The recent controversy between the World Poker Tour and several top tournament pros doesn't seem to be slowing down at all, despite an open letter to the poker community from WPT Co-founder Steve Lipscomb.
To briefly recap: The World Poker Tour requires all tournament players to grant rights to the WPT to use their image and likeness in pretty much any way the WPT chooses, without ever compensating the players for that use. Several top tournament pros aren't happy with the agreement, including WSOP Champion Chris Ferguson, who told me that he is unable to play in WPT events, because the release he is required to sign would cause him to be in breach of at least one of his existing contracts.
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Steve Lipscomb says, "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 person's 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."
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[I]f the WPT is not interested in using some of the rights they're demanding, why are they making the demands in the first place? Anyone with any business savvy will have a very hard time accepting "Just trust me" in this case. In fact, a top player, speaking to me on condition of anynomity said, "[Steve Lipscomb] says he needs the releases to be as they are to protect WPT, but players have offered to sign a release like the WSOP and they refused. In response to complaints about their video game rights, they did modify their agreement to explicity rule out making avatars of the players without their consent. However, that was the only limitation. By only excluding that, they could use clips of you in the game, or even put your face on the box, with no compensation! In fact, because they reserve these rights, a player can NOT grant exclusive rights to any video game company, because WPT already reserves certain rights. That's just one example."
Yeah! Check me out! I get anonymous sources! Woo! Anyway, if you're interested in the drama, check out the full post at CardSquad, which includes comments from Annie Duke and Daniel Negreanu.
Gameplay: You play a little handy guy with cute feet and a jaunty hat. Your enemies are also little handy guys, but they're green (the universal color of evil) and have frowny faces to go with their cute little feet. Your goal is to clear all the dots in a maze, while the other little handy guys try to stop you. What sets Got-Ya apart from all the other Pac-Man knockoffs is the addition of RoShamBo. You and your enemies represent Rock, Paper, or Scissors, and when you hit each other, you'll live or die based on the classic rules of RoShamBo. Scattered around the maze are dollar signs, and when you pick one up, you can change into whichever form you want. But beware! The other little handy guys will also change form randomly.
Could be mistaken for: Ms. Pac-Man, The Hand, a trip report from the Tiltboys
Kids today may not like it because: There is no bonus level where they get to "Circle" their opponents.
Kids today may like it because: When they complete a level, their little handy guy is magically transformed into something that looks an awful lot like the Kool-Aid Man. Oh yeah!
As 2005 draws to a close, I look back on the year, and ask myself a lot of questions: Is it worth living here, with the traffic, and the overcrowding, and the high cost of living? Why didn't I hike up to Mount Wilson this year? Will the Los Angeles Dodgers of Los Angeles make another exciting run at third place in 2006?
But the biggest question, the one that's kept me up at night, is: What the hell happened to GATORWATCH!!!!!111!?!!?? I mean, for days, we had reporters camped out on the shores of Machado Lake! There was scandal, and intrigue, and drama, and the Crocodile Hunter was coming to town to save us all from Reggie the Killer Alligator. Then, as quickly as the GATORWATCH!!!!!111! started, it stopped.
Until yesterday, baby, when GATORWATCH!!!!!111! was back in full effect, when two jerkass dirtbags were arrested and charged with dumping Reggie the Killer Alligator
And with that, I think I can take a break from the computer. I've written so much in the last 48 hours, it's hard to figure out where my desk ends, and I begin.
In fact, yesterday, Nolan came into my office and asked me if I could take a break so we could go do something together.
"What did you have in mind?" I said.
"I don't know," he said, "anything, really. I'm getting kind of bored."
"When I'm finished with this piece, we'll go out for a bite to eat," I said.
"Okay," he said, "I guess it's back to my Galactica-a-thon."
"Your what?" I said.
"Oh, I'm just having a Galatica day while you're working," he said. "You were right, it's awesome!"
I was so excited, I called Anne, and told her that I'd successfully introduced Nolan to the greatest Sci-Fi series in history.
"Oh man, you're totally corrupting my children," she said.
"They are totally 42% nerd, now," I said.
I waited for a moment, but the reference was lost on her, as she's only 8% nerd.
"I gotta get back to work," she said.
"Okay. I love you."
"I love you too. Nerd."