Remember the US PokerBowl, that team-poker thing that seemed like a neat if somewhat forced concept but drew enough big names to put on a showy event late last year in Las Vegas? The thing was footnote-worthy in at least a couple of ways. First, because several of the teams self-named by participating players got themselves in a bit of hot water by openly ripping off names from the NFL and elsewhere. It's likely a couple of stern phone calls from NFL Properties got that taken care of... and it was taken care of in a big hurry, by all accounts.
Second was that the event was taped for later broadcast on Fox Sports, with none other than Dan Michalski of pokerati.com doing the color commentary work on the broadcast, along with the Donkey Bomber himself, 2007 WSOP Player of the Year Tom Schneider. I was so looking forward to watching this, and I had put in my request for a signed piccie of Michalski in a monkey suit months ago.
Alas. Seems there was some other trouble afoot at the USPB, the extent of which I'm still trying to determine. Per an e-mail that Dan just made public, it seems as if the financing fell through at the last minute... and the winners' checks bounced,a situation which it seems is still being worked on somehow behind the scenes. Looks like the broadcast might have fallen through, too.
Here's part of what Dan put up on the site, from his e-mail:
Poker Bowl Participants: The nature of this email is to inform you that Poker Business Enterprises ( “PBE” ) has entered into escrow to purchase the assets of USPOKERBOWL (”USPL”). PBE is in the process of evaluating all the assets and liabilities that USPL has incurred under the ownership of John Nightingale and Traci Wolfe. This due diligence period will be for the next 30 days. This includes the prize money which was not paid at the poker event held at the Palms in Las Vegas along with any promises not kept to franchisees. PBE is deeply committed to finding a resolution satisfactory to all parties who are still owed prize money...
Some poker operations are woefully undercapitalized. It appears as this was one of them. Tough break for Dan, though.