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  1. Just received the letter from Steve Lipscomb at the W.P.T. and I think it's excellent. I have heard a lot from various pros with a lot more to lose than I have about this release the WPT has us sign. Even to the point of rumors saying no WPT in Aruba, etc. I have signed this release, the release for the UBT, etc, as have virtually all the top pros and top 50 p5s players, and I felt strongly that they were overstating this issue. I hope this letter helps calm the situation and gets everyone back on track.

    I'm gonna sign it again in the Bahamas and this letter makes me think even more strongly that I can feel comfortable doing so.

    I welcome any comments.
  2. I have read this 3 times and I am not grasping what this is in reference too. Can someone shed some light for me?
  3. <span><span>
    An Open Letter to the Poker Community from WPT Founder, Steven Lipscomb:

    As I take stock of all the things we have to be thankful for in the holiday season, I find it appropriate and necessary to share some thoughts with the poker community at large. Firmly believing that people will, in the end, be judged by their actions, I have long made it a policy at the World Poker Tour to let our actions speak for themselves. The persistence of widely disseminated misinformation regarding a number of things has prompted me to break with that tradition today.

    I want to first state that the relationship between the WPT and our players is one of paramount importance to us. Neither the WPT nor the players would be enjoying the extraordinary success we have seen over the last three years without each other. It is essential that we all respect and appreciate what the players, the WPT casinos and the WPT staff have brought to the table in creating this new world of poker. We truly value the relationship we continue to have with our players and see it as a two-way street. We encourage players to bring their concerns directly to us in the effort to ensure a healthy, positive and fruitful relationship and we will continue to attempt to address those issues as quickly as possible. To help facilitate communication, we are launching a For Players Only portion of our website early next year, designed to foster information exchange and dialogue directly with WPT players. Players should make sure we have current email information so we can send them a Players Only password.

    That being said, I would like to focus on the issues that have caused unnecessary concern in order to help put them in perspective.

    FILMING RELEASES:

    The latest hot button issue seems to be the filming release we require players to sign before they play in World Poker Tour events. The release we utilize is a standard filming release that all production companies must have signed by everyone they film or the television broadcaster will refuse to air our material. Filming releases are always broadly drafted to protect against frivolous law suits. The language is clear. The production company can use all the footage it shoots and the persons image in all media.

    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.

    We have always acted this way as a matter of course. But, I am happy to go on record today to promise the poker community that we will always listen to a player who feels that he or she is uncomfortable with how we use their image. If we feel we can or should, we will modify or eliminate that use. And, if not, we will explain, to the best of our ability, why not. What I cannot do is subject WPTE to endless lawsuits by severely restricting the rights we obtain in our filming release. No credible production company could or would do so. And, it is in the interest of all poker players for the WPT to be focusing its efforts and resources on growing poker into one of the largest sports in the world rather than defending an endless line of frivolous lawsuits.

    I challenge the poker community to be very cautious about accepting misinformation without looking further. I am convinced that, if people take the time to investigate how the World Poker Tour has acted, they will agree that we should be commended as a company for the way we have handled this issue and the way we listen and respond to players in general.

    One more thing. The few players trying to make this a wedge issue want people to believe that players may lose endorsement opportunities because of signing WPT or ESPN film releases. Once again, this is not a real concern, but a remote hypothetical. You need to ask if any player has lost an endorsement deal because of WPT, ESPN, FOX, etc. filming releases. The answer is there are none. Players should always let potential sponsors know that they have signed the industry-standard, filming release that makes it possible for them to be on television and therefore be of value to the sponsor. Sponsors and manufacturers deal with these circumstances all the time on every television show from Survivor to Seinfeld. If you are lucky enough to have your television poker exposure make you a star worthy of endorsement contracts, the release will not impede that process.

    And, finally, players who have played in any WPT events over the last three and a half years have already signed a release. That means that signing a release at the next hundred or a thousand WPT tournaments will have no effect of committing them any more than they are already committed.

    THE WORLD POKER TOUR HAS YET TO TURN A PROFIT:

    Another rampant misunderstanding in the poker community is that the World Poker Tour or WPT Enterprises (WPTE) is making massive profits and is somehow the evil empire that refuses to spread the wealth. Nothing could be further from the truth. WPTE has been in business for four years and has yet to turn a profit. We continue to invest in what we believe will be the bright future of poker and the league that launched poker as a sport. And we, more than any institution in the business, have taken and continue to take steps to grow the poker world in general to benefit players and the broader community. Just a few examples:
    • In our second season, we launched and funded the first player management company in history, not because we thought it would make us money, but because we wanted to foster relationships and build opportunities for players. We passed that organization on to Brian Balsbaugh who has managed to make meaningful sponsorship deals a reality for an ever-growing group of players.
    • In Season III, we fulfilled the dream of many people in the poker community by launching and funding the first professional poker league in the history of the sport, giving $2.5 million dollars away prior to securing a broadcast deal. As many of you know, we have yet to receive any return of that investment.
    • In 2004 we invited all poker players and the general public to become investors in the WPT at a very early stage to give everyone an opportunity to benefit from our future growth.
    • In Season IV, the WPT lobbied the Travel Channel on behalf of players and secured a change in the logo policy to allow pre-approved logos at WPT final tables.
    In a broader sense, it is the World Poker Tour, its staff and casino partners that have made this poker boom possible. Every player that commentates on a rival TV show, every player that wins a million dollar first prize, every player that participates in or endorses an online poker room, every player that sits down in a packed poker room full of new players benefits from the World Poker Tour. Some people seem to forget that just three years ago you had to wait a year to get a shot at a million dollar first prize tournament. Poker rooms were being shut down across the country and industry leaders were holding conferences seeking ways to save a dying business. People forget that the biggest five and ten thousand dollar buy-in events had thirty to sixty people in them not the six to nine hundred players you see today.
    A LAND OF OPPORTUNITY

    A tremendous land of opportunity has been created and opened to the poker community by the World Poker Tour and the other poker shows it has spawned. Poker rooms across the country are making money as they never imagined they could or would. Online poker has exploded from a two hundred million dollar market to a three billion dollar market by associating with the WPT and other television shows. And, whereas no one wanted to put regularly scheduled poker on television in the U.S. in 2001/2002, at least fifteen shows are currently airing in the U.S. copying the WPT format.

    There are a lot of people making money in the poker market today. Most of those opportunities did not exist prior to the World Poker Tour. The three founders of Party Gaming cashed out over a billion dollars from their business this year. Estimates are that Full Tilt Poker, owned and launched by A-list poker players, is making hundreds of thousands of dollars a day, millions of dollars a month. Poker players are being paid for appearances, they are endorsing products and poker sites and they are even beginning to crack the difficult layers of legitimate corporate sponsorship. Free-roll television shows totaling millions of dollars in prize money are being announced monthly and new poker interest shows are being produced as well.

    THE WORLD POKER TOUR

    The World Poker Tour is excited by all of this and no one is happier than Lyle Berman or me when players do well and manage to cash in on the poker boom. But, with all the money being made, the poker community should be aware that the guy who put up millions of dollars to change the poker world Mr. Lyle Berman has, to date, not made a cent. He has never drawn a salary and, as of today, he and Lakes Entertainment have not sold one share of World Poker Tour stock. Their investment has appreciated, but I can not imagine that poker players or the poker community begrudge him that any more than they would expect Party Gamings investors or the Full Tilt players to redistribute their profits.

    For my own part, all my compensation is a matter of public record. And, to quote the wife of one of our WPT Champions, I've seen what you made to launch this business and no poker player would have done it for that. I wouldn't have done it. As to my stock in the company, I have sold less than twenty percent of my ownership and continue to believe and invest in the future growth of poker and the World Poker Tour.

    WE ARE AN OPEN BOOK, PLEASE COME READ US

    As a public company, all of this information is easily assessable on any search engine: YAHOO! Finance, CNN Business, Motley Fool, MSNBC, etc. I encourage members of the poker community to look at our company information. Under the watchful eye of the Securities and Exchange Commission, we report how much money the company makes, how much it spends, how much executives are paid and even how much stock, if any, those executives sell. Lyle can attest to the fact that we have yet to turn a profit. He made a $10,000 bet with another poker player when the World Poker Tour began that the company would turn a profit sometime in the first five years. To date, he has not been able to collect on that bet.

    THE WPT AND THE POKER COMMUNITY

    I guess I would like to ask the poker community in general and the poker player community in particular to help us keep focused on the task at hand which is to grow poker into the largest global sports phenomenon in history. I ask that you judge us by what we do and look beyond rumor. Seek the truth; don't just accept misinformation as gospel. While individual players may have their own motivation for spreading misinformation about the WPT or anyone else in our community, keep an open mind and look for the reality. Everyone has his/her own agenda and we are no exception to that rule. But, our incentives tend to align with the growth of poker as a sport that will continue to bring benefit to everyone in the community.

    I appreciate your taking time to digest these thoughts. Together we have managed to change the face of poker forever. Together we have managed to dispel the perception that poker could never be a sport. We look forward to working together in 2006 to find new ways that we can grow the poker world together. And, on behalf of Lyle, Robyn and everyone at the World Poker Tour, we wish a safe and joyous holiday season to you and yours. We truly feel blessed to be a part of this exciting time in poker.

    Regards,

    Steve
    </span></span>
     
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  4. Well that explained it. Thank you.
  5. ie. Our stock price is falling thru the floor, guess we better start addressing some player concerns....

    m
  6. Few q's

    What was this detailed lawyer reviewed and approved letter sent out for? What triggered this letter? Had to be something.

    Also, they have not turned a profit-wow, TV contracts must really be poor! Even grandmother's are watching these WPT events, but they cannot make money on that?

    We all know that the players (or from internet qualifying) put up every penny of any money received by anyone in the money of these tourneys, so what then is the consideration given to every player for signing that agreement?

    What does anyone get back, and it is usually only a few players, from the WPT other then the funds in which the players put up themselves for the tourney? Any contract is not a valid contract without each party to the contract having consideration. I am not saying the players don't recieve consideration, just what is the WPT claiming is the consideration that every player get's from the WPT in these tourney's?

    How can the players own money be consideration? therefore, binding them to any agreement seems pretty useless, no?

    I know what the WPT gets for consideration!
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  7. Read Andybloch.com .... He goes into great detail about his concerns with the WPT...he probably started the topic to begin with. He's an attorney and knows what he's talking about...
  8. Two questions after reading Lipscomb's letter:

    1) How is it a televison show that pays its performers nothing and has achieved ratings beyond its wildest dreams still hasn't earned a profit after 4 years?

    2) Does anyone besides me get the impression the WPT has no plans to ever earn a profit? (not if Lipscomb can help it, anyway)
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  9. This is about the WPT having their own online site and competing with its performers. Cut and dry. WPT will promote their site hard in the upcoming season. If ESPN was smart they would add a million to every event and we would be buying WPT memoribilia. They won't though and people can talk all they want but they will still play WPT for the value. If I was a FTP'er or any pro that was sponsored by a site the WPT competing against me would bug me. I don't see how this affects us though.

    edit

    After reading Andy's site it doesn't appear that is his particular beef with them. I still am too cynical to think that overall this isn't the big thing that bothers most people. Lipscomb made a point to call out Full Tilt Poker for a reason. Also Andy speaks of a players union-this will not happen because we like to believe that people tune in to watch good poker players playing poker. They don't. They tune in to watch a million dollar lottery. That is what makes poker on TV compelling. If Team Full Tilt were to quit playing WPT events that could cause people to play not boycott with them. This is gambling and people want the softest competition. Anyway-I really like Andy a lot and he is one of the most honorable people I have met in poker but most of this stuff about the WPT and endorsements is just about the haves wanting more for themselves. I don't believe that is Andy's goal with this but when most people talk about these types of issues it is because of selfish interests. For guys like us this is a non issue. When a guy like Hoyt Corkins can't get a sniff into the inner circle of freerolls and televised events what is the chance for the rest of us? Most of this player union crap is exclusive-someone always has an angle.

    This war is going to get ugly once the WPT shows start to air-in Aruba they were filming spots pimping the WPT online site hard. This is in direct competition with its players-many of whom derive part of their income from sponsorships. Some sponsorships that directly contradict the waiver they sign at each event.

    (I use dashes because my comma key is locked up)
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  10. beanie what are you talking about ESPN and WPT? They have nothing to do with each-other. Are you saying ESPN should add a million to the WSOP main event and the circuit events? On the other subject I'm figuring TravelChannel does'nt have the budget of ESPN or CBS or even TNT to pay a huge contract and they probably gave them a measly contract since, at the time, other than ESPN, who else would be willing to take a chance on a poker show? The Travel Channel will have to pony up some bigger bucks to keep the WPT when the current contract expires or I see them moving to another channel.
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  11. They just signed like a 4 year extension. What I am saying is if ESPN were to add 1 million dollars to all televised events the WPT would cease to exist within weeks.

    Daniels blog talked about the online images thing. Trust me boys and girls even if the players get what they want this story is not over. The WPT starting their own online site was destined to cause some serious flack.

    Do you realize that the WPT is in direct competition with players on most of the things they can derive residual income from? As a publicly traded company in the US I don't see why the WPT has much interest in having an online poker room. US citizens obviously can't play. It seems like they are ticking off the players for almost no reason. (I know they are hoping online poker will become legal in the US)
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  12. Also,

    In Daniel Negreau's last blog entry, the last section, he talks about this letter... He also says he may not play anymore WPT events if things aren't worked about before the Bahamas tourney... Sounds like Andy Bloch's movement is gaining some prominent riders...
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  13. I really think WPT needs to fix the final table format and pay the filming fees and not rush it. And I dont think they should be able to put players on their ads for theit online site etc.

    here is a good thread where a WPT representative posted the letter:
    http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showflat.php?
    Cat=0&amp;Number=4260294&amp;an=0&amp;page=0&amp;g onew=1#UNREAD
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  14. I think WPT understands the risks of whats going and are trying to address players concerns. I also believe they have a very powerful name-brand and have great strength in developing the poker phemenon. Most serious players I know would rather play a WPT event than the WSOP (despite its illustrious history it has become a complete crapshoot).

    Pretty confident in the company and I hope things pan out for them bc I just bought some WPTE today ;)
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  15. Just an open question, what if some named players boycott WPT events, for the common person that watches the show, they won't know. To them the "pros" just didn't make the final table. They get to see the average Joe play for millions, which is a huge appeal. So really the travel channel is still getting viewers, which translates into selling ad space at a high price. The boycotting pros cost themselves the chance at a high payout and TV exposure. And the WPT brand name continues on.
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  16. WPT has the ability to make anyone a star. I think the players will find out exactly how valuable they are in this process.
  17. beanie demonstrates once again why he is my favorite poster on P5's.
  18. I definitely can understand both sides of this issue. I think the irony of it all, is that without the WPT, many players wouldn't have been able to enjoy the large-scale publicity and notoriety that they do, unless they ABSOLUTELY KILLED the WSOP in any given year. So I find it somewhat ironic that these players that are lucky enough to receive endorsement deal offers from other companies, were able to put themselves in this position in large part due to the WPT ever being created in the first place.

    Of course now that poker has blown up this big there will certainly be growing pains, and I fully comprehend why some players would take issue w/ the release form. I agree w/ Andy, and any others, who think that there should be some form of 'poker union' that allows players to more effectively get results when it comes to protecting players' best interests. However, I'm not sure how or when this would happen, and also, it's important to realize competing interests between players and companies like WPTE existed before they became big, but now that they are big, they can use any public forum to try to persuade others into also not playing. I hope they can iron out this issue so anyone and everyone is able to play WPT events w/o feeling slighted or abused, but at the same time, considering how big poker has become there should always be someone willing to step into these players' shoes and fill these events up... the sharks who were made famous by the WPT can go play against each other in their own Bellagio homegame, and I think that would be fine w/ most of us who would rather play against weaker opponents anyway.
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  19. Hi everyone!

    I want to start off by saying that I think this board is awesome. It is so nice to see a group of people who just really care about poker and aren't interested in gossip and sniping. I read this board everyday and have found it awesomely helpful in developing new features and tournaments for UB. You guys are great!

    This is my first poast because this WPT issue is a really important one. I would like to address a few things Steve says in this open letter.

    1) The new release from the WPT gives them the right to use your image in any and all media...not just to promote the WPT show itself. This means they could put your image on, for example, a WPT slot machine, T-shirts, Posters, books etc without your approval or any compensation to you. In other words, by signing the release you grant them all licensing rights for free to your image.

    2) Steve asserts that all media companies use a similar release. This is patently untrue. ESPN's release, for example, only grants rights for use of your image and name to promote the show itself...in commercials for example. This is a much narrower release and other releases I have signed for TV appearances are the same...they grant rights for only promotion of the show itself.

    3) There is a sentiment that because the WPT made us well-known that we owe them. First, remember we pay our own buy-ins and entry fees. It is our own money we play for.

    Second, consider the logic here. Without the NFL there would be no Tom Brady, Joe Montana, John Elway, etc. Without the NBA there would be no Shaq. Without the MLB there would be no Johnny Damon. Would anyone expect these guys to grant those organizations the right to licence their image to Nike, Reebok, Sprite for free much less pay to play football, basketball, baseball? Of course not. That would be absurd.

    Yet this is exactly what the WPT is asking. They are saying if we want to enter a WPT licensing deal with Nike then Nike can use your image with no compensation or approval by you and the only one that gets paid for those licensing rights is the WPT.

    Hey, pay your 10K buy-in (I have no issue with this part), pay a $500 fee to the casino and hand us a few hundred thousand in licensing rights on the side because we made you.

    4) Lipscomb claims that he would never abuse the players in that way. Then why doesn't he put that in writing? He mentions the banner add promoting their online site with player images that looked like an endorsement. Notice he says it was perfectly legal to put that banner up. He took it down out of the kindness of his heart. Well...put it in writing that you can't do that or we are putting ourselves at risk by signing the release.

    5) He claims that is you have played and event before you have already signed the release and have granted those rights so you might as well keep playing now. This is not true. the languae was drastically changed at Foxwoods to grant much broader rights. A player who only signed releases up till Foxwoods this year would win in court if a licensing issue came up. Not so after Foxwoods.

    6) Lipscomb keeps crying poor about the WPT and how rich all the Full Tilt people are. First, no pro owns Full Tilt...that would be illegal. They own part of a software company that develops software for Full Tilt and to say otherwise is irresponsible.

    Second, None of them has made money yet as Full Tilt is not a public company and there is no way to cash out equity. Granted there is a potential for money but that depends on a lot of good things happening.

    Meanwhile the WPT has gone public and Steve has cashed out 20% of his holdings. I believe, at least I have been told, that is in the 8 figures. Don't cry for me Argentina.

    7) Steve claims he went to bat for the players to get logos. This is just not true. We were promised logos in year two by him when the WPT first started and we agreed to show our hole cards. That did not come. His reasoning, which I know from conversations with him at the time, was that it would take away the WPT's ability to get a title sponsor. The value to a beer company for being the title sponsor of the show would be less to the WPT so they would make less money.

    We only got logos after every other showed allowed them and articles started getting printed about the issue. The WSOP has been allowing logos for years and the WPT just hopped on board this year when it became clear players would play other events that had logo in prefence to the WPT. That is not going to bat for the players...it is caving into financial pressures.

    8) While the release indeminifies the WPT against lawsuits by the player signing the player is not indemnified in any way. If a lawsuit resulted from the way they used your image or name in association with a wPT venture you would have to pay all your legal fees etc. The wPT does not indemnify the player at all nor are they require to show proof of insurance against such an event as the release reads today. You indemnify them but they do not indemnify you. It is a one way street.

    There is so much else to say on this issue but this is already so long.

    I am very grateful to the WPT for all it has done for me in terms of business oppportunites that have opened up to me because of the explosion of poker. The WPT has certainly contributed to this as has ESPN and online poker. They are a part of the puzzle but that does not give them the right to exploit my image in any way they want, without compensation, approval or indemnification. They say it does. Players disagree on the issue.

    Happy Holidays!

    Annie Duke
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  20. Other than complaining what recourse do players have? If the WPT said they would not change you would be forced to make a decision. This is gambling. If better gamblers decide not to play WPT events this could have the opposite effect of what the players want.

    Everyone was rooting for competition a few years ago and now we have it and still nothing has changed.

    I have said it before and I will say it again. This affects about 20 and at the most 50 people in the poker world. Why should the rest of us care? Most invitationals are incredibly exclusive and it is incredibly difficult to break into the inner circle that many of the top players have created.

    Why should we join the fight when we stand to recieve no benefit whatsoever?
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  21. Nice post Annie. Guys i work inadvertising and this kind of blanket release is NOT standard. The origional release was too broad IMO and the new one is a fuggin Jopke. And as far as the WPT not making money all i can say to that is SMD if they arent making money then no one can. Running your books in the red is not making no money it just means that the partys involved are sucking out all the profits.

    NeBlis
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  22. Annie, welcome to the site, and a great post. Why are the pro's such great posters (i.e., Blair Rodman).

    Beanie, you keep saying that we get no benefit. I guess the point is that if you won a major tourney, you would get benefit, and therefore if you represented another internet poker site, you would have a real conflict/problem with the WPT using you for advertising of their WPT poker site. You may even lose your endorsement from that site b/c of the conflict.

    But that would only be if you won. Since only 10% are in the money and only a select few make the finals, then why should you care.

    Let me give you a few reasons why you should care:

    1. Are the players right?
    2. You may do real well one day, contrary to your belief this is not possible.
    3. Your point the the "common" player should not care b/c he does not win and he has no rights anyway is the exact reason that owners should feel pressured by some organization for change! This will help change that I ultimately feel will be better for all involved.

    I am not a big "union" guy, but having an agreement that threatens the endorsement capability of players in other ares of this business when the WPT is a a tourney that winnings are 100% derived from the pockets of these players seems a bit ludicrous and overbearing.

    And whether that has any affect on me at all really does not matter-it seems just pretty obv on it's face that it is wrong!
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  23. I have the utmost respect for Annie Duke. I currently make a living in poker and that is a direct result of Annie Duke's influence. I will always be thankful to her for that.

    My point is and will always be that the average guy will gladly sign away all of his or her rights because there is no potential for them without it. Even with a win how much has it helped John Stolzmann as an example. The system that the WPT has created is in no way short of the same system top players have created by excluding the poker public. It is virtually impossible to crack knock down the wall top players have created for themselves. Unless of course you win the WSOP. I think if the average guy had seen more of a willingness to be included we might have your back. This isn't the case.
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  24. Here is why you should care:

    The WPT is trying to lock up the rights of players before they become well known. I think they understand that people like me, Howard, Chris Ferguson and, I understand, now Daniel won't play under these conditions. For one thing we can't because it would violate exclusive licensing deals we have with other vendors to sign the WPT release.

    Well you should care because if you become good at poker you might be well-known enough that your licensing rights become valuable. You might just win an event. You might become the next David Williams or Joseph Hachem. And if you sign away those rights in advance because that is the only way you can play a WPT event then all the business opportunites available to you through your hard work and talent will be worth nothing to you.

    Do you think a rookie unknown running back should swign his rights away to the nFL just because he is an unknown when he plays his first game?

    Just because you don't think it will ever effect you doesn't mean you should sign a legally binding document that no lawyer on the planet would ever advise you to sign.
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  25. Hi Annie, welcome to our site.

    I just want to say I agree with you that Beanie is no good.

    :)
     
  26. I am going to put on my simple man hat for just a moment....

    If a player feels that the wpt tournaments reuire you to sign a release form that is unfair to you in some way, then do not play in those events. Competition is a wonderful thing, and if another organization such as espn runs tournaments which grant the players a better shake, then the players will play in those instead.

    I cannot comment on profits, but I believe this is besides the point. The wpt does not have to pay the players if it doesnt want to..they do not have to put up entry fees. The wpt is buying the rights from the casinos to broadcast the tournaments and can restrict or exploit the images filmed therin however it wishes. I think we could do withou the characterization of the players as "our players" by wpt, but in a way its true. The players willfully signed the agreement and thats the end of the story. If they dont like it they can play in other events.

    I am not sure what beanie is saying...a new top player is created every day. Who was Michael Gracz a year ago? Who was Josh Arieh? Within the epoker ciommunity they were always great players but TV brought them the notariety which they have parlayed into bigger and better deals. Who was Phil Laak before tv...an unknown genius...now he is a marketing empire. So i think the wall of top players grows every day.

    Wow this was supposed to be very succint and short, and I have rambled...sorry.

    Happy Holidays everyone...

    sheets
     
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  27. While they have recieved some measure of fame they have not cracked the inner circle. Phil Laak was one of the first people signed by Brian Balsbaugh he was known enough to get represented. They get told what to do by a heirarchy that has been created by an old boys network.

    Sheets the casinoes pay the WPT.

    When the NFLPA approaches EA Games they are representing the group. When Doyle or Annie is pitching something to GSN they typically aren't looking to include people like us. Since this is gambling why isn't the option to buy in and exclude people based on what they can afford an option?

    I don't think Annie is correct in stating that the WPT is trying to lock up my likeness at a cheap price. This isn't about me or any of you, this is about the haves having a disagreement based on 2 issues:

    1) The WPT is using likenesses of people that gladly signed away those rights to participate in events. Whether that is right or wrong shouldn't this have been a bigger issue earlier.
    2) The WPT has an online site that directly competes with the stars that play in its events.

    Sure would be fun to just let the market dictate what would happen here. Frankly, I think events without Howard Lederer, Annie Duke, Daniel Negreneau and Chris Ferguson would appeal to me more not less.
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  28. Annie knows better than most that I have no ability, therefore, signing away rights that are basically of no value in the first place is of no consequence.
  29. If you are going to talk union to me you are going to have to show me some instance where top players have looked for an inclusive solution to all poker players.

    Pro sports unions were paved by major players making huge sacrifices for the total good.

    A players union in poker would never work.

    The players knew from second one this was going to be the case. Annie, Howard and a select group of players were hand picked by the WPT to be represented and they jumped on board. They are now off of that train because they have found a more lucrative train. Market economics at work.

    If top players boycott PokerStars (almost none of them went anyway last year) and Tunica and the numbers are down significantly then I think the WPT should be concerned. This boycott was supposed to start at the Bellagio and almost everyone ignored it.
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  30. Why does this all have to happen now? Is there no way that these pros could continue to play while negotiating some kind of deal that satisfies both parties? I been bustin my butt for over 2 years to get into a wpt tourney, I finally do and now some people whose play I have great respect for are gonna boycott. I'm sorry if I don't sound too understanding about this but, average joes like me don't get an opportunity to play in a wpt event very often. There is no way at this point I could financially afford to buy-in to a main event on the wpt or wsop so satelliting my way in online is the only option. To take away the opportunity to meet and play against some of the top players that is earned by winning one's way in is just sickening to me. Annie, I enjoyed your post, I like watching you play and I hoped to meet you and the above-mentioned pros. Guess it won't happen. My 2 cents. Merry Christmas

    oh yah Fbeanie!!!
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