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Contracts and Poker: Making Contracts

by Scott J. Burnham |  Published: Apr 11, 2018


In an earlier column on player deals (Card Player Nov. 22, 2017), I reported on the Nevada Supreme Court’s decision in Sigel v. McEvoy. After Tom McEvoy refused to pay Sigel a portion of his main event win, Sigel sued McEvoy. McEvoy moved to dismiss the claim on grounds that the debt was an illegal gambling debt. The court ruled that it was a business investment, thus affirming the enforceability of contracts with backers. McEvoy subsequently reached me, expressing concern that the court case only told part of the story. According to him, Sigel did back him in two events in the amount of $400; McEvoy won one of them and paid Sigel $22,000 (the Supreme Court acknowledged this). McEvoy claimed that was as far as their understanding went but Sigel claimed that his investment entitled him to recover a portion of all events McEvoy entered, including the main event. ...

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