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2006 WSOP CHAMPION JAMIE GOLD SUED



2006 WSOP Champion Jamie Gold Sued for Half his Winnings
© 2006 Randy Saylor

All that glitters isn’t always gold, and some of the shine might be coming off of Jamie Gold’s 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event bracelet. Gold has been sued by a former business partner for half of his recent $12 Million win.

A suit filed Monday in District Court in Las Vegas claims that Gold entered into a verbal agreement committing half his World Series winnings, and asked for injunctive relief to prevent Gold from collecting his millions from the Rio Hotel and Casino until the case is resolved.

Bruce Crispin Leyser bills himself as a “Television Development Executive.” He met Jamie Gold in Las Vegas in July, before the start of the prestigious event. The two hit it off quickly, with common interests in television and poker. Gold’s background as a talent agent led them to discuss co-producing a television show.

Gold asked Leyser to assist him with a contract he had arranged with Bodog Poker, whereby Bodog paid Gold’s $10,000 entry fee in exchange for Gold arranging celebrities playing in the event to wear Bodog logo apparel. The alleged arrangement called for Leyser to locate the celebrities in exchange for one half of Gold’s winnings.

Leyser arranged for Dax Shepard (MTV’s Punk’d) and Matthew Lillard (Shaggy in the Scooby Doo movies) to play under the arrangement. Zoinks!

Neither Leyser nor his lawyer has acknowledged having a written contract with Gold. The central claim of their case relies on a voicemail message left by Gold three hours before play began at the final table.

Quote: I promise you - you can keep this recording on my word - there's no possible way you're not going to get half after taxes, so please just be with me. I can't imagine you're going to have a problem with it. I just don't want any stress about any money or any of that (expletive) going on today, or even after the end of the day."
"But please just trust me. You've trusted me the whole way; you can trust me a little bit more. I promise you there's no way anybody will go anywhere with your money. It's your money.

Gold then allegedly stated that he would incorporate a Nevada company to arrange the transfer of Leyser’s share, to avoid tax concerns. This arouses suspicion in itself, since all that is needed to share such winnings is presenting an IRS Form 5754 to the casino. The income is then assigned to the respective parties.

Chief District Judge Kathy Hardcastle granted a temporary restraining order preventing the Rio from paying out the winnings until September 1, when the first hearing in the case is scheduled.

Rumors have circulated that famous pro Johnny Chan, holder of ten World Series of Poker titles, is in line to receive 10 per cent of Gold’s winnings in exchange for mentoring him in poker. The two met several years ago while playing in the Los Angeles Hustler Casino.

Agent or Assistant?

Gold has been no stranger to controversy since his big win. Although his $12 Million win should stand on its own, he possibly shared an embellished resume with reporters seeking information on his background back in the days when he was just the chip leader, rather than the champion.

Gold claimed to have represented James Gandolfini (The Sopranos), Lucy Liu (Charlie’s Angels), Jimmy Fallon (Saturday Night Live), and Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives), among others. It is possible (and unverified) that he was simply working as an assistant at a talent firm that represented many stars. The only verifiable client on Gold’s roster was adult movie actor Ron Jeremy, a name that was suspiciously omitted from Gold’s history.

Endorsements

Bodog Poker certainly has to be pleased with the exposure they got with Jamie Gold’s Bodog hat constantly a part of the final table coverage. The vision of him peering around his monstrous stacks of chips certainly portrayed a good image. That image was cemented days after the conclusion when Bodog added an endorsement deal to Gold’s portfolio.

"Jamie truly epitomizes the Bodog spirit. We are incredibly proud of his achievement and thrilled by his performance in the tournament," said Calvin Ayre, Founder and CEO of Bodog.com. "This was the most exciting and dominant performance since the WSOP has grown to its current size, fueled by poker's ever growing popularity."

Besides the typical tournament entries and personal services contract, Gold’s deal reportedly contains $1 Million for television production projects.

Jamie Gold’s accomplishments over two weeks in August are without question. Outlasting 8772 players with millions of dollars on the line is undoubtedly an amazing accomplishment, and analysis of his poker game shows a solid, if not especially creative, player. Whether he can survive this storm of negative publicity will determine if this winner is lauded as a hero in the years to come.

More Reading
2006 World Series of Poker Main Event Day 2 and 3 Report
2006 World Series of Poker Main Event Day 4 and 5 Report
2006 World Series of Poker Main Event Day 6 Report
2006 World Series of Poker Main Event Day 7i Report
2006 World Series of Poker Main Event Day 7ii Report

2006 World Series of Poker Main Event Final Table Report 1
2006 World Series of Poker Main Event Final Table Report 2
 


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