Leon Tsoukernik Is Not Willing to Pay Back $3 Million Loan to Matthew Kirk

During a long May night in the Aria Casino in Las Vegas Australian poker player Matthew Kirk lent $3 million to Czech casino owner and fellow poker player Leon Tsoukernik. They documented the transaction via text messages, the security cameras also recorded it - yet Tsoukernik is not willing to pay back the full amount. The lawsuit papers the Czech casino owner received have been posted to the famous News, Views, and Gossip section of the 2+2 Forum, so we have all the info.

The Kings Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic is a world famous gambling house, it's a venue for such prestigious events like the WSOP Europe series, which it will be hosting later this year. The owner of the casino, Leon Tsoukernik is also an accomplished poker player, he finished 4th in this year's 300K Aria Super High Roller Bowl and won the EPT Super High Roller in 2016.

Looks like, however, that Tsoukernik is working hard to destroy this reputation with his recent scandal.

On May 27th, at the high stakes poker tables of the Aria Casino in Las Vegas, Tsoukernik received a $3 million loan from Kirk in poker chips, in three increments. The two cardplayers decided to document the money lending through text messages. These texts were published by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

On May 27, at 04:34 am Kirk wrote Tsoukernik: “Gave you 500k,” ; then after half an hour texted him again, writing: "Gave you 1million', to which Tsoukernik crisply replied "OK". At 05:46 Kirk sent another text Tsoukernik that the total of the loan is $3 million, which at first Tsoukernik affirmed with another "OK", but twelve minutes later he tried to walk it back by texting "Not valid" and later "0 now".

According to the court papers posted to 2+2 Tsoukernik has won $1.5 million from Kirk in a heads-up cash game just before the loan took place. Then, after he received the lent money from Kirk, he did pay back $1 million out his total debt of $3 million on June 3rd.

Tsoukernik's lawyer Peter Bernhard told this to the Las Vegas Journal-Review in response to the lawsuit:

"Since plaintiff seeks to enforce gaming debts arising under the contract, if the contract is void and not enforceable as a matter of law, then none of the contract, good faith and fair dealing, fraudulent inducement, and unjust enrichment claims can be maintained. Since the gaming debts that plaintiff seeks to enforce are not evidenced by a ‘credit instrument’ at the time the debts were created in the early morning hours of May 27, 2017, then the alleged gaming debts ‘are void and unenforceable and do not give rise to any administrative or civil action.’”

So Tsoukernik is basically saying that because he received the loan in poker chips and no proper contract has been written about it, he doesn't have to pay it back, calling it an "unenforceable gambling debt".

He should be careful though, because even if he wins his case and won't have to pay back the remaining $2 million, he may create an international precedent that can come back back to haunt him. Tsoukernik surely would not be pleased if someone was racking up an "unenforceable gambling debt" in his own casino in Rozvadov...