LA, Survivor, Paula Abdul, WPT, and Poker

Seat 2: David Benyamine
Seat 3: Me
Seat 4: Gus Hansen
Seat 5: Chip Reese
Seat 6: Ming Ly We were playing a “min” version of the big game, playing 10 games but everything limit wise was cut in half including the cap: Hold’em
Stud H/L
Omaha H/L
2-7 Triple Draw
Limit Omaha
Stud H/L Regular
Pot Limit Omaha
No Limit Hold’em
2-7 Single Draw NL The game seemed pretty dead for some reason. I played for about 4 hours and won a “peanut,” or $24,000. *************************************************************** Today I played for a little bit online at with “Pokergirl” $100-$200 limit hold’em, heads up. It was back and forth for a while and then I finally quit after winning $500 and change. I later checked my e-mail and saw one that was from Steve Lipscomb. The tone of the e-mail was very positive, and I agreed with most of it, but there was something written in there that is… well, horrifying. Steve wrote: “But, the story does not end there. The World Poker Tour is a business. We value our relationship with WPT players and have always acted with great care and deference when using player images. The few players now trying to stir up controversy around player releases are lost in hypotheticals not reality. A perfect example occurred recently. Without my approval, a banner ad featuring three prominent players was used by a WPT affiliate to drive people to our online poker site. Within an hour of hearing about the ad, I had it removed not because we were legally obligated to, but because the players asked us to and we take their concerns seriously.” The scary sentence? “I had it removed NOT BECAUSE we were LEGALLY obligated to, but because the players asked us to and we take their concerns seriously.” That right there, is an assertion that the WPT would have had the legal right to use that banner if they chose to. In other words, according to Steve, they would have the legal right to put Doyle Brunson, mine, and Gus Hansen’s picture on an online banner for WPTonline. If that is in fact what he is saying, then there is simply NO WAY I could play on the WPT if they expect me to sign a release that gives them the right to use my name and likeness to promote the WPTOnline. It’s important to note that I DO trust Steve Lipscomb and Lyle Berman enough to know that they would never do that. What I don’t have, is a guarantee that for one, it’s solely up to them, and two, that they would NEVER sell the WPT to someone else. If an outside entity took over the WPT they could use these releases and then we’d all be knee deep in legal bills. Personally, if it went to court, I don’t think that the WPT would stand much of a chance, but I seriously hope that day never comes. However, until further notice, based on that scary e-mail, I just don’t think I’d be able to play on the WPT and that would really, really suck. I love playing on the WPT and hope that something can be done in time for Bahamas. ]]>