People News: Leon Tsoukernik sues Facebook; Neymar Jr becomes Cultural Ambassador at PokerStars and more

In this column we deliver you the latest and most interesting news and gossip from our favourite poker people.

Leon Tsoukernik sues Facebook

Leon Tsoukernik – photo partypoker live

A few weeks ago King’s Casino posted several messages on their social media accounts about a fraudulent app in circulation, pretending to be an online casino offering by the Czech border casino. Now, casino owner and high stakes poker player Leon Tsoukernik takes a big stab at Facebook with a lawsuit about a series of fake ads on the social media platform. Tsoukernik sues for $24 million in damages to the “brand and reputation”.

“Someone who cannot be traced and therefore doesn’t even have a license to operate has decided to use our name, our casino, and advertise on Facebook,” said Tsoukernik. “As a result, [Facebook] is helping fraudsters and takes money for it. That’s why we’re suing [them] for harm.”

Only licensed gambling providers are allowed to advertise on Facebook and in this case the platform did not do their homework, allowing a fraudster to use King’s Casinos images to advertise for their unlicensed gambling offering.

“In other media, if we want to advertise, they require us to prove the license, trademarks for the logo and the like,” said Tsoukernik. “Even two years ago, Facebook demanded it from us, so I don’t understand how they can release such fraudulent advertising.”

King’s has contacted Facebook on several occasions to remove the ads, but has not heard back. Normal citizens have gone through this from time to time. Facebook is known for slow or no response. But normal citizens usually can’t sue. King’s can and they did. This way they will be heard by Facebook. If it will be worth the effort remains to be seen and in the meantime, it is very possible that some unknowing players fell victim to the fraudulent app and maybe have been losing money to the criminals.

Poker ambassador Bonanza continues

Over the past weeks there have been multiple announcements from poker operators and players about ambassadors joining or leaving their positions. These news always seem to come all at once.

First of all, there was the news that Sam Trickett is leaving partypoker as an ambassador to focus more on his family life. The new dad will very likely be back at the tables eventually and so the phrasing of his Twitter post sounds more like a break than a break-up.

Next we have Portuguese poker pro Andre Coimbra who has been a PokerStars ambassador in the past. He left in 2017 and is now returning to his position in the Pokerstars Ambassador Team.

But that wasn’t all. The poker community had been thinking that PokerStars is abandoning the ambassador strategy, but no. Besides Coimbra, five additional pros have been signed by the poker giant.

  • Parker ‘tonkaaaaP’ Talbot – the big-mouthed Canadian poker pro and Twitch streamer will make the team a bit more colourful.
  • Sam Grafton – another noisy but lovable poker pro, hailing from the UK.
  • Lasse ‘WisternJL’ Jagd LauritsenDanish poker pro and Twitch streamer
  • Keith ‘AccidentalGrenade’ Becker – representing Pennsylvania
  • Mark ‘naigo1’ Foresta – also representing Pennsylvania

It looks like we can safely say that sponsored poker pros as a marketing tool are not dead. On the contrary. If you feel like a market might get regulated, there is your chance to stand out and show your worth to the poker brands. They might just come and make you an offer.

Neymar Jr becomes Cultural Ambassador at PokerStars

Soccer star Neymar Jr. playing poker

Neymar’s re-signing at PokerStars has been reported about in the past few weeks. Now, we also know what his specific role will be going forward. The Brazilian football (soccer) star has an incredible influence in his home country and way beyond and this also exceeds football.

In his new role, Neymar will work with PokerStars and Flutter on a range of creative projects around culture, art and design and music.

Apparently, his first task was to create special playlists for PokerStars customers. How this will look like exactly is not known yet, but we can expect some good beats coming from the land of samba.

“Poker is so much more than just the game. It is a community and a culture and that is what I love about it,” Neymar said. “I am excited to start this next chapter with, and we are already collaborating on a number of key areas. Music is a real passion of mine, so that was first on the list, but there is much more to come. I am excited for you to see what else we have in store.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic faces 3-year ban from football for gambling site ownership

zlatan ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovc

And while one football legend shines in the media, another gets bashed. AC Milan footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been found to be heavily invested in the Malta-based gambling company Bethard. Ibrahimovic’s own company UnknownAB holds 10% in Bethard and as Bethard is also offering betting, this is in direct breach of FIFA (football’s world governing body) and UEFA (its European member association) regulations. Players should not have financial interest in the matches they play in, for obvious integrity reasons.

This drama could cost Ibrahimovic his playing career and if not that, at least a hefty fine and a 3-year ban by FIFA and UEFA. The man himself has not yet commented on this issue, but to many it feels like the football star is being made an example out of. Every step he will take now can be significant for other football stars around the world.