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Defamation Case Grew From Missing Poker Chips

One of the great things about poker, for most people, is the fact that it’s a game that brings friends together.

It’s a good excuse to catch up with someone you haven’t seen for a while, or to have a group of mates over for a chilled out, fun night around the table. Poker has all the tools to enhance friendship; the ability to create funny, long-lasting memories, to boost patience and tolerance for those closest to you, as well as other great things…It’s a great game for friends.

Well, that is if you are not Nick Polias or Tobin Ryall.

The two Australians, who both share an avid love of poker, had a bitter falling out on a trip to Las Vegas, which has opened up a can of worms so large that a defamation case is now underway in a Sydney court.

It all started last year, when the friends were in Las Vegas around the time of the World Series of Poker (WSOP). When retrieving his poker chips from the hotel room he and Polias shared, Ryall discovered that $2,000 worth of his chips had gone missing.

When he quizzed his friend about it, Polias claimed to have no idea as to what happened to the chips. That explanation appeared to not have convinced Ryall, and resulted in the end of their once-strong friendship.

There was no moving on for both poker lovers, however, with the old saying “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” having not applied in their situation.

Ryall took his anger over his lost poker chips, and toward Polias, to social media after the incident, hitting out at his former friend on Facebook. “You are a lying, cheating, stealing, selfish, incredibly negative, self-pitying, bad person. Susan deserves better than you and you deserve to have no friends,” he wrote.

That comment was followed by comments from others which also demeaned Polias, prompting the Sydney sider to take legal action on his old pal for defamation.

The newfound hatred between the two was not just confined to the Internet. It also reached the live poker scene of Sydney, where a number of players appeared to have taken Ryall’s side in the matter.

Polias alleged that professional poker player Andy Lee harassed him at The Star casino, which resulted in Lee’s ejection from the premises. Like Ryall, Lee also took to social media to vent his thoughts on Polias after their Sydney casino run in, something which Polias has also included in his defamation case.

The case will go back to court on October 8, where a solution to the dispute will likely be handed down. The same can’t be said for the once solid friendships between the players involved.

Many people may see different lessons that could be learned from a case like this. One possible solution may be to get different hotel rooms if going on poker jaunts with your friends. But that could be a waste of money, seeing as one will likely spend more time at the poker table than in the hotel room.

Whatever the result is in the court case, it won’t change the unfortunate fact that missing poker chips was the reason of such a bitter falling out between good friends. That goes against one of the main positive points of poker; the fact that it can create and enhance friendships and good times.

 

 

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Bruno de Paiva

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