“We are booked. Let’s get rich…”
Those words just might come back to haunt Nick Marchington.
On July 15, Marchington woke up on top of the world after being eliminated in seventh place from the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event the night before for a $1,525,000 score. The 21-year-old Brit could have become the youngest WSOP Main Event champion ever had he won.
Just a few hours later, Marchington found himself on the ugly end of a lawsuit as two men who claimed to have bought a 10% piece of Marchington’s Main Event action filed a lawsuit in a Clark County, Nevada court alleging Marchington breached a contract with them and committed fraud.
In their lawsuit, David Yee and Colin Hartley, partners in C Biscuit Poker Staking, allege that Marchington entered into an agreement to sell them 10% of his action in the $5,000 Six Max No Limit Hold’em event and the Main Event at markups of 1.1 and 1.2 respectively and then attempted to back out and sell at a higher price.
According to the lawsuit, Marchington contacted Yee and Hartley on May 27 asking if they would have any interest in buying some of his WSOP action should he decide to sell. On May 29, Yee and Hartley agreed to pay Marchington $1,750 for 10% of his action in the two previously discussed tournaments and Marchington accepted. The payment was made on June 4 in two instalments of $875. Marchington confirmed receipt of the money and sent them a text message stating, “We are booked. Lets get rich…”.
On June 28, Yee and Hartley claim they contacted Marchington asking for receipts from the Rio cage showing he had bought into both tournaments. According to the lawsuit, Marchington informed the pair that he was “most likely not playing the 5K or main”. He allegedly followed up the next morning with another message stating, “I am cancelling my wsop pieces. I am not going home early though.”
Marchington, through a motion filed by his attorneys, claims that C Biscuit was willing to accept the refund and attempted to use an intermediary to pick up the funds.
“Hey Nick, hope you are well mate. I’ve talked with the guys and we are fine on the
refund. We’d like for you to hand it over to our associate that will meet you but are
still confirming with our associate and we will follow up within 24-48 hours on
details for the meet…”
On July 1, Hartley and Yee say Marchington messaged them to inform them he might be playing the Main Event after all and would be selling action for it at a higher markup. “I messaged a few people and can sell for 1.7,” Marchington wrote.
That same day, he sent Yee and Marchington a photo of his buy-in receipt for the $5,000 Six Max event that started that day. Yee sought clarification on whether or not they still had action with Marchington. “So I’m guessing that 5K is with our action then and that is the receipt – thanks for that. “I’m guessing WSOP main event is still booked then with us?”
Marchington responded, confirming that the $550 piece in the $5,000 Six Max event was in action but that he was still unsure about the Main Event. Marchington finished Day 1 of that event with an average stack but did not cash.
On July 3, Hartley and Yee claim that Marchington informed them he was cancelling their Main Event action writing in a message to the pair, “I am playing the main event but unfortunately your piece is cancelled. I know this is bad practice but I have to do what’s best for myself since I lost a lot on the trip.”
Marchington played Day 1B of the Main Event on July 4 and finished with 109,100 chips. According to Hartley and Yee, Marchington attempted to return $1,200 on July 5.
On the same day that the lawsuit was filed, a Clark County judge granted Hartley and Yee a temporary restraining order preventing Marchington from claiming all of his winnings. Unbeknownst to Hartley and Yee, or the judge, Marchington had already collected his earnings via cash and check. The Rio has since placed a stop payment on the check and is holding the remainder of Marchington’s funds.
Marchington first learned of the lawsuit after cashing in the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em event after the Main Event. He finished 87th for $7,396 and was told after he went to collect his winnings that there was a hold placed on his winnings.
Hartley and Yee are suing for $152,500 plus legal fees.
The case has similarities to the situation 2006 Main Event champion Jamie Gold found himself in following his record-setting win. Gold was sued by Crispin Leyser over a pre-tournament agreement between the two. Gold and Leyser eventually settled their case.