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My thoughts on JJProdigy

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The question: "First off, on what grounds would you sue Party Poker? You clearly broke a rule outlining in their Terms of Use. " The answer: JJ's age may give him standing.

Because JJ is a minor, he can not be a legal party to a contract, and he was therefore never bound to the terms of service when he signed up. This instantly muddies the water for Party Poker, given that they not only took back the money he won in the tournament, but also (claimed but not verified) seized his account assets, some of which may not have been theirs to take.

An example: I'm 16, and sign up on CardRoomX. Because I'm a minor, I am not legally bound by their terms of service. I deposit $100 in my CardRoomX account, and use $1 to enter a tournament in which I win $101. My account now contains $200, half of which is "clean" in the sense that it never took part in any game at CardRoomX. CardRoomX decides that I cheated, and takes every dime in my account.

Because I could never legally agree to their terms of service, they no longer have a default claim to the money. e.g. "If you are found to be cheating, you agree that we may seize your account assets." Without bundled claims such as that, CardRoomX would have to rely on state or federal law to lay claim to the assets. Most states consider poker to be a game of chance and illegal, and would not accept any private claim on the money. It gets even more cloudy with federal law (regarding gambling), especially so because it involves a minor.

My guess is that CardRoomX would be forced to return the amount of the original deposit and call things even. And even though JJ may be a minor, he can sue on his own behalf, using his own age as a claim. This is a serious issue, and should not be dismissed out of hand.

Poker King Blog has a post about the situation (to which I am responding here), and the man (or boy as it were) himself writes in his own defense here and of course there's the actual poker pro that also got caught cheating over here. The always great Cardsquad also has a thing about cheaters here.

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