Thursday, February 08, 2007

Jamie Gold, Crispin Leyser Settle $6M WSOP Dispute

The much publicized legal battle between Jamie Gold and Bruce Crispin Leyser has been settled, according to statements released earlier in the week, but the monetary outcome remains unknown. As virtually all good poker fans know, Leyser played an instrumental role in Gold's landing two celebrity players for Bodog, and in a private deal struck between the two, was to receive 50% of Gold's winnings in return.

Little did anyone know that Gold would card-rack his way to the $12 million title, but that's what happened. Gold then declined to fulfill his part of the deal, perhaps preferring blueberry hedge funds instead, and indeed tried to withdraw all $12 million of his winner's share from the Rio's awaiting prize fund, public knowledge of the deal be damned. That didn't work out so well. And once again, the U.S. courts were on their way to once again affirming that oral contracts backed by sufficient circumstantial evidence are, indeed, binding.

With Gold seeing the writing on the wall, and with both he and Leyser also watching the lawyerly bills increase, the two finally agreed to an out-of-court settlement. We suspect that the actual dollars involved in the settlement will leak out eventually, though they're likely to remain sealed for the near future. Wicked Chops Poker puts the over/under on Leyser's take at $4.2 million (nice one, guys), and they're probably pretty close to the mark --- I'd bet the under, but just slightly, due to outstanding tax considerations.

It's also for sure that Leyser will not receive the entire $6 million, because if Gold actually paid the deal in full, then he'd have no reason to negotiate the settlement in this manner and keep the terms under wraps. God knows the dude could use some sort of positive newsy spin, given his recent schooling on "High Stakes Poker" and the loss of his endorsement contract with Bodog. Bodog didn't get much of value from the now-preempted deal, excepting expensive headaches.

As for Gold, he's now free to turn his attention back to his BuzzNation and "America's Sexiest Mom" enterprises. At last report, "American Idol" still seemed to be pulling down slightly larger audiences, despite Gold's initial claims. And as for Gold's poker future, who's to say? No modern-era WSOP Main Event winner has come close to trashing his poker-world reputation in such a brief period of time, but good buddy Johnny Chan remains available for huggles when Chan's not busy not tipping dealers.

And with a nod and a wink, we're off.... ;-)

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