Poker pro sues WSOP over 2017 disqualification

Maryland poker pro Joseph Stiers has launched a lawsuit against the World Series of Poker for disqualifying him from the 2017 main event.

Stiers was running well during Day 3 of the main event, sitting with 660,000 chips entering the dinner break, which put him among the higher chip stacks. Upon exiting the main room during the break, Stiers’ WSOP journey was brought to an abrupt end after he was snatched up and handcuffed by security. He was eventually disqualified from the event for playing under a fake name, lost all his chips and his $10,000 buy-in, and was told to leave the premises or face charges of criminal trespassing.

Stiers’ battle with the WSOP actually began in 2014 when he was handed a lifetime ban from all Caesars properties after getting kicked out of the Horseshoe Baltimore for counting cards at the blackjack tables.

The ban first caused him problems in 2015 when he tried to enter a WSOP Circuit event. Right before the event began, tournament organizers discovered he was on the banned list and gave him the boot.

It looks like Stiers tried to get around that at the 2017 WSOP by registering under the name Joseph Conor. By Day 3, WSOP staff had caught on and his dinner-break exit was the result.

Stiers seeking damages from Caesars

In his lawsuit, filed earlier this month, Stiers is seeking “equitable and injunctive relief” along with punitive damages from Caesars Interactive Entertainment, the owners of the WSOP.

Stiers declared in his suit that at the time of his ejection he was nearing the bubble position to cash in the main event and was in a great position to win up to $8 million. He also claims that the ejection from the WSOP has cost him his poker career.

He’s asking for his $10,000 buy-in to be returned and on top of that $150,000 which he considers to be the “chip equity” he had built up at the time of his ejection. Stiers also wants his lifetime ban from the WSOP lifted.

Caesars has asked that the case be dismissed and that Stiers be subjected to paying their attorney fees.