In an op-ed posted on CardPlayer.com, professional poker player Gavin Griffin says that the backers that are suing Nick Marchington for ten percent of his World Series of Poker Main Event winnings are flat-out trying to steal his money. He makes no bones about this and while he doesn’t think Marchington is squeaky clean in the situation, Marchington’s sin is poor etiquette more than anything else, while the backers are trying to unjustly profit.
Marchington Got a Better Deal, Cancelled Original Stake
To briefly review, the 21-year old Marchington finished seventh in the Main Event for $1.525 million. Prior to the tournament, he had a staking agreement with David Yee and Colin Hartley of the C Biscuit poker staking firm for ten percent of his action in the Main Event at 1.2 markup and in a $5,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em event at 1.1 markup.
Shortly before the Main Event began, Marchington told the backers that he wanted to cancel the deal. He originally said he wasn’t going to play in either event because he hadn’t been doing well during the WSOP, but then said he was only cancelling the Main Event deal because he had gotten 1.7 markup from someone else. He said he was just looking out for his own interests, apologizing for doing something that is frowned upon in poker circles.
The backers scolded him slightly, but accepted his reversal of the deal. They got to work on figuring out how Marchington could pay them back and he eventually paid in cash before Day 2 of the Main Event. It was not until after the Main Event that the C Biscuit team sued Marchington, saying that he owes them ten percent.
Griffin Accuses Backers of Trying to Steal from Marchington
In his article, Griffin explains that poker staking deals can be made in all sorts of ways, be it via text, on Twitter, in an e-mail, or even on a poker forum. Payment can be made in whatever way the parties see fit. He said he has never had someone he backed cancel unless they decided to not play in the event at all and if someone did what Marchington did, he wouldn’t back them again.
“That being said,” Griffin added, “though I think it’s poor practice, I wouldn’t say Nick did anything wrong by canceling and refunding C Biscuit.”
He is very blunt in his assessment, saying, “While Nick did make a small mistake here, I think C Biscuit is just trying to steal from him.”
After rehashing some of the details of the situation, he writes, “It’s the sort of opportunistic, predatory thing you would expect of a Private Equity firm, a loophole so slim you’d need to fully oiled up to slip through.”
“Let me just reiterate, I think C Biscuit is attempting to steal from Nick Marchington, and I don’t want to sugarcoat that.”
The moral of the story, Griffin, says, is to do your homework when getting into a poker staking deal on either side. Know who you are doing business with and make sure you feel comfortable not just with them, but with the financial terms. If you later think you could have gotten a better deal don’t do anything about it. Just learn from it and get a better deal next time.
Lead image credit: @NickMarchington Twitter account