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  • Team Bodog’s Jamie Gold Still Chip Leader

    Wednesday, August 9th, 2006 by Mike

LAS VEGAS – The largest and richest game in poker history, the Main Event of the 2006 World Series of Poker, is down to its final nine players and Team Bodog’s Jamie Gold is leading the way. Gold, a former Hollywood agent turned television producer from Malibu, Calif., has amassed a commanding chip lead during the past eight days of the tournament and will sit down at the start of the final table on Thursday with a whopping $26,650,000 in chips – $8.88 million more than his nearest competitor.

Gold’s $10,000 entry into the Main Event was provided by Bodogpoker, owned by the online gaming giant and leading digital entertainment brand. He is competing against the eight players who remain from a field of 8,773 for an unprecedented first-place prize of $12 million and the coveted gold championship bracelet. All remaining players are guaranteed to take home at least $1,566,858.

“Jamie came to us through our Hollywood connections,” said Calvin Ayre, Founder and CEO of Bodog.com. “We knew he was a good player with some impressive tourney results, so we thought he’d be a strong competitor. An amazing run like this one we really can’t call, but we did see his potential.” More than 500 players qualified to the various WSOP tournaments by playing poker online at Bodog.com. Gold is among the 400 Team Bodog players participating in the Main Event. Originally from Paramus, N.J., the 36-year-old former agent has represented a number of A-list celebrities including James Gandolfini, Felicity Huffman, Lucy Liu and Brandy. Gold quit being an agent six months ago and is now the head of production at Buzznation, a branded entertainment media and production company based in Los Angeles. Gold is working on producing a branded reality television series.

An avid poker player, Gold grew up in a family of card players, with his mother a longtime poker player and his grandfather a gin rummy champion. Gold plays close to 40 hours a week in Los Angeles area card rooms and has earned just under $100,000 in tournament winnings over the past 15 months. Gold has also had the opportunity to learn from one of the game’s biggest legends – 10-time WSOP bracelet holder Johnny Chan. The two met while working together on a poker television concept. In exchange for Gold’s assistance, Chan promised to help him refine his game. Both Gold’s mother and Chan are the WSOP cherring him on.

But even with his poker pedigree and legendary mentor nearby, it is the person who cannot be with Gold in Las Vegas that is providing the most strength and motivation for him – his father.

Gold’s father, Dr. Robert Gold, has ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, which makes him immobile. According to Gold, the money he wns at the Main Event will go toward making his father as comfortable as possible.

“He’s not well,” Gold said of his 76-year-old father. “He can’t move in his own body. He can’t swallow anymore. He has a breathing machine. This is all for him.”

The final table of the WSOP Main Event will begin Thursday at 2 p.m. (PST) at the Rio Casno and Suites in Las Vegas. The event will be broadcast on August 22 at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. on ESPN. Do you have the skills to become next year’sWSOP champion? To learn more about qualifying for major poker tournaments, including the WSOP 2007 Main Event, visit Bodog.com.

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