Billionaire Poker Player Guy Laliberté Detained For Allegedly Growing Cannabis

  • Guy Laliberté was allegedly growing cannabis plants on private island in South Pacific
  • Poker player was detained by police last week and now awaits a court appearance
  • He denies all allegations of drug trafficking, says any marijuana found was for personal use only
poker player Guy Laliberte speaking on a podium
Billionaire poker player Guy Laliberté has been detained and is facing charges for allegedly growing marijuana on his private island in the South Pacific. [Image:]

Marijuana found on private island

High-stakes poker player Guy Laliberté is in hot water in the South Pacific over the alleged growing of cannabis plants. He was detained in Tahiti last week relating to marijuana charges after he turned himself in to police. A court appearance is expected to take place on November 20.

allegedly growing marijuana on Nukutepipi, his private island

A local news outlet reported that Laliberté was allegedly growing marijuana on Nukutepipi, his private island in the South Pacific. If this proves to be true, he will be found to be in violation of the French-Polynesian law.

The response from Laliberté

One of the companies that Laliberté owns, Lune Rouge, confirmed that an investigation into this matter was taking place, but made no further comment. It noted that Laliberté was fully cooperating with the authorities on the case, saying:

Guy Laliberté completely dissociates himself from any rumour implicating him… in the sale or traffic of drugs.”

The billionaire from Canada could be facing drug trafficking charges. However, his legal team has denied that he is involved in any way with drug trafficking, and said that any marijuana that may have been found would be for personal/medical use only. 

One of the most well-known high-stakes poker players

Laliberté is a big fan of poker and has organized and played in some of the biggest high-stakes games the world has seen. 

As well as participating in cash games offline, he has also played online poker extensively. While he has employed various usernames over the years, mainly on Full Tilt Poker, his losses in online play are estimated at around $31m. Many have tagged him as having the worst profit/loss record in poker. 

In 2016, Laliberté hosted what was then the richest poker event in history, with buy-ins of $1m. The record was subsequently passed in 2019 by Triton

Laliberté combines his love of poker with his philanthropic activities. He partnered with the World Series of Poker through his One Drop Foundation to sponsor a series of high-roller events. In total, his charity has raised over $141m, giving water access to over 1.6 million people globally.

Since 2016, the 60-year-old has stepped back from the public eye in the poker world. According to Forbes figures, his net worth is $1.37bn, largely thanks to his creation of the Cirque de Soleil and his property holdings.  

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