Clonie Gowen Lawsuit Sheds Some Light on Full Tilt Poker Corporate Structure

Written by:
Patrick Flanigan
Published on:
Clonie Gowen

A high profile but perhaps recently forgotten case against Full Tilt Poker by a pro claiming to have been shut out of ownership equity has been brought up on the Two Plus Two forums

In light of the April 15th indictment against Full Tilt Poker and two of its main principals, court documents related to the Clonie Gowen case are now being more closely scrutinized.

One of the main topic of discussions:  Several big name pros including Howard Lederer and Phil Ivey are named as “shareholders” or percentage owners.  Clonie claims she was deprived of her cut.  That might not be such a bad thing should the US Government decide to go after these high profile player “shareholders”. 

Her case is currently under Appeal.


I was looking on Wiki and I saw that her case was dismissed. So being the noisy person I am I went on PACER and read some of the pleadings and motions from the original action, which was dismissed because (I want to keep this as simple as possible for non-legal minded folks) she failed to state in her complaint specific facts that could establish a cause of action (i.e. breach of contract and the covenant of good faith and fair dealing). The judge gave her 3 times to amend the complaint to comply with the rules, but each time she was unable to state specific facts as to when she was promised payment amongst other things.


So come to find out she filed for an Appeal back in March, 2010 and the case is still pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. As of April 21, 2011 they are in mediation with the help of a mediator to reach a settlement. I wonder what she is going to get out of this. As you may know prior to filing suit Clonie found out that all of the FTP pros were receiving distribution checks from FTP except for her. Howard offered her $250k for "past performance" which she rejected. I assume now the offer is going to increase, but by how much with the DOJ stuff going on.


She claims to have been a 1% owner in the company and basically divulging the corporate scheme for FTP.


The original case named the following Defendants:


Defendant Full Tilt Poker (The Brand)

Defendant Tiltware LLC

Defendant Pocket Kings Ltd.

Defendant Kolyma Corporation, A.V.V.

Defendant Raymond J. Bitar

Defendant Howard Lederer

Defendant Andrew Bloch

Defendant Phillip Ivey

Defendant Christopher Ferguson

Defendant John Juanda

Defendant Phillip Gordon

Defendant Erick Lindgren

Defendant Erik Seidel

Defendant Jennifer Harman-Traniello

Defendant Michael Matusow

Defendant Allen Cunningham

Defendant Gus Hansen

Defendant Patrick Antonious

Defendant Pocket Kings Consulting, Ltd.

Defendant Tiltproof, Inc



From reading the pleadings apparently this is what their corporate "structure" is:


Kolyma (Parent of All FTP Companies)

Incorporated in Aruba

Principal Place of Business: Aruba


Full Tilt Poker

Incorporated in Aruba

Principal Place of Business: Ireland


Tiltware, LLC: (Parent Company of Pocket Kings)

Incorporated in California

Manager: Raymond J. Bitar

Manager: Howard Lederer

Major Shareholders: Lederer, Bitar, Ferguson, Ivey and Gordon


Pocket Kings LTD (Subsidiary of Tiltware, LLC)

Incorporated In: Ireland

Principal Placeo of Business: Ireland



Not much information to go on, but you can see that the top shareholders are Lederer, Bitar, Ferguson, Ivey and Gordon, with Lederer and Bitar holding managing positions with Tiltware, LLC. (This kind of answers the questions in the other threads as to who owns FTP, it is quite obvious who the key players are though)


- Patrick Flanagan,

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