Clonie Gowen Files Amended Complaint Against Full Tilt Poker



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The legal dispute between Clonie Gowen and Full Tilt Poker heated up last week when Gowen filed an amended complaint against the online poker site.

The amended complaint followed the defendants’ motion to dismiss her lawsuit, which was released in November of last year. The main focus of the motion to dismiss appeared to be an attempt to clear the professional poker players named as codefendants, including Phil Ivey, John Juanda, Howard Lederer and 10 others. These defendants claimed that the only reason they were named was because of their fame, and not because Gowen could state a valid claim against any of them.

Gowen and her legal team responded by modifying her first suit, adding two defendants and seven causes of action. The amendment also states further facts on which her claims are based.

Gowen initially sued Full Tilt Poker and its associated companies for $40 million, claiming that she was promised a 1% share in exchange for her work as a celebrity representative, promoter and spokesperson for the site. She contends that she was offered the 1% share, which she accepted, and then was rejected from receiving her cut when other players began collecting their distribution payments.

According to Gowen, Full Tilt offered to give her a six-figure payment in exchange for her time spent promoting the company. She rejected it and filed the lawsuit shortly after hearing that the company would be releasing her from its Full Tilt Team.

She estimates the value of Full Tilt at $4 billion, hence the $40 million figure. Her lawsuit names all of the following parties as plaintiffs: Full Tilt Poker, Tiltware LLC, Tiltproof, Pocket Kings Ltd., Kolyma Corporation, A.V.V., Raymond J. Bitar, Howard Lederer, Patrick Antonius, Andrew Bloch, Phillip Ivey, Gus Hansen, Christopher Ferguson, John Juanda, Erick Lindgren, Erik Seidel, Jennifer Harman-Traniello, Michael Matusow, Allen Cunningham and Phillip Gordon. Tiltproof and Pocket Kings Ltd. were added in the recent amended complaint.

An amended complaint is what results when the party suing changes the complaint it has filed. While the nature of the lawsuit stays the same in this case, Gowen went into further detail regarding a February 2004 conversation she had with Full Tilt Poker CEO/CFO Raymond Bitar.

Gowen alleges that Bitar entered into the supposed agreement during this conversation. While very little negotiating took place during the exchange, Gowen maintains that Bitar made the offer to add her as a promoter of the company and she accepted.

Gowen stated that each of the defendants, including members of Team Full Tilt, were directors and shareholders of the company and all actions taken were done with their authorization and consent and that Bitar made the agreement on their behalf.

She also added new claims for an accounting, quantum meruit, promissory estoppel, specific performance, declaratory relief, right of publicity and negligent misrepresentation.

The defendants have less than a month to respond to Gowen’s amended complaint. They can file that response as either an Answer or motion to dismiss. In order to properly file a motion to dismiss, there must be clear grounds to file a motion to dismiss. Given the recent assertions made by Gowen regarding the supposed breach of contract, a dismissal from the court is unlikely.

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