A civil suit brought by poker professional Dan Shak against his ex-wife, fellow poker pro Beth Shak, regarding her extensive shoe collection was dismissed in a court in New York after Mr. Shak advised his attorneys that he didn’t want to pursue the issue any further.
On Wednesday, Judge Ronda Daniele opened up the proceedings at the Montgomery County Courthouse with both Shaks in attendance. The lawsuit brought by Mr. Shak alleged that Ms. Shak had amassed a collection of high-priced shoes (rumored to be in the $500,000 to $1 million price range) without his knowledge, although they were stored in the condominium that the duo once shared. In bringing his lawsuit, Shak wanted to have the shoes sold and the profits split between the two parties.
Divorced three years ago, the male Shak alleged in the lawsuit that the female Shak hid the shoes from him – potentially in a secret room – in their former home in New York and that he never knew about his now ex-wife’s extensive collection. In bringing the suit, Shak stated he did not become aware of the collection of accessories, which also included matching handbags for the shoes, until last year. Shak asked the court that the entire collection be sold for approximately 35% of its value.
According to the New York Post’s Frank Rosario and Bob Fredericks, the opening arguments apparently doomed the case in the eyes of the male Shak. Ms. Shak testified to Judge Daniele that her shoe fetish grew as a response to repeated denials of emotional attention from Mr. Shak. “I would not call these shoes a collection, I would call them a sickness at a particular point in my life,” Beth Shak testified to Judge Daniele as she recounted how Dan Shak would refuse her attempts at romantic encounters, according to the Post.
“I tried to get him to go to therapy with me, but it just didn’t work,” the Post quotes Ms. Shak as testifying. “I was so unhappy with my marriage that all I did was shop. There was nothing to our relationship…he and I had nothing.” Further into her testimony to the court, Ms. Shak stated that not only did Mr. Shak know about the shoes but even signed off on all the bills as they came before him.
After a break following Ms. Shak’s testimony, Mr. Shak apparently had a change of heart regarding the lawsuit. His attorneys informed Judge Daniele that their client wanted to withdraw the case, which Judge Daniele quickly granted. Looking square at Mr. Shak as she dismissed the case, Judge Daniele is quoted by the Post as stating, “Well, thanks for wasting everybody’s time.”
The reasons for even bringing the lawsuit were not given as both sides aren’t exactly hurting for money. Dan Shak, a hedge fund manager who has played poker around the world and, in particular, in many of the “High Roller” events that have been offered, won the 2010 Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge to earn over $1.1 million. Since the divorce from his wife, he has earned over $3.1 million on the tournament circuit.
After having her greatest success in tournament poker in 2007 – when she was runner-up in a $3000 No Limit Hold’em tournament during the World Series of Poker – Beth Shak has only won slightly less than $100,000, but she has built a name for herself through other endeavors. Television appearances, including a guest spot on the reality show Millionaire Matchmaker, have kept her in the spotlight as well as her philanthropic and business dealings. She has created several charity poker tournaments to benefit such causes as The Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania, is on the board of the Wish Upon A Hero Foundation and has recently created her own shoe company called Happy Feet, LLC.
As the litigants filed out of the courthouse on Wednesday, Beth Shak couldn’t resist firing a final salvo at Dan Shak regarding the case. “It was pretty obvious he knew he was going to lose,” the Post quotes Beth Shak as stating. “Dan looked like a buffoon in there.”