Over 70 poker players of Tennessee took legal action against the Chattanooga Billiard Club and its owner Phil Windham because it allegedly cancelled an Annual Tournament for which they were eligible. The complaint was filed by an attorney named Hoyt Samples and according to the complaint since two years the Chattanooga Billiard Club was hosting a free poker tournament every Monday night. In this tournament 70-100 players participated.
Whoever won at the free poker tournament received a gift certificate of the amount of forty cents times the number of the players that participated. And those who managed to reach the nine handed final table and the additional two players on the final table bubble were eligible to play for the free monthly tournament. Again, the one to win the monthly tournament received a check of the amount of forty cents times the number of players playing in the weekly tournaments that led up to the monthly tournament. The immediate finishers also got gift certificates and all the winners of weekly as well as monthly tournaments were eligible for the Annual Tournament which was also free.
The complaint also had mention about the prize which was going to be given to the winner of the annual tournament. However, the exact amount or the exact method of deciding the amount was not mentioned in the complaint. One dollar was being contributed by the Chattanooga Billiard Club for every player, be it in the weekly or monthly tournaments.
More to the dismay of the poker regulars in these tournaments was the fact that the Annual Tournament was a well publicized event and every player was looking forward to it. Flyers were also put up at different locations of CBC and promotions were done through the CBC website online.
In spite of the fact that the tournaments were all free, Phil Windham and CBC were making money through the food and drinks bought by the players at different events. The complaint also states that Windham was to cancel the monthly and weekly tournaments after the annual tournament which was to be held in August. Later on June 25 it came to light thatWindhamdid not want to host any Annual Tournament and he did not wish to invest his money on poker anymore.
Eight counts have been listed against CBC and Windham which include- Consumer Protection Act Violation, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation. The plaintiffs have also demanded compensation for their money losses which are not mentioned in detail, $50,000 as punitive damage charges and attorney fees and reimbursement for costs that were flexible.