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WSOP Champ gets sued

August 23 - Jamie Gold won $12 million when he captured the 2006 WSOP main event but according to Harrahs he has yet to see any of the money. It is being held pending the outcome of a lawsuit, filed by Bruce Leyser, who claims that half the prize money ($6 million) belongs to him.

Bodog Poker is at the heart of the drama. Bodog sponsored Jamie Gold, a former Hollywood talent agent, on the understanding that he would use his connections to recruit celebrity endorsers during the WSOP. Gold asked Leyser to help and Lesyer in turn was able to recruit Matthew Lillard and Dax Shepard (the guy from Punk’d).

Here comes the fun part: according to Leyser, Gold promised him 50% of his main event winnings for the job he did. One might argue that Lillard and Shepard hardly qualify as “celebrity endorsers” - even Hollywood Poker can manage C-Listers that are better known than Dax - but be that as it may Leyser apparently has voicemail tapes that back up the 50/50 split.

Jamie Gold allegedly left messages on Leyser’s voicemail, including one on the day of the final table, where he confirms their deal. A judge issued a restraining order preventing Harrahs from paying out Gold’s winnings until the case is heard in court, scheduled for September 1.

Who is Leyser? He made an appearance as an instructor on the WPT Boot Camp, so he has a background of sorts in poker.

The bottom line is even more free publicity for Bodog and a dramatic finish to the 2006 World Series Of Poker Main Event. The final table proved to be an absolute cakewalk for Gold but the real fight might be just around the corner. We’ll keep you posted with more updates with the Jamie Gold lawsuit as and when they become available.

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