A lot of people have been
clamoring about my TV poker hosting debut wondering what has happened with the U.S. PokerBowl. Indeed, this inaugural team poker concept tourney was supposed to be airing this month on FoxSports. But I don’t think it will be — despite the arguable success of the event. Sure enough, everyone there seemed to be having a really good time … the televised images looked different than what has previously been seen on Poker TV … and amid an interesting re-interpretation of important poker rules, there was all sorts of heartwarming emotional drama with potential controversy (would Marc Seif’s Absolute team insist on wearing their be-logo-ed hats so visibly?) to give us announcers — and presumably the blogging television audience — much to talk about.
But perhaps everyone knew something was amiss when the only two people not smiling in the Key West ballroom at the Palms were the guy organizing the whole thing and John-Robert Bellande (who wasn’t even playing).
“Hey, congratulations on pulling off something really cool,” I said to John Nightingale at the start of the final-final table.
“Well, it was until about 30 minutes ago when the shit really started to hit the fan,” he responded before walking away all exasperated. I guess maybe we shouldn’t be surprised when a tournament that relies on too many freerolls and forgets to take any juice runs into a financial clusterflubbing. Bummer if it can’t be resurrected. Just ask anyone who participated … it really was pretty cool.
Click here to see my photos from the PokerBowl (kicking myself for not taking more of the real behind-the-scenes stuff) … and/or click below to read an email that went out last week updating those with a vested interest in the success (or failure) of the PokerBowl on where things currently stand and what the money situation is:
Date: Wed, 2 Jan 2008 23:29:35 +0000
Subject: POKERBOWL MONEY OWED URGENT UPDATE
Poker Bowl Participants: The nature of this email is to inform you that Poker Business Enterprises ( Ã¢â‚¬Å“PBEÃ¢â‚¬Â ) has entered into escrow to purchase the assets of USPOKERBOWL (“USPL”). PBE is in the process of evaluating all the assets and liabilities that USPL has incurred under the ownership of John Nightingale and Traci Wolfe. This due diligence period will be for the next 30 days. This includes the prize money which was not paid at the poker event held at the Palms in Las Vegas along with any promises not kept to franchisees. PBE is deeply committed to finding a resolution satisfactory to all parties who are still owed prize money. PBE encourages you to contact us at 702 [xxx][xxxx] immediately or email help[-at-]pokerbusinessenterprises.com. We will do our best to respond to any inquiry within 24 hours. We look forward to working with everyone regarding this matter. We are confident your cooperation and communication will expedite the financial resolution of all involved individually and collectively. For the next 30 days John Nightingale will not have the resources to deliver accurate information that many of you need. The reasoning is to ensure you can receive dependable, consistent answers to your questions. PBE welcomes your input and communication to make this a successful, stable, and proper transition.
PBE intends to build a permanent and successful organization with strong strategic partners and all those involved from the beginning will have the opportunity to have substantial participation. We anticipate to be on national and international television reaching over 200 million households this spring. Additional massive exposure to come via internet and national media campaigns will produce branding and economic opportunities for all involved.
We look forward to hearing from you soon.