We don’t know how we managed not to cover this at the time but a former Hollywood agent, Jamie Gold, recently won the World Series of Poker and a cool US$12 million in prize money.
A field of 8,773 players started the event, which, in a shock twist, was held at a Las Vegas casino. After 12 days of play – as long as a tennis grand slam – it was down to a final table of nine players, including four professional players, Gold, a retired businessman, an ad salesman, an insurance broker and a kid who had just graduated.
Thirteen hours later, Gold suckered former Colorado restaurant manager Paul Wasicka, 25, into calling his “All In”, down 10s to Queens, and Gold became the champ.
None of this is the interesting part, obviously. The real action has taken place since Gold celebrated by waving piles of cash to the cameras and calling his sick father on his mobile phone as the media drank it up.
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Fast forward two weeks and we’re all off to court. The massive payout has been frozen by a Nevada judge because one of Gold’s LA television producer mates has slapped an injunction on the $12 million, alleging he has a voicemail from Gold, recorded only hours before he sat at that final table, promising to give him half the winnings if he happened to emerge victorious.
The best part is WHY Gold allegedly offered this split. The plaintiff, Bruce Crispin Leyser, has told the Clark County District Court that the split was in exchange for Leyser helping find celebrities to compete in the event, wearing the logo for an offshore internet gambling site.
Leyser says he fulfilled his part of the deal. Yes sir. Those watching closely – really closely – might have noticed Scooby Doo co-star Matthew Lillard and Punk’d comedian Dax Shepard among the 8,773 contestants.
Believe it. If Leyser’s claims are true, then this has to be the worst sponsorship deal in history. $US6 million for labels on a couple of C-listers hunched over tables, among 9,000 other people in similar sunglasses, bad hats and shirts.
You could get Tiger Woods on Day Four at the US Masters to wear a T-shirt reading: “I love Barbie Dolls” for that kind of money.