Epic Poker League Outcast Threatens LawsuitSeptember 15, 2011 7:00 am
Recently, Michael J. Divita made the poker headlines for all the wrong reasons when he apparently chose to “withdraw” from the $20,000 Epic Poker League (EPL) Main Event, having qualified via a $1,500 buy-in satellite.
Allegedly at the heart of the decision was the fact it was discovered he was a registered sex offender and the EPL considered it in the best interest of the tournament if he did not play. Divita then apparently was returned his initial $1,500 stake before being escorted from the Palms Casino Resort.
A week later, and now a few more details have emerged concerning the controversial incident following an interview by Michael Divita with QuadJacks.
According to Divita, he decided to withdraw from the EPL Main Event in reponse from pressure coming from the EPL Standards and Ethics Committee chairman Stephen Martin, in addition to the fact that since his 1991 conviction he has become accustomed to the stigma attached to his particular crime.
However, Divita has now said that he had no intention of merely walking away from his $20,000 ticket and agreed to voluntarily withdraw from the EPL tournament without objection provided he was given the equivalent amount in cash.
Divita said that his proviso was then flatly rejected and that he was told he would only receive his initial $1,500 Pro/Am buy-in fee, instead.
After Divita refused and expressed his intention to play the tournament, he was apparently told by Stephen Martin:
“We will stop you…It will get very public, and probably be very embarrassing for you…We will say that you withdrew.”
Divita then related how he felt intimidated by several security guards, didn’t feel like he was given a choice and so has now issued an ultimatum to the EPL to pay him $20,000 by September 23 or face a lawsuit. As Divita further explained:
“As an ethical man, I will not ask for anything that I do not feel that I am due. What I was due was $20,000. What I was given, was $1,500. I’d like the balance sent to me within ten (10) days… If my money is not received by that date, I will file a lawsuit against Federated Sports + Gaming, Inc., The Epic Poker League, and ALL of its partners and principals, for not only my $18,500.00, but also additional damages for many other causes of action, including civil rights violations against me.”