A staking group is taking Nick Marchington to court after the British player allegedly pulled out of a backing deal before earning a seven-figure score at the 2019 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event. Marchington scooped $1.525 million in winnings after finishing seventh out of a massive field of 8,569 players in the biggest event of the 50th edition of the WSOP, which ran from July 3-16, 2019.
As a result of the legal action, Caesars withheld the $1. 5 million of Marchington’s prize money and placed it in a trust with the player’s attorney.
The Details
The 21-year-old poker pro originally sold 10 percent of his WSOP Main Event action to Colin Hartley and David Yee, the owners of C Biscuit Poker Staking. The staking company also agreed to buy 10 percent of Marchington’s action in Event #70: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed. Both deals involved a 1.2 and 1.1 markup respectively.
The agreement was reached on May 29, with Marchington receiving the funds on June 4. However, when the backers followed up with the player on June 28, he told them he might not be playing the 5K or Main Event. The next day, Marchington confirmed he would not be pushing through with the staking agreement and would issue a refund for the $1,750 they had sent.
Prosecution’s Case
Marchington played actively throughout the 2019WSOP, but had little success in the lead up to the flagship Main Event. He was definitely down on the trip and was apparently presented with a better deal (at 1.7 markup), leading to him eventually terminating his earlier agreement with C Biscuit.
But even after telling C Biscuit that he was cancelling his WSOP pieces, Marchington sent them a photo of the $5K tournament receipt, suggesting that their deal on the event was still in action. Confused, the group asked for confirmation from Marchington on the real status of the deal – the player confirmed the $5K piece was still booked, but that he wasn’t so sure with the Main Event.
Marchington entered the Main Event but only notified C Biscuit that their deal was permanently cancelled after playing the Day 1b starting flight on July 2.  The UK poker pro sent the confirmation via text message and apologized for the “bad practice”. In the text message, Nick Marchington told his backers he had to do what’s best for himself as he lost big on the trip.
Both parties agreed on the provision of a refund, and that C Biscuit would send an associate to meet with Marchington and claim the $1,200 stake. C Biscuit did receive the refund it was not collected promptly as C Biscuit took a lot of time finding an associate who could claim the money on their behalf.
The prosecution argues that Marchington was only able to refund the stake after the end of the tournament, therefore keeping their 10 percent share in play. The plaintiffs filed suit in Clark County District Court through their attorneys Robert DeMarco and Richard Schonfeld, one day after Marchington was eliminated from the Main Event.
“Tainted By Greed”
Marchington’s attorney said his client has the necessary free will to cancel the arrangement at any time. While there’s no specific rule regarding one-off staking deals, they are generally considered as some sort of gentleman’s agreement, meaning they’re not necessarily legally binding. The deal is subject to changes or cancellations, right up until a player signs up for the event in question, or before he uses his starting stack.
Marchington’s act may be a form of bad etiquette, but it did not necessarily violate the law, as the player cancelled the agreement before he entered the event. Marchington’s lawyers, Maurice Verstandig and Ronald Green, insist the prosecution’s argument makes no sense as the plaintiffs accepted the refund in the first place. They said they are determined to defend Marchington in the courts and hope justice will be served to their client.
Marchington’s celebration with his friends and family after his huge victory was interrupted by news of the lawsuit which the player referenced in his Twitter post. He said it’s unfortunate that his major personal achievement has been tainted because of other people’s greed. His post has since gained mixed reactions from the poker community.

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