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Clonie Gowen files $40-million lawsuit against Full Tilt

20 November 2008

Clonie Gowen filed a lawsuit last week against Full Tilt Poker -- and a number of her fellow well-known Full Tilt poker pros -- claiming a breach of contract.

The lawsuit, which was filed in Nevada Nov. 14, names a list of defendants that make up some of the biggest stars in professional poker. In addition to Full Tilt Poker, Tiltware LLC an Pocket Kings Ltd, Gowen also named Howard Lederer, Andrew Bloch, Phillip Ivey, Christopher Ferguson, John Juanda, Phillip Gordon, Erick Lindgren, Erik Seidel, Jennifer Harman-Traniello, Michael Matusow, Allen Cunningham, Gus Hansen and Patrick Antonious. The 37-year-old Gowen – whose real name is Cycalona Gowen – is seeking $40 million in compensation.

Clonie Gowen

The 20-page lawsuit claims that Gowen accepted a one percent share in and parent firm TiltWare LLC when the online poker room was launched in 2004 in lieu of any monetary compensation at that time. Beginning in 2004, she subsequently promoted the site in exchange for that ownership interest with no additional compensation.

According to a press release distributed today by iGaming Business, Gowen alleged in May that every other sponsored professional poker player working for received distribution checks except her. Gowen then stated that she demanded any money owed to her at that time and was offered $250,000, which she refused as it was only a fraction of what she claimed she was owed.

But on Nov. 11 Gowen was told that her services were no longer required. She was removed from promotional materials and as of Monday, Nov. 17 her Full Tilt-sponsored Web site was not in service.

Gowen continued to promote until Nov. 11 when she was informed that the site would no longer sponsor her. She stated that the site is worth an estimated four billion dollars and that she has still not been given a reason as to why she did not receive any distribution payments when every other sponsored player had.

The filing was made with Judge Robert Jones and contains details of meetings, telephone calls and verbal contracts made with executives for TiltWare in 2004. According to the press release, TiltWare claims that it is aware of the recent filing and asserted that Gowen's allegations are "without merit" and contain "inaccuracies."

According to The Hendon Mob poker database, Gowen has accumulated more than $1.5 million in poker earnings since 2002. She has nine World Series of Poker cashes on her resume and is best known for her victory at the World Poker Tour's Ladies Night event in 2003. She was born in Florida and grew up in McAlester, Oklahoma where she won Miss Teen at the age of 15.

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