In an interesting move made on Wednesday, Jamie Gold's relationship with Team Bodog has been terminated. Although the rumors around the poker world say that Bodog cut its ties with Gold because of his lawsuit with Crispin Leyser, or his cocky attitude, or his unwillingness to promote the company, Bodog's official reason came from Susan Mainzer, Bodog's senior media relations manager.
"In light of its decision to cease all offline marketing initiatives in the U.S., and instead refocus its efforts on growing its entertainment brand in Europe and Asia, Bodog has ended its business relationship with Jamie Gold," Mainzer said. "Bodog has enjoyed our association with Mr. Gold and wishes him the best of luck in his future endeavors."
Normally, I wouldn't question this move, but if they are planning on stopping all online initiatives, why wouldn't Bodog also end its relationship with professional poker players David Williams, John Arieh and Evelyn Ng?
Either way, would you really listen to a man who left a voicemail saying, "It's your money," to Leyser, then never give him it? What if he were to promote another entity? There's a major trust issue there, and I'm sure it cost Gold lots of money in sponsorships.
NBC field finalized ... and some other issues
NBC has announced its field for this year's "National Heads-Up Championship." Held at Caesars March 1-4, 62 pros and celebrities and two qualifiers will battle for the most prestigious heads-up tournament ... at least until the WSOP holds its first heads-up bracelet event this summer.
The list includes: Rene Angelil, Patrik Antonius, Bobby Baldwin, David Benyamine, Andy Bloch, Brad Booth, Humberto Brenes, Doyle Brunson, Todd Brunson, Chad Brown, Johnny Chan, Don Cheadle, T.J. Cloutier, Allen Cunningham, John D'Agostino, Annie Duke, Eli Elezra, Shannon Elizabeth, Antonio Esfandiari, Sam Farha, two-time runner-up Chris Ferguson, Scott Fischman, defending champion Ted Forrest, Jamie Gold, Barry Greenstein, Phil Gordon, Clonie Gowen, Tony G, Joe Hachem, Gus Hansen, Jennifer Harman, 2005 champion Phil Hellmuth, Cheryl Hines, Phil Ivey, Kenna James, John Juanda, Gabe Kaplan, Phil Laak, Howard Lederer, Nam Le, Tuan Le, Erick Lindgren, Jeff Madsen, Mike Matusow, Isabelle Mercier, John Michael, Michael Mizrachi, Chris Moneymaker, Yosh Nakano, Daniel Negreanu, Scotty Nguyen, Greg Raymer, Chip Reese, Huck Seed, Erik Seidel, Mike Sexton, Shawn Sheikhan, Jeff Shulman, Gavin Smith, Jennifer Tilly, JC Tran, and David Williams.
I'll take a more detailed look at this field in a later blog, but I'm looking forward to the coverage of Shannon Elizabeth vs. anyone in Round 1.
Negreanu settles for second
Daniel Negreanu came up short in Tunica, Miss., but not too short -- after all, his second-place finish did earn him over a half-million dollars. Although he couldn't beat Brian Sumner Thursday night, Negreanu's success on the World Poker Tour is unrivaled. He's the all-time money leader, he's tied for first with Juanda with 14 cashes, he's made seven final tables, and has the most consecutive cashes (four ... and counting).
Negreanu's three cashes over the last month have accumulated over $1 million in winnings, and since he doesn't like to waste any time, he made it to the Borgata for the start of today's Borgata Poker Classic.
Yeah, you can say he's on a rush.
Neteller stopped serving American customers, leaving many online poker players without a way to fun their accounts ... Michael Bolcerek of the Poker Players Alliance came out with his state of the union address. Check out what he had to say at pokerplayersalliance.org. ... Johnny Chan going into the hotel business? According to SportsBusiness Daily, Chan teamed up with Rogue Hospitality president Liko Smith to create "5th Street," billed as the world's first poker hotel. Where do I go to book a room? ... ESPN's Poker Edge will return the week of Feb. 5 with new guests and new strategies from Phil Gordon and I. ... Bluff magazine's "Coolest Thing Ever" comes out next week. It better live up to its hype considering they've had a countdown on their site that's been running for a month ... RawVegas.tv features poker players in videos on demand. If you were to head there now, you'll find Negreanu shaving his head (very entertaining) and Joe Sebok face off against Gavin Smith for $10,000 on who could ride a mechanical bull longer.