Rick Salomon Loses $2.8million Poker Court Case Against Saudi Sheikh

2 years ago
Rick Salomon Loses $2.8million Poker Court Case Against Saudi Sheikh
08:41
08 Dec

Celebrity poker pro Rick Salomon has failed in his bid to have $2.8million of poker winnings awarded after a French court rejected his case against a Saudi Sheikh.

Salomon, twice married to former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson, had sued Raad al-Khereiji, a member of one of Saudi Arabia’s wealthiest families, after the Saudi prince refused to honour his $2.8million loss in 2014.

Al-Khereiji had hosted the private poker game at the Tiara Miramar Beach hotel, near Cannes on the French Riviera. After his loss he agreed to have his US lawyer transfer the funds to Salomon, but reneged on the deal several months later.

Lawyers for al-Khereiji claimed that it had been a “friendly part [game] with no financial stake”, despite the Saudi being noted for his poker and gambling on many previous occasions.

The French court in Grasse, near Cannes, rejected Salomon’s claims because under French law the poker pro would have to prove that poker was not a game of “chance” and involved “physical skill and exercise”.


Salomon’s lawyer Ronald Sokol described last month’s court case as “an uphill fight”, stating after this week’s verdict:

“While I didn’t have much trouble showing it was a game of skill, these two cumulative conditions were not met.”

In court, Sokol also revealed al-Khereiji’s extravagant spending in Vegas.

“We obtained…through a US court order all Mr Kheriji’s gambling records in Las Vegas which show he spent $34 million in 29 months in the Ivey Room (at the Aria Resort and Casino and since renamed Table 1) where the minimum bet is $100,000”.

He concluded:

“We are considering taking this all the way to the French supreme court as the French rule on gambling debts has been in effect since 1804.  There has been no case law since in the civil courts”.

Salomon’s poker career tournament winnings currently stand at $9,906,283, with several $multi-million cashes.

In 2014 he came 4th in the $1million buy-in Big One for One Drop for $2.8million, two years later finishing 3rd in the €1million Monte Carlo version, for €3million ($3,307,206).

Last year, 2018, took another 4th place finish at the $1million Big One for One Drop again, worth $2,840,000.

The Hollywood, California-based pro numbers Paris Hilton among his ex-girlfriends, although that relationship ended acrimoniously when he released a sex-tape of the couple entitled ‘1 night in Paris’.

Hilton settled out of court for $400,000 after claiming she was unaware of the filming.


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Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more

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