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Poker News: September 11, 2006

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Copyright © 2006 Sunday Mail; Glasgow (UK)

HEADLINE: Poker: Honour Among Gamblers ; PLAY YOUR CARDS RIGHT

EVER since pro gamblers and card sharks first appeared on Mississippi riverboats people have been prepared to "invest" in them for a share of their winnings. (also see Poker History)

These investments are often little more than short-term loans. But the code of honour that binds gamblers means such arrangements are no more formal than a handshake.

According to Jonathan Grotenstein - co-author of All In: The (Almost) Entirely True Story of the World Series of Poker - card players frequently cut such deals.

He said: "I don't think anybody in the history of poker has ever written out a formal contract but there are bets made all the time.

"If you don't keep your word you don't have much."

Greg Raymer and Joe Hachem, winners of the World Series of Poker in 2004 and 2005 respectively, both sold shares in themselves before starting their bid for glory.

Once they collected their winnings these investors queued up to receive handsome payments.

When Jamie Gold scooped $12 million at this year's WSOP finale in August he said: "I'm going to share this with some of my friends."

The rest, he claimed, would go towards the cost of caring for his ill father.

But 17 days later Crispin Leyser filed a lawsuit for half the cash after claiming he had agreed a deal to split Gold's WSOP earnings.

Leyser claims Gold told him in July that internet gambling site had agreed to pay for a $10,000 WSOP seat if he could get celebrities to wear branded clothing during the tournament.

According to the lawsuit, Leyser then arranged for actor Matthew Lillard and comedian Dax Shepard to wear Bodog kit.

The claimant also insists he has a voice mail confirming the pair's oral agreement regarding the prize money.

It's a messy affair and has still to reach a conclusion.

Poker players are the guys at the sharp end but their presence at high-stake showdowns is often down to a team of sponsors.

However, it would be a dark day for the game if contracts had to come into play for funding.

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Article downloaded from the World Wide Web on Sept 11, 2006:

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