German Online Gamblers Concerned after Bank Freezes Online Player’s $60K Win


Imagine the feeling of hitting a big tournament score with your last few dollars, only to have your bank refuse to cash out your winnings. That’s exactly what happened to poker player RuiDeck, who has been put through a roller coaster of emotions since taking third place in the PokerStars MicroMillions Main Eventfor $59,480. This according to a few sites, including PokerNews.

Having only $11 in his account, RuiDeck could not afford the $22 buy-in to enter the MicroMillions event, so he played, and won, a 10 FTP satellite. The Main Event was a smashing success, with PokerStars attracting 20,000 entries, easily reaching the guarantee.

Although he didn’t win the whole thing, RuiDeck, who resides in Dresden, Germany, was ecstatic with his third place result and $60,000 in winnings. Immediately after the big score, the Italian poker player quit his job as a waiter and booked a flight back to his native Sicily, where he planned to “start a new adventure as a poker player.”

But joy soon turned to anger and frustration after his bank suddenly decided to freeze the cashout over money laundering concerns. “Initially, I have been told that my withdrawal would take approximately one week, as the policies against money laundering impose strict control on withdrawals of a sum bigger than €10,000,” he told an Italian poker forum. “Then, my bank told me thatmy request could not be processed because poker is illegal in Saxony, the federal State where I reside.”

To RuiDeck’s dismay, he had been caught in the middle of what can be complicated and confusing gaming laws in Germany. In fact, some iGaming operators like Mansion and Playtech have recently decided to pull out of the country instead of risking being targeted by authorities.

RuiDeck isn’t the only player to have had issues with cashing out internet gambling winnings in Germany as of late. A 25-year-old blackjack player had $72,100 confiscated after the District Court of Munich found him guilty of illegal gambling at an online site. And the police didn’t stop there; after concluding that the player had withdrawn $227,000 in winnings in 2011, they fined him an additional $2,400. He was able, however, to convince investigators that €10,000 of the cash uncovered belonged to his mother.

Poker players now fear that the government is ramping up its efforts to prosecute online gamblers. The ruling in Munich was the first time that a player has been found guilty of the offense in the country.

After being stonewalled by his bank, RuiDeck contacted PokerStars support, who responded that it could confirm the “full legitimacy of his winnings” and would supply him with a letter of explanation that he could take to the bank.

That was seemingly unsuccessful, and RuiDeck is now reportedly considering legal action. Calling the whole situation “absurd,” Italian poker player feels cheated by both his bank and PokerStars. “I don’t understand if my bank, PokerStars, or Saxony’s legislation are responsible for what has happened to me, but right now I can’t cash the money I have regularly won and I don’t even have a job anymore.”

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    • Why does he feel cheated by Stars, they can’t control what a bank won’t process. Or am I missing something here?

    • the cash out curse!!! again online poker is played with fake monies. why did jokerstars let him open up an account and verify him if it was illegal in his country? jokerstars needs to make this better for the rest of us suckers who still play on these sites.

    • No. That’s not the point. The point is that this are real $, and so real are incomes from them. Open your eyes. The case is not that poker is illegal because it is gambling and are goverment love as so much that he is so sure that is bad for us. They don’t know how to take money from it. They got everything set up in national lotteries, in bullshit mortars casinos, sport bettings – they got it all regulated the way the right person can take money from it.
      And all of sudden come game like poker. Boom. With internet boom and surface simplicity of the game it started to be real threat to their incomes. So they try to get rid of it saying it is gambling. In fact poker is game of both skill and luck. National lotteries are pure luck. So ask yourself – why national lottery can be advertised? why it can be so easy to buy a cupon? why? Because the monies goes to right persons and that why it is ok. 10% of people in the world got 90% of worlds money. But this is not enough for them. They want 99%.
      Fak gov 4ever!

    • Lol’d at immediately quit his job.

      he was a waiter not like he walked away from some promising career. 60k is plenty to live and grind on off that lifestyle. Also not like finding another server job would be hard at all.

    • What’s up with these governments messing with poker players. Isn’t there plenty of other shit that needs fixing.

    • Since Americans make up the biggest # of your readers/ following perhaps an article on the state of Merge cashouts would be more relevant

    • Surprised they didnt mess with ‘whats his name’ WSOP winner…(Heinz) or to keep it all, no taxes, from same area in Germany

    • I agree with AJ, why aren’t any Carbon Poker articles being ran, we are being cheated out of our money!!!

    • Aj I know that situation must be horrific, sincerely, but that comment sounds brutally narcissistic. Can’t you try to feel for the guy a little!? This article isn’t about you, it’s about the guy they’re writing about.

    • call your restaurant back and tell them you made a mistake…you cant retire on 68 gs. everyone that plays poker feels the need to play it as a profession. take that money and put it down on a house, save some for grinding and continue to work….don’t be fool.

    • I agree with AJ, why aren’t any Carbon Poker articles being ran, we are being cheated out of our money!!!

      We are going to run an article next week about Merge. We wanted a little time to gather information on it and be able to put forth a thoughtful article rather than whip something together really fast. I might have our writer contact you guys for your stories to include in it. I appreciate you guys being members of our site.

    • Yeah sorry I came across badly.. Love the site and I check it daily.. Just frustrated by the whole situation..

    • Surprised they didnt mess with ‘whats his name’ WSOP winner…(Heinz) or to keep it all, no taxes, from same area in Germany

      Pius Heinz, he lives in Austria, that’s why he didn’t get problems.