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Poker News: October 18th, 2009

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HEADLINE: Full Tilt Responds to Poker Bot Lawsuit

Online poker room Full Tilt Poker is known for keeping mum when it comes to its legal and business matters, but the company broke its silence to comment on a recent lawsuit by former customers Lary Kennedy and Greg Omotov. Full Tilt issued a statement to the media regarding the case in which the company asserts that the plaintiffs’ accusations are false and there was just cause behind the closure of the two players’ accounts.

News of Kennedy and Omotov’s suit broke earlier this month when their lawyer, Cyrus Sanai, filed in a California court. Within the claim, the two individuals allege that Full Tilt Poker unjustly confiscated their accounts following false accusations that they were using poker bots to play on the site’s cash game tables. They then went on to suggest that Full Tilt used bots of its own and also leveled several other claims ranging from fraud to violations of the Racketeer-Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act.

Full Tilt addressed some, but not all, of Kennedy and Omotov’s accusations in a statement which refers to the suit as “baseless” and “frivolous.” The statement, which was posted in full on Gambling911, went on to explain, “Both of these player accounts were appropriately terminated for multiple violations of the express terms and conditions governing fair and lawful play in the Full Tilt Poker online virtual cardroom, including their own admissions of using multiple accounts.”

Kennedy admitted to multi-accounting in a lengthy thread on the TwoPlusTwo online poker forum. She said she sometimes used Omotov’s idle Full Tilt account to get action at the heads-up cash game tables after many regulars stopped playing with her when she was logged in on her personal account under her own username.

The statement from Full Tilt also addressed the claims that the site operates its own bots on the cash game tables: “Full Tilt Poker has never knowingly allowed ‘bots’ to play on its site… When fraud, collusion, and cheating of any kind is uncovered, Full Tilt Poker investigates extensively and then acts accordingly and appropriately, as was the case involving these claimants.” Full Tilt not only affirmed its belief that the two players were cheating, but the company also suggested the two individuals will “be obliged to compensate the aggrieved defendants for any harm that may arise out of their false allegations and for the wrongful institution of these bad faith legal proceedings.”

While Full Tilt’s statement addressed the issue of bot use, the site did not comment on some of the suit’s claims about racketeering, unfair competition, and operating an illegal online casino in the state of California. The statement also failed to confirm or deny any assertions about Howard Lederer, Raymond Bitar, and Chris Ferguson’s role within the company. The lawsuit suggests that these three individuals serve as top executives for both Tiltware and Vert Enterprises. These two companies are supposedly different entities run out of California and St. Kitts and Nevis, respectively, but the suit claims they are one in the same and controlled by Bitar, Lederer, and Ferguson.

The company has yet to issue a statement on its pending lawsuits involving former sponsored pro Clonie Gowen and former employee Jason “JDN” Newitt.

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Article downloaded from the World Wide Web on October 18, 2009

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