Judge Unfreezes Nick Marchington’s 2019 WSOP Main Event Winnings

  • Poker pro finished 7th in WSOP Main Event, earning $1,525,500
  • Was staked for 10% of his action, but he canceled deal
  • Backers sued for $152,500, hold put on Marchington’s payment
  • Judge's order restored Marchington's access to winnings, lawsuit continues
man walking up steps of WSOP 2019 venue entrance
A judge has lifted the hold order on Nick Marchington’s WSOP earnings, which are the subject of a lawsuit by his former backers. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Rio finally able to cut check

On Friday, a judge filed an order to lift the hold placed by the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino on 10 percent of Marchington’s payout from the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event. Although the lawsuit over his winnings continues, Nick Marchington is now free to receive all his earnings.

Marchington finished in seventh place and cashed for $1,525,000

Marchington, who led the WSOP Main Event for a time, finished in seventh place and cashed for $1,525,000. But because two members of a poker-staking company sued for a claim to 10 percent of his prize, $152,500 was held back by the Rio.

Marchington canceled staking agreement

The issue between Marchington and C Biscuit Poker Staking principals David Yee and Colin Hartley dates back to May. Marchington was looking for backers and C Biscuit agreed to stake him in a $5,000 tournament and the $10,000 Main Event.

After a poor performance at the WSOP, Marchington decided he did not want to play in the staked events. He asked Yee and Hartley to cancel, offering to return the funds via PokerStars – the same way he was paid –when he returned home in a couple of days.

The C Biscuit duo was not happy about it, but according to texts, they agreed to end the arrangement.

Got better deal elsewhere

Later, Marchington had a change of heart and decided to play in the $5,000 event after all. He confirmed with Yee and Hartley that their action was still booked on it, and also informed them that he might still play in the Main Event.

However, because he was able to sell his 10 percent stake for a 1.7 markup, rather than C Biscuit’s 1.2, Marchington was able to get $500 more from someone else.

“Just a note, once you book and people send you $ confirmed for an event, it’s not standard to disregard those already confirmed/bought pieces, even if you find a higher rate of markup,” a perturbed Yee wrote to Marchington. “…i.e. if you were to play the [Main Event] later on, it would be unfair to those who booked action with you previously.”

Marchington admitted that he knew what he did was sketchy, but again, earlier texts seemed to indicate both parties had agreed to cancel the Main Event backing.

Backers sued, winnings frozen

Once Marchington made his deep run to the WSOP Main Event final table, Yee and Hartley hired the law firm of Chesnoff & Schonfeld and tried to claim their 10 percent of Marchington’s winnings.

They filed a temporary restraining order and permanent injunction to keep the Rio from paying out the portion of Marchington’s prize that the backers thought they were due. The WSOP withheld the $152,500 that Yee and Hartley believe they were owed.

Marchington and his legal team do not believe there was anything legally wrong with it

With the judge’s order on Friday, Marchington now has access to all his Main Event winnings, but the lawsuit continues. While what he did was out of bounds in the poker world, Marchington and his legal team do not believe there was anything legally wrong with it. They claim that because Yee and Hartley seemed to accept the cancellation of the deal and Marchington tried to return their money before the Main Event, the deal was off.

The C Biscuit men are arguing that the delay in Marchington’s refund, even if it was just because he didn’t have the cash on hand at the time, meant the deal was still in place, and that they are owed 10 percent of his winnings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *