January 23, 2020 Featured Articles, Poker Gossip, Poker News Marton

Should LLinusLLove sue Upswing Poker for stealing his name?

Doug Polk and his popular poker coaching site Upswing Poker may be in some trouble.

A thread erupted on the Two Plus Two Forum’s famous News, Views, and Gossip topic. In it, users are debating whether or not Linus “LLinusLLove” Loeliger should sue Upswing for using his name, image and hand histories in their promotional and commercial material.

Can LLinusLLove Sue Doug Polk?

What the 2+2 users are accusing Upswing Poker of is the unlawful use of the name and likeness of LLinusLLove.

According to the Digital Media Law Project’s website:

“In most states, you can be sued for using someone else’s name, likeness, or other personal attributes without permission for an exploitative purpose. Usually, people run into trouble in this area when they use someone’s name or photograph in a commercial setting, such as in advertising or other promotional activities.”

Unfortunately for Doug Polk and his company, the content on their website may very well fit that description.

Earlier this month, they posted a video and article with LLinusLLove’s name in the title and his image in the thumbnail.


The video is by Mike Brady. So far it’s nothing out of the ordinary. Public figures have articles written and videos made about them all the time.

However, they use this material specifically to advertise their poker strategy course. The core reason behind trademark and unauthorized likeness laws is to avoid consumer confusion. Thus the question is if an uninformed internet user casually browsing a poker site could think that LLinusLLove is in some way involved in the project.

The situation could get even messier if LLinusLLove would ever start a poker coaching site of his own. Many famous poker players have done so – most recently Fedor Holz, for example.

However, the 2+2 users are accusing Polk’s coaching site of something else as well. Allegedly, they bought hand histories of hands LLinusLLove played from someone else. That is against PokerStars’ terms of service. Also, it may raise ethical questions among poker players. By thoroughly analyzing someone else’s strategy in public, aren’t you making it harder for them to continue to win at their rate?

The Reaction

The first few responses to the OP’s suggestion in the thread were dismissing or mocking him. It may be partly because of the odd way he phrased it: “Should Linus Luv [sic!] sue Upswing IMMEDIATELY?”

However, soon people voiced their agreement with the sentiment. And by now, the discussion has garnered around 80 responses. Totally bogus suggestions on 2+2 tend to be shut down immediately.

So far LLinsusLLove himself hasn’t reacted to the alleged legal wrongdoing by Upswing.

Whether this case will get to court completely depends on the Swiss pro. This would a civil court case, not criminal court. Therefore, he would have to sue, law enforcement wouldn’t get involved otherwise.

In general, poker players tend to be very “lawsuit-happy”. Doug Polk, for example, was threatened with a defamation suit by Charlie Carrel for something much less just last year.

We’ll see if this latest chapter in poker legal drama will ever escalate. Our guess: it most likely won’t.

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