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High-Stakes Poker Player Files Lawsuit Over $3M In Loans Made In Heads-Up Game

Matt Kirk Claims Leon Tsoukernik Owes Him $2 Million


High-stakes poker player Matt Kirk has filed a lawsuit over alleged unpaid loans made in a May heads-up poker game at Aria Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

Kirk, who hails from Australia, said in the suit that he made four separate loans “in the morning hours” on May 27 to Leon Tsoukernik (pictured above). The loans were in increments of $500,000, $500,000, $1 million and $1 million, for a total of $3 million, the suit said.

Tsoukernik, a Czech businessman who owns King’s Casino in his home country, “expressly represented that he would repay the loans in full at the conclusion of the poker game,” said the court document.

Kirk was said to have lost $1.5 million to Tsoukernik the day before.

Despite being $1.5 million ahead, Tsoukernik asked Kirk to borrow money, which Kirk supplied. The suit alleged that Tsoukernik never planned on repaying the money if he lost in the game.

However, Tsoukernik paid Kirk $1 million on June 3. So, Kirk is seeking $2 million, plus interest, attorney fees and punitive damages.

According to a text message log, the first $500,000 loan was made at about 4:30 a.m., and about 30 minutes later Tsoukernik needed another $500,000. At about 5:10 a.m., he apparently had lost the second $500,000 and requested $1 million. Then, finally, at around 5:45 a.m. he received another $1 million. He lost it and they stopped playing.

So, in a little over an hour Tsoukernik had lost $3 million in the game.

Just a few days after their heads-up match, Tsoukernik finished fourth in the 2017 $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl for $1.8 million.

The lawsuit was filed on June 5. Kirk is represented by prominent Las Vegas attorneys David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld.