Judge rules on Tsoukernik-Kirk debt dispute
The court action stemming from a refusal to make good on a $3-million poker debt has finally come to an end. Matt Kirk and Leon Tsoukernik have been fighting over the debt ever since Tsoukernik refused to pay the remaining $2 million of the debt from a year ago at the Aria in Las Vegas. A Clark County District Court judge has now "dismissed with prejudice" the case, meaning neither party can try to launch another suit regarding the debt.
According to the judge, District Court Judge Linda Marie Bell, "Having come before the court by stipulation of the parties, the court finding good cause, hereby orders that this entire case is dismissed with prejudice, including but not limited to the complaint, all counterclaims, and all third party [sic] complaints, with each party to bear their own attorney’s fees and costs."
Attorneys for Kirk, Tsoukernik and the Aria signed the order, but there was no mention of whether or not the two players had reached an agreement to settle out of court. If Judge Bell had not ruled, the case would have gone to trial in April of next year.
Kirk had lent the money to Tsoukernik, who apart from being a poker player is the owner of popular PokerStars tournament destination Kings Casino in the Czech Republic, when the two were playing against each other at the Aria in May of last year. Tsoukernik repaid $1 million before he openly admitted that he had no intention of paying the rest. He cited Las Vegas law that says gambling debts are not enforceable by the courts, and blamed Kirk and the Aria for "plowing him with alcohol," reducing his ability to think clearly.
In October of last year, a judge agreed that the debt was not enforceable, but told Kirk that he could still sue due to "fraudulent inducement and unjust enrichment.” Kirk did, and Tsoukernik countersued. Judge Bell’s ruling now brings the entire ordeal to an end.