Timoshenko’s 90K Lawsuit2 years ago
It’s a tale which is becoming increasingly more common – or publicized – in the poker world these days - a pro helps out a fellow pro and gets stung. This time it’s well-known tournament pro Yevgeniy Timoshenko on the receiving end of things, and he’s gone to court to claw back the $90,000 he claims he was done out of by ‘friend’ Frank Gu.
It’s actually an ‘old’ story, starting back in 2010 when Timoshenko and Gu agreed to share an apartment and rental costs – but as anyone who has watched the Ukrainian play will know – he takes his time over big decisions involving money!
The lawsuit filed in Manhattan Federal Court this week details a slew of different debts which Timoshenko alleges Gu accrued over the following year, including:
- $15,484 in rent payments,
- $2,181 in utility bills,
- $50,000 loan to Gu for ‘penny stock’ investments,
- $13,050 on a shared loan,
- $10,000 cash given to Gu for safekeeping while Timoshenko was in London
- $1,160 for courtside basketball tickets, and finally,
- $1,800 for legal fees related to Gu's penny stock dealing.
The story, as reported in the New York Daily News, is just another sad tale of poker’s predilection for loans, stakes and agreements which apparently aren’t important enough to write into a formal contract.
As expected, the NVG forum over on 2+2 is enjoying Timoshenko’s misery, ‘whitemares’ posting:
"I'm amazed at how trusting of others some high stakes players are when it comes to money."
Timoshenko has earned some $7,323,813 in tournament play, so the debts are a small drop in his rather large ocean, but obviously the breach of trust has finally stung him into action.
Although not directly a poker-related scam in Timoshenko’s case, there are plenty of famous cases which did see pros being taken to the cleaners by people they thought they could trust.
Doug ‘WCG Rider’ Polk was one such unfortunate back in 2013, when he allowed a friend of Daniel ‘Jungleman’ Cates to stay in his apartment. Unbeknownst to Polk, Joshua Tyler – the most likely suspect in the scam according to Doug - used the opportunity to hack Polk’s laptop, setting the world’s best heads-up player for a $35,000 loss over the following weeks.
Although in this instance PokerStars refunded Polk from the scammers account, stating “We have reviewed the play with both player’s hole cards exposed. We are sure beyond any reasonable doubt that ‘Forbidden536’ was able to see your hole cards whilst they were playing against you,” in general there is little recourse except under law – and it has to be proven.
In Timoshenko’s case, his lawyer Mark Jaffe claims:
"Yevgeniy believes that the facts in the complaint speak for themselves."
Gu is yet to comment on the legal action.
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