Leon Tsoukernik Accused of Welching on $2 million Debt

Leon Tsoukernik Accused of Welching on $2 million DebtThe 2017 WSOP Europe got underway at the Kings Casino Rozvadov yesterday, but in the meantime the casino’s owner, Leon Tsoukernik, has been making the poker headlines this week over a legal dispute involving Australian poker pro Matthew Kirk.
Back in June, Kirk filed a lawsuit against Tsoukernik after the Czech entrepreneur apparently failed to repay $2 million of the money he borrowed from Kirk during a high stakes game that took place at Las Vegas’ ARIA Resort & Casino on May 27th. The incident allegedly took place one day after Kirk paid back $1.5 million he owed to Tsoukernik following a previous poker session.
According to the lawsuit, Tsoukernik repaid just $1 million of the $3 million loan, leading Kirk to seek legal redress for breach of contract, fraudulent inducement, as well as a number of other crimes. Nevertheless, Nevada law does not recognize private gambling debts as being enforceable, and on October 16, District Judge Linda Marie Bell of Clarke County Court dismissed eight of the ten counts levelled against Tsoukernik, even though she acknowledged that the Kings Casino owner “received a loan for wagering against Mr. Kirk.”
In the meantime, the two counts that are still standing for fraudulent inducement and unjust enrichment paves the way for Matthew Kirk to continue his case against Tsoukernik. However, while Judge Bell acknowledged that Tsoukernik received a loan from Kirk, she did say that the loan has to be considered separate from a “gambling debt” in order to be enforceable, and if this was the case then Tsoukernik was at the “greatest moral fault in this matter.”
While a trial date has yet to be set, another high stakes poker player recently spoke out against Tsoukernik over a similar type incident, with Canadian Elton Tsang accusing Tsoukernik of failing to pay him the €2 million ($2.3m) he won from him during a cash game that took place at the EPT Barcelona in 2016.
Needless to say, the high-profile case has created bad publicity for Leon Tsoukernik just as his casino is hosting the prestigious WSOPE in the Czech Republic, which in turn could potentially impact the side cash game action that will be a regular feature at the casino throughout the 23 day festival ending November 10th.

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