Ronnie Bardah Severs Ties With PPC

2 years ago
Bardah Severs Ties With PPC
19:09
04 Jan

(Photo: Cardplayer.com)

The Poker Players Championship ‘Ponzi scheme’ which has left multiple players out of pocket in winnings and tournament packages has seen the organizers hit by a double whammy this week, with top PPCproRonnie Bardah cutting off all ties to the company and four players launching a lawsuit alleging ‘racketeering, corruption, and fraud.

Bardah tweeted his ‘anger and disappointment’ at the tour owners and vowed to do all he could to help those affected by the apparent financial mismanagement of the tour.


The PPC tour runs events in the USA and beyond - with lucrative travel and accommodation packages on offer as well as cash prizes. Their recent Aruba main event had a $500K prize-fund, but concerns were raised when 2+2 forumite ClickItBak recently posted:

"To my knowledge not a single member of the final table (and maybe the entire field) has been paid out. To my knowledge not a single person who was supposed to be reimbursed for travel expenses has been reimbursed.”

In the fortnight since the PPC owners Bryan Oulton and Sandy Swartzbaugh were called out publicly on the ‘Ponzi scheme’ claims, the story has grown exponentially - multiple players airing their grievances online at slow or in many cases non-payment of prizes and expenses.

Now four of the players who made the final table of the Aruba main Event in November have launched legal action, seeking redress for the main portion of their winnings which were withheld.

Stephen Deutsch, Michael Lerner, John Ott, and Joan Sandoval all ran deep at the tour’s Aruba stop but received only $10,000 of their respective $133,687, $48,126, $32,085, and $21,390 winnings. Tournament winner Deutsch had won his Aruba package when taking down an earlier PPC event in Maryland.



The complaint, filed with the Circuit Court in Montgomery County, Maryland names PPC Handling Services, Beachside Consulting Group and Maryland Live! Casino as defendants – as well as the PPC tour owners Bryan Oulton and Thomas ‘Sandy’ Swartzbaugh.

The legal complaint also alleges that the players were offered a long-term deal to recoup their winnings by the owners, but only on condition that they sign up to a ‘gagging clause’, “to refrain from bringing suit against – or otherwise disparaging – PPC during the pendency of such arrangement.”

Neither Oulton nor Swartzbaugh have made any public comment since the story broke, with their Twitter, Facebook and the PPC website itself all being mostly deleted or pared back to basic information.


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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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