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Poker Player Wins $60,000 and Quits His Job, But Bank Refuses to Pay the Winnings


Despite a great run in the MicroMillions Main Event on PokerStars that saw him finish with a third-place result for $59,480.98, 29-year-old Italian player "RuiDeck" has not yet been able to cash his winnings yet because his bank simply won't let him.

"I had only $11 on my account at PokerStars," the player told Italy's ItaliaPokerClub, explaining that he eventually managed to win a ticket to the $22 buy-in MicroMillions Main Event through a 10 FPP buy-in satellite.

Once in the Main Event, the player scored the best result in his poker career with a third-place finish worth almost $60,000 in a tournament that attracted 20,000 entries and crushed the guarantee.

"It has been an incredible joy," he said about his remarkable result, even if he then added that he also have some regrets for not bringing home the title.

"RuiDeck," who is based in Dresden, Germany, where he works as a waiter in a restaurant, also confessed that his dream victory pushed him to make some decisions that turned out to be much riskier than he had imagined.

"As soon as I won, I booked a flight to go home to Sicily to celebrate with my friends," he said. "Then, in the following days, I also resigned from my job to start a new adventure as a poker player."

Unfortunately for the player, however, cashing the sum he won in the MicroMillions proved to be much more complicated than he had expected, as both the European norms against money laundering and the German legislation on gambling pushed his bank not to let him access the money.

"Initially, I have been told that my withdrawal would take approximately one week, as the policies against money laundering impose strict control on withdrawals of a sum bigger than €10,000," he explained to ItaliaPokerClub. "Then, my bank told me that my request could not be processed because poker is illegal in Saxony, the federal State where I reside."

Considerably worried about his situation, the player then contacted PokerStars. The poker room replied via email, stating that it could confirm "the full legitimacy of his winnings" and offered "RuiDeck" a letter of explanation for his bank that should solve all the concerns related to money-laundering issues.

"RuiDeck," who is now exploring the possibility of legal action, called the situation he found himself in "absurd."

"I have a regular account and, as a customer, I feel cheated," he said. "I don't understand if my bank, PokerStars, or Saxony's legislation are responsible for what has happened to me, but right know I can't cash the money I have regularly won and I don't even have a job anymore."

Be sure to stay tuned to PokerNews for more news on this story as it develops.

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Giovanni Angioni

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