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  • Dispute Between Epic Poker League/Michael DiVita Gets Mediation From Nevada Gaming Control

    Sunday, February 12th, 2012 by Ryan

If you remember back to last September, there was that huge controversy that was ongoing between the Epic Poker League and one of the players, Michael DiVita. It seems that this situation simply hasn’t been fixed in any way, and now the two sides have had to get some additional mediation. The Nevada Gaming Control Board has decided to step in to help out with settling a dispute between the two sides. The issue originally began when the EPL told DiVita that he was not allowed to take part in the Main Event for the league in September after he won his way into the $20k event through the $1500 Pro/Am event. A total of nine players made it into the event through this satellite, but he was told that he couldn’t participate, which is when things took a huge down swing.

DiVita showed up for the main event that he had won his way into, but was met right away by the Standards and Ethics Committee chairman for the Epic Poker League, Stephen Martin. This was the time when DiVita found out that he wouldn’t be allowed to participate, because of a sexual offense conviction from his past, and according to the reports, DiVita simply stated that he wanted his $20k buy-in for the Main Event and he would leave. The EPL refused to do this though, and instead offered him the $1500 entry that he had put in to the Pro/Am. DiVita refused this deal, and then things escalated and both sides put forth their arguments. According to DiVita, he said that the Palms Casino Resort security then used some form of “intimidation” to make him accept the deal, and just leave.

DiVita then threatened to file a lawsuit against the league and also against the Federated Sports & Gaming in hopes of receiving his full $20k buy-in which he felt he deserved to have awarded to him. DiVita didn’t do anything with this, but decided to file a complaint with the Nevada Gaming Control Board, and the full investigation took a few months for a decision to be made. The company then sent a letter to the president of the Palms, George Maloof, stating that they were in the wrong for banning DiVita from playing in the event, and said that they would have to pay DiVita the remaining $18,500 which he had not received yet.

DiVita was paid in January, and it seems that everyone can move forward at this point and focus on the future. DiVita will most likely still be playing in some poker tournaments all around the world, and the Epic Poker League will continue with their tournament series. Their fourth event out of the five has been rescheduled to this point though, and in even more interesting news it looks like a potential buyer of the EPL, Pinnacle Entertainment may have touched base with DiVita to let him know that he would not be banned from any future events if they began running the events.

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