NBA legend Paul Pierce is facing a lawsuit over unpaid poker debts totalling $180,000, the former Boston Celtics basketballer allegedly borrowing the money for a highstakes poker game and then refusing to pay it back.
A man is suing Paul Pierce, alleging the NBA legend borrowed a bunch of cash to play in poker games, but lost most of it all and never paid it back. https://t.co/OFePCSXbD5
— TMZ (@TMZ) June 10, 2022
According to TMZ Sports, Pierce is being sued by Stephen Carmona for failing to pay back two loans totalling $180k from January and February of this year.
Carmona claims he was hosting a highstakes home game on January 27th when Pierce arrived and asked for a loan in order to play. The deal was that he would pay back the money within 7 days, according to Carmona.
Having lost $140k of the initial loan, Pierce handed back $10k but borrowed another $40k the following week, which he also lost in the poker game.
Carmona claims that the NBA hall of Famer, known as “The Truth”, has failed to make good on his debt “despite multiple requests for repayment”. The lawsuit is seeking the $180,000 loan plus interest.
Pierce, who made a reputed $200million from his 17-year career, has yet to comment on the allegations in the lawsuit. He has, however, been involved in numerous lawsuits over the years.
In 2018 he was sued for allegedly calling a security guard “racist” at the Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov fight, and in 2020 was sued by the man he hired to run his weed-growing house.
As far as poker goes, Pierce is well-known as an enthusiastic amateur, playing the WSOP numerous times and appearing on PokerGO’s Poker After Dark in 2019.
That game saw him face Phil Hellmuth, the late Mike Sexton, and Jennifer Tilly at stakes of $100/$200, the legendary hooper getting off to an amazing start…
Pierce is far from the first high-profile poker player to face legal action over alleged debts.
Loose Leon’s $million legal battles
In 2017, Kings Casino boss and highstakes PLO player, Leon “Loose Leon” Tsoukernik was embroiled in a $multi-million legal battle with “Aussie” Matt Kirk and the Aria casino.
That came about after Tsoukernik had borrowed and lost $3million to Kirk in a late-night PLO game, Tsoukernik later claiming he was playing “under duress”.
A counterclaim for $10million from Tsoukernik alleged: “Several individuals in the Ivey Room recognised Tsoukernik’s intoxication and attempted to help him leave the Ivey Room, but Aria and/or its agents, employees or representatives prohibited these individuals from assisting Tsoukernik.”
Tsoukernik claims that Kirk had agreed to a $1million settlement but that Bobby Baldwin told the Australian cryptocurrency billionaire to renege on the deal.
The legal battle made its way through the courts for a while before being dropped by both sides, Kirk later playing in Leon’s highstakes home game at Kings Casino in Rozvadov.
Rick Salomon fails to prove $2.8million claim
In 2019, it was celebrity poker pro Rick Salomon who hit the headlines when he lost a $2.8million legal case against a Saudi sheikh, after beating him in a private poker game back in 2014.
The former husband of Baywatch legend, Pamela Anderson, sued Raad al-Khereiji, 59, a member of one of Saudi Arabia’s wealthiest families, in a French court.
Having won $2.8million in front of witnesses at the Tiara Miramar Beach Hotel, near Cannes, al-Khereiji told Salomon that “he would have his lawyer in Los Angeles arrange payment of the debt.”
When the money failed to materialise, Salomon sued, but failed to convince the court that poker met the requirement of both “physical skill and exercise” – a factor that French law requires.
French law dealing with certain gambling debts dates back to 1804, the court’s ability to enforce payment limited to those games “involving weapons, foot or horse racing, chariot races, tennis and other games of the sort which involves physical skill and exercise”.
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