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Bluffing: Top Poker Pros File Lawsuit Against World Poker Tour

By Chuckmonster on Thursday, 20th July 2006 1:55am
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 0

   

And in today's installment of the "Holy Shit Department" the top poker pros have sued the World Poker Tour for a violation of federal and state antitrust laws. Huh? Right.

At the root of the lawsuit is the allegation that... well... actually we're not really sure what they hell they're complaining about. It seems that the players are pissed because WPTE has secured exclusive contracts with many global casinos (including MGM Mirage Properties) where these casinos cannot hold nationally televised events unless they are WPTE sanctioned, thereby limiting the opportunities for players and competitors to create or participate in an alternate poker tour. Additionally, the players are tilting over WPTE's use of their likenesses in advertisements, promotions, products, dvd's and more.

Basically, the players want a piece of the WPT pie, and if they don't get it - other players will gladly play high stakes poker on television.

Today, seven of the world's top poker players filed an antitrust Complaint against WPT Enterprises, Inc. ("WPTE") in federal district court in Los Angeles. By this lawsuit, Plaintiffs Chris Ferguson, Andrew Bloch, Annie Duke, Phil Gordon, Joseph Hachem, Howard Lederer, and Greg Raymer seek to enjoin - and seek treble and punitive damages for - WPTE's continuing violations of federal and state antitrust laws.

The Complaint alleges that WPTE and the casinos have unlawfully conspired to eliminate competition for the services and intellectual property rights of top, high stakes professional poker players. In particular, the Complaint alleges that the casinos have agreed with WPTE that they will not host any non-WPT televised poker tournaments. The Complaint also alleges that WPTE and the casinos have conspired to fix the price and other terms and conditions under which Plaintiffs and other professional poker players are forced to give up their valuable services and intellectual property rights in order to participate in WPT tournaments.

Plaintiff Chris Ferguson stated as follows: "WPTE has stacked the deck against all poker players who wish to compete in its tournaments. They are using our names and images to sell their products without our prior consent and without any compensation. We cannot let these wrongful actions stand. We will prosecute this lawsuit for as long as it takes to change WPTE's unlawful ways."



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