Jamie Gold, responding to a lawsuit filed to keep him from collecting part of his $12 million World Series of Poker title winnings, says he will fight the case in court.
"Jamie Gold is disappointed that the plaintiff, a person he has only known since July of this year, has elected to file litigation rather than continue the parties' discussions in an effort to find a resolution to this matter," said a statement released on Gold's behalf by B/W/R Public Relations. "Mr. Gold believes strongly in the American judicial system and believes that it is better to present his case there than to try the matter before the court of public opinion."
Earlier this week, a district court judge issued a restraining order to prevent Gold from collecting $6 million of his winnings until the settlement of a lawsuit filed by Crispin Leyser, a television development executive and instructor for the World Poker Tour Boot Camp.
Leyser claims in the suit that he should be receiving half of Gold's first-place prize money in the WSOP's main event because of an arrangement Leyser says he and Gold had made prior to the start of the tournament.
Clark County (Nev.) Chief District Court Judge Kathy Hardcastle issued a restraining order Tuesday to prevent Gold from collecting his winnings from the Rio Hotel and Casino until at least Sept. 1, when the first hearing of the lawsuit is scheduled.
According to the lawsuit, Gold, whose entry into the main event was paid for by the online poker site Bodog.com, approached Leyser asking for his assistance in finding celebrities to play under Bodog's name. If any celebrities were found, Bodog offered either Gold or Leyser one seat to the main event. He and Gold agreed, the lawsuit says, that whoever received the seat would give 50 percent of the winnings to the other.
The lawsuit claims that Leyser found actors Matthew Lillard and Dax Shepherd for Gold. Bodog awarded the extra seat to Gold, who went on to win the tournament.