualified for breaching tournament rules in that she did not personally play the game, but had an agent play it for her. Pokerstars, appearing as Rational Entertainment Enterprises Ltd took the case to the High Court in Douglas, Isle of Man, where the court heard that the Telscher had a Pokerstars user account known as 'the VOid' which along with 2 997 other user accounts was entered into the World Championship of Online Poker No Limits Hold'em Main Event tournament on September 30, 2007. According to reports in the local newspaper "Isle of Man Today" this week, Teltscher said she agreed with a third party that they should play the entire tournament on her behalf. After 22 hours the VOid account was one of only two users left in the tournament. They entered into a split prize agreement but VOid did not receive the $1.228 million pay-out. Pokerstars legal representatives claimed that Telscher never entered or played in the tournament, and the company was therefore entitled to disqualify both the her and the person who purported to play under the user name VOid for breaching tournament rules. Deemster David Doyle adjourned the case, ruling that the contractual issue had to be determined first before any other issues could be addressed. In his judgement, he said: "This, on the face of it, is or should be a fairly simple case. Either the plaintiff is contractually entitled to the monies or she is not. Either the defendant was entitled to disqualify the plaintiff or it was not."