NEVADA – As reported by Las Vegas Review Journal: "The newly crowned World Series of Poker champion has found himself in another heads-up competition, only this time the venue is the
Jamie Gold won the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event Regional Justice Center and the stakes are half of his main event prize money.
"A British television producer now living in Los Angeles has sued Jamie Gold in Clark County District Court, saying the winner of the World Series of Poker's signature event had failed to live up to an agreement to split any winnings.
"A judge earlier this week signed a temporary restraining order keeping Gold from collecting any of his prize money.
"Gold, a 36-year-old self-proclaimed Hollywood agent from Malibu, Calif., finished first out of a field of 8,773 players to win the $10,000 buy-in no-limit Texas Hold'em event. Play spanned two weeks at the Rio and ended in the early morning hours of Aug. 12.
"Gold's prize was $12 million, the largest single payout in World Series of Poker history.
"However, nine days later, Bruce Crispin Leyser, who bills himself as a poker instructor and player, said Gold had reneged on their agreement to split the prize money 50-50.
"In the lawsuit, Leyser contends that he and Gold both were vying for a single entry in the main event to be paid for by Bodog.com, an online gambling site.
"Leyser helped Gold secure a pair of Hollywood B-list celebrities to wear clothing emblazoned with the Bodog logo during the World Series main event. The filing stated that Gold insisted he be the player to use the Bodog seat in the main event but would split any winnings with Leyser.
"…On Aug. 10, the day before the final table began, Gold left a telephone message for Leyser, assuring him that their deal was still in place, according to the filing.
"'You're obviously very well protected; everything will be fine, but nothing's going to happen today, that's for sure. I have the best tax attorneys and the best minds in the business working for me from New York and L.A., and what we're probably going to do is set up a Nevada corporation, and it's going to ... have to pay out of the corporation. I can't just pay out personally because I could get nailed.'
"Gold said payment might take a few days, and he asked Leyser to be patient.
"'I promise you, you can keep this recording on my word, there's no possible way you're not going to get your half ... after taxes.'
"…Sources said Leyser attended the final table, watching as Gold eliminated seven of his eight competitors over a 12-hour stretch.
"In a statement released through his lawyer and publicist, Gold said he was 'disappointed' that 'a person he has only known since July of this year has elected to file litigation rather than continue the parties' discussions in an effort to find a resolution to this matter.'
"…Sources said the Rio is still in possession of Gold's $12 million prize.
"…Bodog released a statement concerning the lawsuit, saying Gold earned the Web site's entry by helping find celebrities to play in the main event.
"'We made the decision to include him on Team Bodog in the World Series due to his aid in setting up our celebrity team, his successful tournament background and his master-student relationship with (two-time World Series of Poker champion) Johnny Chan,' Bodog said. 'We are unaware of any side deal he may have made in obtaining these celebrities.'
"Since the final table ended, Gold has drawn his share of controversy, fueled in part because he was seen with bodyguards during the latter part of the tournament. In addition, a Web site, defamer.com, has reported that Gold never represented some of the celebrities for whom he claimed to have been an agent.
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