In the early hours of May 27, two of professional gambling’s big names sat down for a private, high-stakes poker match.

Leon Tsoukernik, a Czech entrepreneur and casino mogul, was facing off against Matthew Kirk, an Australian gambler known for his hefty bets. A couple of others came to watch. In a little more than an hour, Tsoukernik lost millions. But when Kirk tried to collect his winnings, Tsoukernik refused to pay him out in full. 

Now, more than five months later, the two men are locked in a bitter and scandal-tinged court battle over who is entitled to the riches.

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