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Gold is the 2006 World Series of Poker champion. His success in the main event might comes as a surprise to most players and
casual poker fans, but it came on the heels of eight final table finishes in the previous sixteen months, including five at the
Bicycle Casino where I
used to work. His most notable finish prior to the championship
event was a first place finish in a No Limit Holdem event at the Stars and Stripes tournament series worth $54,000.
Jamie's aggressive big stack play at the WSOP, while holding approximately 30% of the chips could most likely be
contributed to his experience at the tables in California. With the exception of
Allen Cunningham, the other players
at the final table did not have a lot of experience playing large field tournaments in live casinos. In fact,
Jamie had more final table experience than the rest of the WSOP final table players put together, except Cunningham.
(Besides his win, he also had a second place at Hollywood Park and a third place at the Bicycle Casino.)
Having experience in large field tournaments is a big advantage in these large multi-day events. In these types of events
it seems that no matter how many players you eliminate, there are more and more moving to your table. Many players eventually
crack and make a mistake because after running hot for awhile, they suddenly think that they can dodge
bullets for all their chips. Jamie consistently
played for a portion of his stack against players who had to commit all of theirs. When this happens, you either win a small pot
100% of the time, or contest a medium size pot. Aggressive big stack play against the middling sized stacks is required to keep getting
through the many players continually thrown at you. Since you can't sit on your chips in California tournaments (they usually have faster
structures than Nevada tournaments), Jamie was equipped to play.
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Jamie claims to be a manager/producer and ex-agent from Malibu, California and says he represented (at one time or another); James Gandolfini
(The Sopranos), Lucy Liu (Charlie's Angels)and a whole lot more. Some say that he was never the big time agent that he claimed to be.
The biggest controversy about Jamie is not whether he was a "big time agent" or not, but rather the lawsuit regarding the
12 million dollar prize money. Crispin Leyser said Gold agreed to split his winnings if Leyser helped him find celebrities to wear the
"Bodog" label while playing in the main event. In September 2006, half of the funds were frozen and in February of 2007 Jamie
Gold agreed to settle the dispute. According to him, he always intended on sharing his winnings.
Photo courtesy of LasVegas Vegas.