Bad Beat - German Bank Withholding €40k+ in Online Poker Winnings

6 years ago
Bad Beat
22 Apr

There is hardly a better feeling for a player than going deep in a big poker tournament, online or live, and making a big payday out of it. This is the feeling the Italian player, working in Germany, 'RuiDeck', got a taste of after finishing third in the Micro Millions Main Event couple of weeks ago. However, as Italia Poker Club reports, his happiness wasn't going to be long lived.

I had only $ 11 on the game account, I joined the Sunday Storm and 10 FPP I tried a satellite to the $22 Main Event managing to win the ticket

Hailing from Sicily, 'RuiDeck' was working in Dresden, Germany, as a waiter, trying to save some money and occasionally playing poker on PokerStars, dreaming, as we all do, of that one big score that would change the things around for him. When he successfully satelited into the $22 Main Event, he probably didn't really believe he would make it all the way to the final table.

However, that's exactly what happened as he outlasted 20,000 runners who all sat down with the big dreams that night and found himself in the final nine. He wasn't able to close the deal exactly, but third place finish, which was good for $59.480 was certainly big enough for him to start considering his options.

'RuiDeck' decided that this was the moment he was waiting for, sat on a plane back to Sicily to celebrate with his friends and decided to quit his job. It was a time to give poker a serious shot, as he had both the bankroll and the confidence on his side. But he was in for an unpleasant surprise.

Leaving a small part of his roll on PokerStars, he decided to withdraw the rest to his German bank account. After the mandatory period of waiting, the money finally hit his bank account, but at this point he was notified that he wouldn't be allowed access to his money because online poker is illegal in Saxony (a region of Dresden).

A 29-year old found himself in a very uncomfortable situation indeed, with more than €40k frozen in his bank account and his dreams quickly shattered. PokerStars were more than happy to send a letter confirming that funds were won in a completely legitimate way and that there was nothing shady going on, but it seems this has not done the trick.

The situation is, indeed, confusing, as online gambling laws in Germany are far from favorable to the players, with majority of regions simply not allowing it at all. What 'RuiDeck' would like to know is who is responsible, as there seem to be no obstacles for him playing from Dresden.

Having quit his job and achieving the thing he's dreamt about for a long time, the Italian is not willing to give up without a fight, and he explained that he will lawyer up if necessary and give up a portion of his winnings to pay the legal fees, but he will fight for his money with all resources available to him.

Will he be successful or not really depends on many factors, especially the exact stipulations of the regulations in Saxony and willingness of a judge to hear and understand his arguments if this case does end up in court.

Hopefully it will not come to that and 'RuiDeck' will be able to collect his winnings and pursue his poker dream. Otherwise, this could turn out to be one of the worst bad beats we've seen in quite a while.

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Ivan Potocki is the editor in chief and one of the lead news writers for PokerTube. His natural flair and enthusiasm for journalism combined with a deep poker knowledge make him an exciting contributor for PokerTube.The experience garnered playing poker professionally for several years and the knowl...Read more


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