No $2.8 Million Payday for Poker Players

A professional poker player of America who had sued a sheik from Saudi Arab for his alleged unpaid wins of $2.8 million from the competition in French Riviera had lost on the ground which is a game of chance and doesn’t require any exercise or skill.

The Grasse’s court had issued the verdict following the trial where Rick Salomon who is a 51-year-old professional player and Pamela Anderson’s former husband claimed that Raad al-Khereiji, the member of the wealthiest family of Saudi Arabia owed him a debt.

In October’s trial, the judges had come to learn that Mr. Salomon had failed after trying to make Mr. Khereiji pay his alleged debts since the game of 2014 of a version of poker, Texas Hold’em at Tiara Miramar Beach Hotel at Cannes.

The cases depended on the law that dates back to 1804 which limits the kind of gaming debts enforceable by a court to the ones that involve horse racing, weapons, chariot racing, and other games that involve physical exercise and skill. According to the lawyer of Mr. Khereiji, the poker game has been a game of chance and was not a game of skill. While the lawyer of Mr. Salomon said that the game lasted for 48 hours and had been energy-consuming.

After the verdict had been passed, Paul-Albert Iweins, the lawyer of Mr. Khereiji said that the explanation of the judges for the case’s ruling didn’t come as a surprise to him. He said that the only thing is the request is in opposition to the law. There have small chances to win even if there was a debt that his client contest, it is not possible to pursue someone in France for a debt related to gambling.

Ronald Sokol, Mr. Salomon’s lawyer from France said that he is going to consult the American colleagues at home to decide if they want to appeal the verdict. He said that it has been an uphill fight and the ultimate story is that the ruling says that it is not possible to recover a gambling debt till you cater to certain conditions.

The conditions are that the court rule poker as a game of skill that involves exercising the body. Even though he didn’t have to face many problems to show that it was indeed a game of skill, the two cumulative conditions weren’t adhered to.

According to him, Mr. Salomon had won 2 small victories. At first, the court rejected a request of paying the legal fees of the Saudi Sheikh. Second, it had also given the authorization of using the gambling records to be obtained from Las Vegas which showed that Mr. Khereiji had been an avid gambler.

When the trial was in progress, many players had been at the game and after a significant losing streak; Mr. Khereiji told that he will have his lawyer at Los Angeles arrange for the payment of the debt.

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