In the world of professional gamblers, that's a bet that one of the two contestants will win and the loser will honor. "If you don't keep your word, you don't have much," said Jonathan Grotenstein, the co-author of "All In: The (Almost) Entirely True Story of the World Series of Poker," according to Harriet Ryan, a Court TV reporter.
That comment arises out of amateur poker player Jamie Gold's winnings of some $12,000,000 in a recent Las Vegas tournament. That win now involves the World Series of Poker, a lawsuit, celebrity endorsements for BoDog apparel, reputations, recorded telephone messages, an injunction and an alleged, unwritten promise to split half of those winnings.
It's almost a made-for-TV drama-laden miniseries turned reality show, and no, I can't make up stuff this good. I just report it.
Let me introduce the other players in this story. British TV executive Crispin Leyser alleges that he befriended Gold prior to the tournament and agreed to share the $10,000 seat that BoDog paid for in return for Gold delivering celebrities who would wear BoDog apparel while Gold played Texas Hold 'Em. Gold, however, is a talent agent and television producer and has represented James Gandolfini, Lucy Liu and Felicity Huffman. If that's the case, then you have to wonder why he needed Leyser to find celebs to wear T-shirts at the tournament.
Apparently Gold refused to split his winnings and Leyser sued. Leyser's allegations, however, were good enough to convince a judge to issue an injunction prohibiting the Rio from distributing the winnings to anybody. Leyser claims to have a recorded telephone message from Gold that says, "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. All right, I send you love," according to Leyser's suit.
In the 15 months before his victory, Gold had been playing poker 40 hours a week in card rooms and casinos around Los Angeles, and had won just $100,000. This recent victory was a big change that resulted in some big change.
Now, we just have to wait and see whether Leyser or Gold has the better poker face, and who will win the Final Table in Court.