Boom! Gowan mocks Tilt’s response.

Gowan has filed a reply brief to the Tilt response to her motion for expedited discovery and it is a bombshell.  It appears to utterly destroy the Tilt response and demonstrates that Tilt’s attorneys appear to be doing some very shoddy work.  First, it attacks the challenge to the ex parte basis for the motion.  They point out that the motion was filed under Rule 6-2 and Tilt uses 7-5 as the basis for their several pages of objection to the ex parte nature of the motion.  The bit that I didn’t get when I first read the motion is that the only ex parte part was the application.  The actual motion was filed normally.  It is still a bit unclear to me if the motion was always intended to be filed normally or if the judge converted it, but I guess it doesn’t really matter.  They also point out that the motion itself was filed with the court and delivered to oppposing counsel on the same day.  This is pretty big, because the defense makes a lot of noise about how badly the secrecy disadvantaged them and it now appears that there wasn’t really much secrecy.

This leads to one of the worst things for the Tilt side, because it makes it appear that their attorneys have been caught in a lie to the court.  They said that they set up the 26(f) conference without knowing that the expedited discovery petition was filed.  However, Gowan points out that the motion was sent to them on January 29 and the 26(f) conference was scheduled on February 4.  Most likely, Tilt’s attorneys are incompetant and didn’t get the email from the court with the motion, but the other possibility is that they were flat out lying to the judge in their response.  Neither one is going to get a very warm reception from the judge, I suspect.

Further, if the summary of the legal research is accurate, it sounds like Tilt made a hash of that as well.  Their brief says that the two main cases “cited to, but did not expressly adopt, a four factor test.”  Unfortunately, according to Gowan, not only did they did not expressly adopt the four factor test, they actually expressly rejected the four factor test.  If accurate (I’m way to lazy to pull the actual decisions), this is again either shoddy research or dishonest briefing.  Both are bad for them.

Gowan also correctly points out that the proposed discovery is limited to only the corporate structure and ownership of Tilt and Tilt didn’t address that in their brief.  Indeed, Tilt seemed to suggest that the discovery was going to be a big generic fishing expedition.  Gowan points out that the discovery is needed to add defendants, remove defendants and clarify the pleadings.

I’ve changed my mind.  I now think that the judge will grant the motion and that Tilt has lost a lot of traction.


Gowan – Tilt update

I’ve been slacking on the updates.  You will recall that Full Tilt moved to dismiss the charges on January 6th.   On January 22, Gowan amended her complaint, adding new charges and defendants.  I don’t think it will really have done a lot to address the specifics of the motion to dismiss, but we won’t know the answer to that for a while.  A few days later, they filed an “ex parte” motion to compell Ferguson and Bitar to submit to extended and expidited discovery.  This is fairly unusual, generally reserved for situations where there is shady dealings by the other party.  Gowan claimed that the Tilt folks were concealing assets and running a big shell game.  Although I tend to agree that they are indeed doing that, I think it is more about hiding their cash from the long arm of Uncle Sam more than concern about Gowan.  The judge did not grant the motion “ex parte” but instead unsealed it and provided the Tilt side a chance to reply.  “Ex Parte” just means that one side of the dispute communicated to the judge without advising the other party.

Tilt has answered the motion now.  They make several points.  The first is huffing and puffing about the “ex parte” motion in the first place.  They say that filing a motion that was out of order, insulting and un-American.  They devote a lot of space to explaining why things shouldn’t have been done that way and explaining how it inconvenienced them.  I think this is posturing, much as the original ex parte motion was posturing.  Gowan is painting them as shady operators and they are acting hurt.  I don’t think that the judge will be all that impressed by either one.  In effect, the ex parte bit is out the window now, since the judge unsealed it and gave them an opportunity to respond.  The second point is that the motion is predicated on the notion that Tilt is hiding money, but there is no evidence for this aside from Gowan’s naked assertion that she thinks they are.  I think this is a pretty good point.  They also point out that Bitar and Ferguson are very busy guys who would be quite put out to drop everything and be deposed.  This is not going to impress the judge.  Finally, they point out that there is an ordinary and regular process for obtaining discovery and they assert that the normal process will work just fine.

They also point out very often that they will file a new motion to dismiss and that it doesn’t make sense to conduct discovery until the judge rules on that, since many of the counts may be gone and therefore not eligible for discovery.  The use the favorite description of defense counsel by calling Gowan’s purpose a “fishing expedition.”  Of course, it is a fishing expedition to some extent.  A lot of discovery is a fishing expedition.  I suspect that Tilt is going to drag this case out as long and painfully as they possibly can.

We should expect to see a motion to dismiss soon that will look much like the first one.  I suspect that the judge will likely preserve enough of the case to allow Gowan to proceed into discovery.  It would appear that the discovery will be contentious and annoying.  Full Tilt knows that she doesn’t know much about the details of how their arrangement works and they don’t intend to make it easy for her to figure it out.  Ultimately, I don’t think that will work.  The burden for her to survival dismissal at this point in the case isn’t that high.


I kinda cheated on my quest.

I was getting bored with the FPP sats, so I played an hour or so of 5/10.  The game was pretty good and I took $200 or so off the table.  I felt pretty much in control of my game and was playing good.  Later last night, I noticed that one of the fishier players from the 5/10 was now playing 15/30.  I sat in that game even though my buy-in was over half my bankroll (and almost all my cash).  An hour or two later and I had doubled my roll.  This isn’t the kind of outcome that is effective at keeping me at the FPP tables.

I’ve been looking at the 2009 WSOP schedule and I think that my edge is the biggest at the limit tourneys.  This may be in part because I did so well in the one last year, but I think that it is more than that.  Anyhow, they seem to run limit events every Friday.  I could fly out on Thursday after work and back on Sunday and probably do a number of them.  Unless I made the final table, I would be done on Saturday.

The problem in terms of your EV is that the buy-in is only $1,500 or $2,000 for most of the events and I’d spend nearly that much in airfare and hotel.  My best EV probably would result from losing on Day One and hitting the cash tables all day Saturday.