According to the Associated Press, World Series of Poker main event winner Jamie Gold has agreed to settle the dispute over half of the tournament's $12 million grand prize with Los Angeles-based TV producer Bruce Crispin Leyser. They agreed the matter should be resolved "without litigation." "Jamie always intended on sharing his winnings with Crispin," the statement says. "Jamie and Crispin are happy to report they have fully settled this matter. They are pleased to be closing this chapter and look forward to continued success."
Jamie Gold is a former Hollywood agent turned poker pro. He defeated 8,772 players to win the World Series of Poker Main Event tournament last summer. The two did not make clear how much money Leyser would receive. Gold already withdrew $6 million, half of his take from winning the poker tournament. The other half was frozen by court order after Leyser filed suit against Gold in August, claiming they had agreed to split the winnings. Win a seat into the 2007 WSOP by playing in a satellite tournament at BodogPoker!
Leyser said Gold agreed to the split in exchange for him finding celebrities to represent the "Bodog" label in the Main Event. Leyser even kept a voicemail Gold left on his phone on the final day of the tournament in which Gold promised to pay Leyser "your half." At a December court hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Roger L. Hunt rejected a motion by Gold's lawyers to lift an injunction set in September on the $6 million. The money which was being held at the tournament host, the Rio casino-hotel, has been ordered to be moved into an interest-bearing account. Hunt also indicated Leyser likely would win his claim to the $6 million.
This settlement is coming up right after Online gambling site Bodog.com terminated their business relationship with Jamie Gold. Perhaps Gold decided on a settlement since losing his Bodog sponsorship. Rumors have it that the settlement was for $4 million going to Leyser and $2 million to Gold. Jamie Gold is currently the only WSOP champion within the last five years without a deal with an online poker room.