Nick Marchington, who was a final tablist in the 2019 WSOP Main Event, can now finally take home his prize money (worth $152,000) with him back to England, thanks to a Nevada judge clearing the way for him.
According to a report from Las Vegas Review-Journal on Tuesday, a Las Vegas judge lifted an injunction that froze 10% of the $1.525 million winnings that Marchington earned in July at the WSOP Main Event for finishing 7th place.
Instead of celebrating a marvelous achievement that was added to his poker career, the 21-year-old British's face was slammed with a lawsuit, temporarily tarnishing his win after a misunderstanding erupted between him and his former backer, staking company C Biscuit Stables.
Collin Hartley and David Yee, owners of C Biscuit, sued Marchington, claiming they purchased 10% of his action before the tournament began and thus were eligible to a cut of his winnings.
As for now the status of the lawsuit is unclear, but going by the judge unfreezing Marchington's disputed $152,500, this meant that the judge has sided with the poker player.
How It Started
The British poker player admits he originally had made a deal with C Biscuit, which offered him $1,200 for 10% of his Main Event action, denoting a 1.2 markup on the $10,000 buy-in tournament. However, right before the said event, he also admits that he reneged on this deal since he eventually got a better offer - a different party proposed $17,000 for 10%, denoting a 1.7 markup yet still for the same stake.
Based on court documents, Marchington told C Biscuit that he intended to switch backers even before the tournament started and, because a written contract wasn't made, the staking company had no choice but to accept the refund he had given.
While the poker community deemed this move an example of bad etiquette, Marchington's legal team on the other hand stressed that their client had "the necessary free will to exit the agreement at any time."
However, C Biscuit isn't having any of that, arguing that because the transaction wasn't completed until after the tournament started, then they had a right to a payout.
The staking company initially paid Marchington through a dollar transaction into his account at PokerStars. Both parties agreed that the refund must be paid in cash, but at that time Marchington was unable to produce the money until Day 2 of the tournament, in which during that time he was already one of the chip leaders.
Wanting a Piece of the Pie
Marchington's attorney Ronald Green said that it was "revealing unto itself" that C Biscuit accepted the refund but only filed suit when his client had already won a huge sum of cash in the Main Event, "It seems highly unlikely C Biscuit would have dispatched another associate to return Mr. Marchington's refund had he not won any monies in the Main Event and, instead, simply lost his entry fee. Or, stated otherwise, it certainly appears C Biscuit was at peace with the agreement being cancelled and a refund being collected, until such a time as it realized the agreement would have been lucrative in nature."
This year's WSOP Main Event was won by German-Iranian Hossein Ensan, who earned $10 million for overcoming 8,569 players, the largest field in a WSOP Main Event since 2016.
Nick Marchington was the youngest player on the WSOP Main Event final table and just old enough to gamble lawfully in Las Vegas. He had become a professional poker player for almost a year right after he dropped out of college in order to pursue his dream.