Friday, March 30, 2007

Newly Designed Structures And Improvements At This Year's WSOP

Players competing in this year's World Series of Poker can expect to find a richer variety of games taking place in a newly designed "poker superstructure" adjacent to the Rio, but not much of a presence from any online poker sites that accept wagers from U.S. residents.

World Series of Poker commissioner Jeffrey Pollack detailed some of the new wrinkles for poker's biggest event - including a schedule moved up nearly a month - on a recent conference call.

Pollack did not identify the Internet poker rooms in question, but said the World Series would have no affiliation with sites that cater to U.S. customers.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, signed by President Bush last fall, aims to crack down on Internet gambling by Americans by severely restricting financial transactions linked to online gambling.

"You're not going to see very much of it," Pollack said of online poker's presence at the World Series. "We are not in business with any dot-net that's affiliated with a dot-com that takes U.S. bets."

Among the poker sites affected would be Bodog, Full Tilt, Poker Stars and Ultimatebet. In recent years, some of those companies had set up plush hospitality rooms and eye-catching promotional displays at the World Series.

Pollack also reiterated the World Series will not accept any "third-party" registration for the tournament except from organizations that have a licensing agreement, such as sponsors, charities or affiliated casinos. That means online poker sites that run satellites for the World Series cannot register their winners directly. (Of course, they could send the winners cash and tell them to register themselves.)

The final table of this year's $10,000 main event is scheduled for noon July 17, more than three weeks earlier than last year's date of Aug. 10. The 2007 World Series begins June 1 with a $5,000 mixed Texas hold 'em - meaning limit and no-limit - event.

"We'll also be on ESPN earlier than ever before. The turnaround to TV will be shorter," Pollack said.

The revised schedule positions the tournament as "the summer programming we were meant to be, rather than creeping into the fourth quarter," where it faces competition from the NFL and college football.

Playing off the success of last year's $50,000 buy-in HORSE tournament - a mixed-games event featuring hold 'em, Omaha, razz, 7-card stud and 7-card stud high-low split that attracted many of the world's best poker players - officials tweaked and expanded the roster of games available during this year's World Series.

"Last year's HORSE event was a way for us to signal we're going to look at the tournament fresh again each year," Pollack said. "We wanted to (make HORSE-type games available) not just for the top players but for the other players as well."

The 2007 schedule includes a $2,500 HORSE event, a $5,000 HORSE event and a $1,000 SHOE event along with the reprise of the $50,000 HORSE world championship tournament. Another mixed-game tournament pairs Omaha and stud high-low.

Other tournaments feature "specialty" games such as deuce-to-7 triple draw, Omaha high-low and razz.

"That comes from meeting with the players, and listening to the players' requests," said Howard Greenbaum, chief of operations for the World Series.

In all, 55 "bracelet events" - indicating a championship bracelet is awarded to the winner - are planned.

The tournament "superstructure" at the Rio will hold 258 tables this year, according to Pollack, who said officials plan to accommodate as many as 10,000 players in the championship event but will not cap the field.

"If there's more, we'll find a way to figure it out," Pollack said.

Last year's championship event drew a record 8,773 players, but that number could decline because of the government's crackdown on online gambling. One offshore sports betting site set an over/under of 6,900 players. Betting on the size of the field is not permitted in Nevada.

The main event, scheduled to begin July 6, has been no-limit Texas hold 'em since its inception in 1970.

"No-limit hold 'em is the game of choice," World Series tournament director Jack Effel said. "You'll continue to see a nice, healthy offering there."

By Jeff Haney

Source: Poker Gazette

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

CardPlayer Media Announces Newly Expanded Player Representation Services


Las Vegas, March 28, 2007 - Card Player Media, the world’s foremost poker authority, announces that it has expanded its player representation services. Card Player Media has added public relations to its already impressive list of services for the professional poker player. Launched in 2006, the player representation services include; contract negotiations, player management, and corporate sponsorships for the poker professionals signed under Card Player Media.

“We are thrilled to be adding public relations services for the poker professionals signed under Card Player Media. We will continue to build on the Card Player reputation 19 years in the making by increasing the national media and corporate exposure of poker players.” Said Barry Shulman, Card Player Media’s C.E.O.

The Card Player public relations services will focus on mainstream media, targeting print and T.V. The services will also include press releases, media training, and image development. “Our goal is to create more mainstream exposure for celebrity poker players. With our public relations services, we will be bringing national media exposure to the best and the brightest poker professionals.” Said Tim Resnik, Chief Marketing Officer, Card Player Media. Players currently under Card Player Representation include: Mike Matusow, John D’Agostino, Barry Shulman, John Friedberg, and Jeff Shulman.

About Card Player Media
Card Player Media is a leading media resource for poker enthusiasts at every level of interest and ability. With more than 19 years of service to the poker industry, Card Player Media is the publisher of Card Player and Card Player Europe. Card Player Media also owns and operates a leading poker information por
tal on the Internet,

Source: Click here to view the CardPlayer post.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Poker Players Move for Summary Judgment Against The World Poker Tour



Players Argue That WPTE’s Illegal Agreements Constitute “Per Se” and “Quick Look” Violations of the Antitrust Laws

Los Angeles, March 14, 2007 – Today, seven of the world’s leading professional poker players filed a motion for summary judgment against WPT Enterprises, Inc. (“WPTE”) in federal district court in Los Angeles. In their motion for summary judgment, Plaintiffs Chris Ferguson, Andrew Bloch, Annie Duke, Phil Gordon, Joseph Hachem, Howard Lederer, and Greg Raymer have presented undisputed facts which establish that WPTE, which owns the World Poker Tour (“WPT”), has committed multiple violations of federal antitrust laws.

Specifically, the Plaintiffs seek a summary declaration by the Court that WPTE and the casinos which host WPT events have unlawfully conspired to force poker players to sign non-negotiable “releases” that require those players to grant WPTE the right to use their valuable names, likenesses, voices and images for zero compensation so that WPTE can exploit these rights to promote its own products and services. The Plaintiffs contend that the undisputed facts establish that WPTE and the casinos have agreed to boycott and exclude from WPT events any poker player who does not sign such a “release.” The Plaintiffs have also offered undisputed evidence that WPTE and the casinos are conspiring to restrict the number of poker tournaments in competition with the WPT by agreeing that the casinos cannot sponsor any televised non-WPT events. The Plaintiffs contend that these agreements constitute “per se” or “quick look” violations of federal antitrust laws. The “per se” and “quick look” tests apply to conduct which is so inherently anticompetitive that a court may summarily decide that such conduct violates U.S. antitrust laws without the need for full discovery or a trial.

If the motion is granted, WPTE will be permanently enjoined from: (1) agreeing with the casinos to require the Plaintiffs and other poker players to sign releases granting WPTE the right to use those players’ intellectual property rights to promote WPTE products and services; (2) using the grant of Plaintiffs’ intellectual property rights obtained from past releases; and (3) prohibiting casinos from sponsoring non-WPT poker tournaments.

Jeffrey Kessler, lead counsel for the poker players, stated: “If the players prevail in this summary judgment motion, WPTE’s unlawful agreements will come to a quick end without the need for further discovery or a trial. All poker players would then be able to compete in WPT tournaments without being forced to give up their valuable intellectual property rights for no compensation and the casinos would be free to sponsor competing televised poker tournaments of their own.”

A copy of the public version of Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment will be available at
Plaintiffs are represented by the law firm of Dewey Ballantine LLP, whose attorneys have successfully represented NFL, NBA, and other players in similar antitrust lawsuits.

Jeffrey Kessler (212) 259-8050,
Alexander Kayne (212) 259-6915, akayne@

About Dewey Ballantine LLP Dewey Ballantine LLP, founded in 1909, is an international law firm with more than 550 attorneys and locations in New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, East Palo Alto, Austin, London, Warsaw, Frankfurt, Milan, Beijing, and Rome. Through its network of offices, the firm handles some of the largest and most complex legal matters in the world.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Motivational Page Added To Website

Bill Bruce

I have included some of my favorite quotes on a motivational page on my website.

Maybe you will find them inspiring also. I will be adding additional items to that page regularly, so check back often.