Sunday, May 22, 2011
A Toronto lawyer who left Bay Street in 2006 in an abortive attempt to make it as a professional Internet poker player has failed in a bid to write off the $120,000 loss he ran up that year before slinking back to practice. Steven A. Cohen claimed he made the career switch in December 2005 after Goodmans LLP deferred a decision on elevating him to partner for a second consecutive year.
His master plan envisioned a $150,000 annual profit by targeting weak, inexperienced players in small-stakes games, before elevating in the long-term to higher stakes for a $500,000 annual return, the same level he would have made as partner at Goodmans, according to the ruling in Cohen v. The Queen. ...
But things didn’t quite go as planned, and his $80,000 in winnings for 2006 were dwarfed by the $200,000 he ploughed into the venture. ... In the May 12 ruling, Tax Court of Canada Justice Frank Pizzitelli decided Cohen’s actions did not suggest the poker venture was conducted in a business-like way, and refused Cohen’s appeal of his tax assessment which denied his bid to deduct his $120,000 losses. ... The decision also delivered a damning verdict on Cohen’s poker skills.
(Hat Tip: Francine Lipman.)