I read in a couple of blogs last week that some poker pros are unhappy with the release the World Poker Tour requires them to sign before they can play in WPT events.
So I called up Chris Ferguson, who I'd heard is unable to play in WPT events due to the scope of the current release, got some comments from him and wrote an article about it for CardSquad.
These days, when you sign up for a poker tournament, in addition to plunking down your buy-in and flashing your ID, you often have to sign a release. In fact, for any televised tournament, including World Poker Tour events, if you refuse to sign the release, you won't be allowed to play. This has created some tension between the World Poker Tour and some of the top tournament players in the world, who who can't -- or won't -- agree to the WPT's terms.
[. . .]
[T]he player the WPT may miss the most is 2000 World Series of Poker Champion Chris "Jesus" Ferguson. I caught Chris a few minutes before a tournament last Thursday, and he told me, "The release has gotten worse over time, and I simply can't sign it." He explained that the WPT release is so broad, it asks for rights Chris is not legally able to relenquish. "I have business deals that prevent me signing this release," He said.
Some Internet commentors have been critical of the pros, suggesting that they wouldn't be in this position if television hadn't made them famous, but Chris said, "I'm not asking for money, just the right to control my image outside the program." He reminded me that in tournament poker, the players put up all the money for the prize pool, in addition to paying for the rake. "In no other sport do participants put up [as much money as poker players do] for the events," he said, and that's a major point of contention for some players, who feel that they are taking all of the financial risk while the WPT profits from their tournament participation.
Commenting is currenty hosed at CardSquad (probably because they are associated with me, and we all know how technology breaks whenever I get too close to it -- NASA calls me before an important space probe launch, just so I won't do something crazy like think about it) so feel free to comment on it here.
The story has also made it to digg, even though it doesn't say anything about the Xbox, haxxoring [whatever] or contain a top ten list. So check me out! I'm totally doing journalism . . .ish . . . things.
I'm grows up and grows up and grows up! Yeeehhhaaahahahahaaa!