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WSOP champion's promise a gift, not a contract
Last week Jamie Gold filed a motion to dissolve the preliminary injunction which froze half of his WSOP winnings, effectively stopping him from collecting them from the Rio, after Bruce Crispin Leyser filed a lawsuit claiming half of the winnings from a verbal agreement with Gold.
According to the motion, Jamie Gold claims he never entered into any verbal contract with Leyser. He admits to promising him some money, but it was never a business agreement just a promised gift if he won some money in the tournament because he felt sorry for Leyser who is going through some financial hardship.
When Gold started to do well in the tournament, he claims that Leyser began harassing him about the promise and the possible winnings. After "incessant badgering and continuous phone calls" from Leyser, Gold left Leyser a voice mail on the final day of the tournament confirming his promise to share the winnings after taxes, and according to the motion, hoping that it would get Leyser to leave him alone so he could concentrate on the tournament and not worry about the money.
Gold had intended to honor that promise originally, but Leyser "acted unreasonably and refused to recognize necessary expenses or provide protection to Gold for legitimate tax issues." While they were talking over those issues, Leyser chose to file a lawsuit without informing Gold ahead of time.
"Now that the Plaintiff has shown his true colors by unnecessarily filing suit and attempting to discredit Gold's reputation in the media, Gold no longer intends to share his winnings," the briefing says.
In accordance with that, Gold is asking that the injunction be dissolved so that he can claim the rest of his winnings from the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino. The motion states that a preliminary injunction may not be granted unless the plaintiff can show both irreparable harm and a likelihood of success on the merits of the lawsuit.
Because there is no irreparable harm in the case since Leyser is only seeking money damages, and because Gold stipulates that there was never a contract, only an unenforceable promise, there would be no likelihood of success, so the injunction should be dissolved.
Leyser claims in his lawsuit that Gold and he had an agreement where he would provide some celebrities to play in the tournament for Bodog.com, and in exchange, Gold would share his winnings since he couldn't share his seat that Bodog.com had given him.
But Gold claims his seat from Bodog.com was awarded to him because of his prior tournament experience and an agreement to wear the company's logo during the tournament. It had nothing to do with securing celebrities for the company, and therefore, Leyser's claim that he had made a deal to secure celebrities for the site in exchange for part of the WSOP seat is incorrect.