Erick Lindgren Owes PokerStars $2.5M, Rational Group Claims in Lawsuit

Erick Lindgren Owes PokerStars $2.5M, Rational Group Claims in Lawsuit

February 5th, 2015 by Ed Scimia
PokerStars sues Erick Lindgren

Despite some massive tournament wins in recent years, Erick Lindgren is being sued by PokerStars for more than $2.5 million. The poker pro has been hit with some turbulent financial waters, allegedly due to a gambling problem. (Image:

Former Full Tilt poker pro Erick Lindgren is being sued by the Rational Group, parent company of both PokerStars and Full Tilt, for more than $2.5 million, as the company is hoping to recoup a debt that goes back to the days when Full Tilt Poker was an independent poker room, before Black Friday.

The debt covers two separate sums that Lindgren received from Full Tilt: a $2 million sum that was accidentally deposited into his bank account, and a $531,807 loan that he allegedly failed to pay back.

Money Accidentally Deposited Twice

The larger sum came from an instance in April 2011, when Lindgren asked Chris Ferguson, one of Full Tilt’s owners, to loan him $2 million. Ferguson agreed to do so, but the amount somehow ended up being transferred to Lindgren’s account twice, and he did not return the second payment.

“Various officers of Full Tilt corresponded to Lindgren requesting that Lindgren return the full amount of the erroneous deposit, which Lindgren failed to do,” the lawsuit states.

According to the suit, which was filed in United States District Court in Nevada, PokerStars and the Rational Group have tried to recover the debts since then, but have not found Lindgren to be cooperative.

“To date, PokerStars and its counsel have not received any response to the request for payment, which caused PokerStars to file this complaint in an effort to preserve its legal rights,” the company wrote in its complaint.

Rational Wants Its Money

There is speculation that this could be just the first of several attempts from PokerStars to recoup money that was originally owed to Full Tilt Poker by some of the site’s more well-known professional players, many of whom were allowed to borrow enormous sums while Full Tilt was operating in the United States.

The Rational Group took on that debt when they bought Full Tilt’s assets from the US Department of Justice following the Black Friday debacle.

Lindgren Known to Have Gambling Issues

The lawsuit is just the latest in a series of stories that have shown Lindgren to have issues with gambling addiction and an inability (or perhaps unwillingness) to pay back debts to other well-known gamblers. In 2012, infamous sports bettor Haralabos “Bob” Voulgaris made a post on the Two Plus Two forums saying that Lindgren had owed him a substantial amount of money for years.

“I have never met anyone who was as big a prick about paying off his debts as Erick,” Voulgaris wrote at the time. “I have never met a guy who was guaranteed as much money as Edog was from his [Full Tilt] investment, who spent money as lavishly as he did, who was basically allergic to paying his debts.”

Lindgren did eventually attempt to deal with his compulsive gambling issues.

He filed for bankruptcy in 2012 in an attempt to clear himself of $4.8 million in personal debt and another $3.8 million he owed to the IRS, though the courts did not eliminate his debts to Full Tilt as a part of that process.

In November 2012, Lindgren entered a rehab program at Morningside Recovery in an effort to get help. Still, these issues haven’t stopped Lindgren from playing in some of poker’s biggest events over the last two years.

In 2013, Lindgren won a $5,000 buy-in Six-Handed No Limit Hold’em tournament at the World Series of Poker, and also finished second at the $25,000 buy-in WPT World Championship, both of which resulted in wins of over $600,000.

32 Responses to “Erick Lindgren Owes PokerStars $2.5M, Rational Group Claims in Lawsuit”

  1. DonSifu says:

    as sensationalized and hyped up poker has become, we have to remember it seedy underbelly roots; gambling can be a very slippery slope. and at those nose bleed stakes, it’s easy to get lost in it all.

  2. Alkollol says:

    Give our favourite poker engine their money back you uncontrollable gambler!

  3. mahituna says:

    poker is filled with scumbags. if you spend enough time in the room you will see it is all smoke and mirrors and is hardly a fantastic lifestyle. just the opposite


    If it gets to the point where your gambling on everything it stops being about the game. Other sports e.g. golf are a gentlemans game and hold certain unspoken rules, within poker the main one would seem to be pay back the money you owe to the people who have helped you. For me the game of poker is the expression of competitiveness as with other games and the monetary gain the secondary aspect. Its nice to win yes ofcourse, but its also nice to compete with your peers and get performance feedback.

  5. skaterick says:

    did ‘e dog ‘ enter any wsop events this year ? even with his checkered loan record , he could probably find plenty of backers !

  6. MasterPeace says:

    Big error, too bad if we make a deposit twice, also by error, they wont give us our money back. Just a part of
    it. This man got real luck, spent the money and let them be more careful next time, keep on with your goodluck. I say well done.

  7. vanya384 says:

    Congratulations to him. I wanted to play in this tournament, but i forgot

  8. massagegirl says:

    The check is in the mail !!

  9. runninggreg1 says:

    I assume this article is all truth. Therefore I do not know enough info about this individual to call him names or be upset.

    If anyone gave me 2 million dollars I might be tempted to keep it too. MIGHT.

  10. SPANKYSN says:

    Funny….Full Tilt never put 2 million $ into my account….what am I doing wrong?

  11. rj155500 says:

    I didn’t realize Chris Ferguson was so loose with money . . . . oh wait.

  12. RubberDingDong says:

    This article makes no sense or is incomplete at best. If a bank accidentally double-deposited money, they are on the hook for it, not the account holder. If the account holder accidentally transferred money twice on two separate occasions, the courts should have been involve immediately when a registered letter from a lawyer requesting a refund went unanswered. Why the big delay? Sounds like Lindgren might have a very good case of his word against theirs to which the courts are usually reluctant to involve itself in.

    • Will says:

      RubberDingDong….. no actually, if the bank makes a mistake its not on the bank…you need to pay that money back right away lol theres no “oh well you made a mistake so its my 2 million dollars”
      google it… people go to jail for spending money accidentally deposited by banks.

    • Ian says:

      Not true. I was working for citibank and they direct deposited my paycheck twice. They reversed the deposit and charged me $10 for a transaction fee…

  13. John says:

    Good for him! Full Tilt and Pokerstars are ripping people off everyday and they never have to account for it. Even if it’s nickels and dimes or dollars and not millions i’m sure it adds up to millions with the amount of players they have. I wouldn’t give it back to them and as someone above said there are a lot of unanswered questions about how and who put the money in his account so who’s responsible for it?

    • shinedown.45 says:

      The larger sum came from an instance in April 2011, when Lindgren asked Chris Ferguson, one of Full Tilt’s owners, to loan him $2 million. Ferguson agreed to do so, but the amount somehow ended up being transferred to Lindgren’s account twice, and he did not return the second payment.

  14. TossUpKing says:

    this really puts life into perspective for aspiring poker players.. life isnt all that it is cracked up to be. that is if youre in it purely for the money $$$ and lose yourself in the midst. i like what a player said earlier in this post. but all in all that sums it up.

  15. Gary Gwinn says:

    Has Rational paid back every single penny back, to every player who got beat out of their bankroll when Black Friday happened? If not, they don’t deserve a penny from Erik. They beat players out of over 200 million, and they want their 2 million back from Erik? That’s Funny

    • orourkeda says:

      Two wrongs don’t make a right.

      There’s only going to be one winner in this case. (two if you include the legal eagles).It look like Erick Lindgrens name is now filth among his fellow gamblers.

  16. speper says:


  17. NICK@NITE says:


  18. gimmeurch1ps says:

    how do you accidentally double deposit 2 million dollars?

  19. John_3_16 says:

    Only an idiot loans a gambler money.

    Proverbs 22:7 ESV
    The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.

    Matthew 6:12 ESV
    And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

    I don’t think his knees are worth 2 mill. They might have a case since they have cleared all the debts owed to previous players at Full Tilt and have been given the Fed’s blessings. Kinda hate to see anyone sink this low after flying so high. He was a talented good guy once.

  20. one3one says:

    To everyone saying this is an example of the underside of poker that no one talks about – I agree, but…

    This isn’t a unique situation around poker. This is the results of ANY industry where very large sums of money are up for grabs. If you dig into every single industry that has billions of dollars moving around (and it gets worse when you get to mega-global industries with trillions and trillions of dollars), you are going to find shady scummy people taking advantage of others.

    Banking industry, big pharma, big oil, real estate… doesn’t matter which these stories never stop.

  21. GRIN281289 says:

    this very large have luck I, too, so want but understand that I have such a never will happen:)

  22. Peter Jankowski says:

    Eric represents a group of “superstarish” poker players who believe they are above normal poker players but in reality are worst.

  23. BigBertha says:

    … perhaps, this was a deal between Ferguson and Erik. I would like my $1500 back from FullTilt, my first online experience. They stiffed a lot of little players along the way. karma can be a bitch.

  24. KristaK says:

    terrible this

  25. KGB21 says:

    so much gamblers around poker field, that nobody has right opinions/comments about this huge problem
    the only right thing: use your own bank roll for it or stop playing

  26. Greg Gauer says:

    Listen its real simple. Easy as winning the Main Event. All you gotta do is fold every hand until you catch pocket aces. Then you go all in. Keep repeating that process and its impossible to lose. Lindgren owes nobody shit. They dont have shit in writing then their case holds no water. Tough shit.

  27. Daniel Foster says:

    $2 mil!! Crazy. I thought I got lucky when Full Tilt overpayed me $5k. I went on a real nice tourney run off a $200 deposit and built it up to $15k about three months before Black Friday. Requested $5k payouts three weeks in a row.

    Took them about 4-6 weeks to arrive but when they did, they sent four $5k checks and all cleared the bank.

    I remember feeling lucky I got paid at all once the curtain fell. Their accounting must have been for shiet.

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