Rick Salomon loses a legal battle against Arab oil sheik

The high-stakes poker celebrity failed to collect his $2.8 million winnings.

Notorious of his leaked sex-tape with Paris Hilton, Rick Salomon has been one of the most regular participants in the high-stakes private cash games in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, with some occasional trips oversees.

In addition to his winnings in the private games (which account for more than $48 million according to his ex-wife, Pamela Anderson), Salomon has also accumulated $9.9 million in tournament earnings playing high-roller events exclusively.

According to The Times, Rick played a very high-stakes game in 2014 at Tiara Miramar Beach, in a hotel outside of Cannes on the French Riviera. One of his opponents in the game was Saudi sheik, Raad al-Khereiji a member of one of Saudi Arabia’s wealthiest families.

According to Salomon, al-Khereiji ended up losing $2.8 million to him, at least some of which was on credit during a 48-hour-long session. The latter then promised Salomon that his US-based lawyer will get in touch with him later to settle the debt.

However, al-Khereiji claimed there was no high-stakes poker game at all, as they only played for fun with no real stakes. His lawyer informed Salomon about this a few months later.

Salomon then took his claim to the French court system. His lawyer pointed to an 1804 law, which states that gambling debts are only enforceable in "games involving weapons, foot or horse racing, chariot races, tennis, and other games of the sort which involves physical skill and exercise." The claim was built on this law, stating that the length of the session required physical skills.

However, earlier this week, the judge ruled against Salomon. Al-Khereiji's lawyer praised the decision, stating: "Even supposing there was such a debt, which my client totally contests, you cannot pursue someone in France for a gambling debt"

Rick's lawyer admitted it was an "uphill fight" and it's unlikely Salomon will pursue the matter further.