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Court Dismisses Clonie Gowen's Case Against Full Tilt Poker

On May 10th, 2009, Clonie Gowen's lawsuit against Full Tilt Poker, its related organizations and 13 of its poker players took a substantial hit last week when a Federal Judge granted a motion to dismiss Gowen's lawsuit. But the lawsuit was not dismiss entirely and will likely continue against Tiltware, LLC and two other defendants.

In her case, Clonie Gowen claims that she was entitled to one percent of Tiltware's profits in exchange for representing Full Tilt pro in poker-related activities. The defendants responded with a petition to dismiss the case, which not heard when Ms. Gowen filed an amended lawsuit, changing some of the language of the case and placing factual allegations. According to the defendants in the case, Gowen's charges were merely superficial and did not improve the deficiencies so they renewed their motion to dismiss the case.

The main argument in the motion was that defendants Tiltware Chief Executive Officer Raymond Bitar, Poker pros Howard Lederer, Phil Ivey, Chris Ferguson, Andy Bloch, John Juanda, Erick Lindgren, Phil Gordon, Mike Matusow, Erik Seidel, Allen Cunningham, Jennifer Harman, Patrik Antonius and Gus Hansen were not part of the alleged agreement between the organization and Gowen so they cannot be liable for alleged breach of agreement. In a hearing held on April 27th, 2009, Judge Robert Jones agreed with the views of the defendants.

Against all but 3 of the defendants in the case-Tiltware, Bitar, and Lederer-Gowen's complaint was shutdown with prejudice, which means that she is not allowed to modify her complaint for a 2nd time to try bring those defendants back into the lawsuit. However, Gowen was given the chance to re-plead her case against Bitar, Tiltware and Lederer. Full Tilt lawyer Thomas Dillard had no comment about the court's decision. But Gowen's lawyers have indicated that they will appeal the ruling.

They also have filed a motion for clarification, alleging that the court did not dismiss two other cases that are not related to the alleged breach of agreement. Clonie Gowen was looking for depositions and documents from different defendants and sanctions for their alleged failure to immediately respond. But with Gowen's lawsuit being dismissed compared to others, the discovery sanctions was cancelled from the calendar. Gowen refused to comment on the development of the case for the time being.


05/21/2009, Thursday
Matthew Dorst

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