High-stakes poker professional Rick Salomon has sued Saudi Sheikh Raad al-Khereiji, demanding to collect from him $2 800 000 of poker debt.
Salomon is an American poker player known for his large winnings in Super High Roller tournaments, as well as his relationships with famous female celebrities such as Pamela Anderson and Paris Hilton. There are around $10 million won in live events on his record that makes him one of the strongest tournament players.
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According to Rick’s lawyer, the debt itself appeared when his client played poker with Sheikh al-Khereiji on the French Riviera in 2014. It’s stated that Sheikh Raad promised to payout Salomon the full amount of the debt with the help of his lawyer in the USA.
Considering the fact that it wasn’t the first time Rick played with al-Khereiji at high stakes (sometimes the game took place in a casino), the guy agreed for such an option. These facts could become weighty arguments in court proceedings.
However, the Saudi prince didn’t get in touch with the American player for seven months, and then, the al-Khereiji’s lawyer contacted Rick and said that Raad "owed nothing" to the guy and that they gave each other no monetary obligations.
The other day, French court ruled in favour of Saudi Sheikh Raad al-Khereiji, basing on the law of 1804: courts can only enforce gaming debts relayed to games that involves physical skill and exercise (horse racing, tennis, chariot races, etc).
«Even supposing there was such a debt, which my client totally contests, you cannot pursue someone in France for a gambling debt», Sheikh Raad al-Khereiji’s lawyer said.
It was a tough fight for Rick Salomon, but he didn't exclude the possibility of an appeal. This situation is a good lesson for other players who often confirm paying out poker debts by handshaking.