Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Monday, July 20, 2009

Take the Cannoli: S.F. Videogame Company Follows Up Mafia Game Lawsuit With Poker Chip Action

Posted By on Mon, Jul 20, 2009 at 7:30 AM

click to enlarge Online card sharks beware...
  • Online card sharks beware...
If ever anyone wanted to design a videogame tracing the exciting life of a copyright attorney, San Francisco's Zynga Game Network would be the operation to pull it off. But then, they don't have to play this game -- they lived it.

Not quite three weeks after taking a competitor to court for allegedly piggybacking on Zynga's virtual look at the Cosa Nostra, the self-described world's largest social gaming network last week fired off a suit against a quintet of unidentified online desperadoes it accuses of cheating on its Texas Hold 'Em videogame. This, incidentally, would get you shot in the Web Wild Wild West.

Players of Zynga's poker game are assigned a standard number of virtual "chips" upon entry, and can earn more via successful play or ponying up and paying the site. Yet this suit alleges that "John Doe Nos. 1-5" have set up Web sites unlawfully undercutting Zynga by selling black market "chips," illegally branded with the Zynga name, at cut-rate prices. 

Zynga is crying foul via six charges -- including trademark infringement, unfair competitionm and breach of contract. As for how much money they want from the desperadoes once it figures out who they are -- that remains to be seen. But when a company claims "irreparable harm" it figures it'll be more than a dollar and a quarter. The amount "cannot be computed at this time but will be proven at trial."

The blog page Zynga accused some of the unknown miscreants of using to illegally hawk bogus chips -- -- has since been deactivated. It looks like the defendants have been taking Kenny Rogers' advice -- "You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away and" -- this is the big one -- "know when to run."

Zynga, however, could fire back with a quote from the same song: "If you're gonna play the game, boy, ya gotta learn to play it right."

H/T   |   Courthouse News

  • Pin It

Tags: , , ,

About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"