It seems as though there may be two morals to this story: First, when you play for high stakes, make sure you know where your play-partners got their "stakes." And secondly, just don't play poker with Tobey Maguire - he's a shark.
According to RadarOnline, Maguire is just one of many Hollywood elite being sued in connection with a extremely high-stakes underground poker ring.
According to the court filings, the games were part of what they call "clandestine Texas Hold'em poker games" that were held at swanky locales like the Four Seasons in L.A., the Beverly Hills Hotel and occasionally at the private residences of the players. The lawsuit also says that they used "professional-type" poker tables and hired dealers." I would sure hope so, as a high-stakes game on a foldout table with two decks you have to shuffle yourself seems like it would suck.
Private poker games for money are technically illegal in California, but it is rarely a prosecuted offense. Nobody involved is under criminal investigation as a result of the games.
Glad to hear Damon, Affleck & Dicaprio poker ring proceeds going to economic justice & environmental causes, in addition to taxable profits.
So at the heart of the civil suit against Maguire is one of the game's players, Ruderman Capital CEO Brad Ruderman. Ruderman was recently convicted on counts of both wire fraud and investment adviser fraud for organizing a Ponzi scheme that swindled millions out of his investors. Apparently, the FBI investigation into Ruderman found that he lost over $25 million of investor funds during these poker games. So not only is he a fraud, but he apparently sucks at cards. Swell.
The lawsuit alleges that Tobey Maguire received just over $300,000 of investor money as winnings from Ruderman. It's unclear whether Maguire or any of the other players knew anything about Ruderman's finances.
From the lawsuit -
The trustee is informed and believes that the Defendant (Maguire) did not have any contractual or other relationship with the Debtor, that the Defendant was not a member of, investor in, or creditor of, the Debtor, and that the Defendant improperly received funds of the Debtor. The trustee is further informed and believes that the Defendant received funds from the Debtor as payments for the personal gambling debts of Ruderman. The payment of the personal gambling debts of Ruderman was not an authorized or legal use of the fund of the Debtor, and was paid from funds of investors in, and members of, the Debtor.
Now the investors who lost their money want some of it back. And they are going after Maguire.
Here's the other big news from all this - Maguire wasn't the only A-lister involved in these games that had "armed guards in bulletproof vests" manning the doors. Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Leonardo DiCaprio also played in the $100,000 buy-in hold'em games.
Forget all the civil suit stuff, I'm sure you want to know how the various stars played poker. Were they any good?
Apparently Tobey Maguire is excellent. According to Radar's sources, he won around $1 million a month for a period of a couple years. Players were also impressed with Ben Affleck's poker talent. But Damon and DiCaprio? Not so much. Apparently DiCaprio was a tightwad as well. Never would've guessed that.
It's good to know that controversy can still come to good ol' fashioned bricks and mortar poker games, not just all the online poker. $100,000 buy in? Try that on Full Tilt.[Image Courtesy]