Officially it’s just been postponed … but I might be willing to make a wager.
The red flags flying around this thing made it seem, well … at best, like the second coming of the Poker Bowl. Not implying that the guys behind the Sports Legends Challenge are in any way shady, but the numbers just didn’t add up. They promised so much — so much poker, and black jack, and party-party-party with not just poker pros but real celebrity athletes, and $10 million worth of prizes, all on a beach! — and yet it was based on 2,100 people ponying up $10k (in 2009?) for Poker-Sports fantasy camp and that didn’t even include travel. No way its presenting sponsor, Absolute, could send as many people as PokerStars sends to the main event. Even with PokerNews pumping it up, mix in tons of freerolls and a disclaimer that any million-dollar jackpots would be paid in 40-year annuities … and yeah, all those who thought they might be headed to the Bahamas in a couple weeks got an email today like this one:
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, September 01, 2009 1:17 PM
Subject: On behalf of the Sports Legends Challenge
On behalf of the Sports Legends Challenge, this letter is to inform you that due to circumstances beyond our control, we have decided to reschedule the inaugural Sports Legends Challenge event.
From the outset, our unvarying commitment has been to produce a world class event for participants, sponsors and spectators. It is our conviction, that this goal can best be achieved by rescheduling the event for a domestic location that will not only make the event more accessible to major population centers, but also make travel much easier for the participants. We are also modifying the time of year for the event so that weather issues are much less of a concern (a major issue for a September event in the Bahamas).
We are pleased to note that not only are the investors involved in the program fully supportive of this change, but it is also supported by our key sponsors, partners and affiliates. The essence of the program will be unchanged – creating unique opportunities for sports and gaming fans to interact with some of the greatest Sports Legends of our time along with some of the world’s top poker pros while competing for major cash prizes. However, we plan to use the time leading up to the rescheduled event to add elements and make adjustments that will make it even more exciting.
Over the next few days we will provide you with additional information about the rescheduled event, including the new location and dates. We appreciate your patience in working with us to accommodate this change and will do all in our power to help ensure that the Sports Legends Challenge is a highly successful event.
Bruce Bibbero, CEO and Larry Lubin, President
Interestingly enough, no word on any money or refunds for those who might like to back out now that the dates and details have changed. (Though their website did claim all would get refunds should it be canceled, which is why the claim will be that it isn’t canceled … just postponed, lest they started having to give money back, I speculate.)
UPDATE: Click here to learn about the lawsuit resulted the last time Bibbero and Lubin tried to put on a similar tourney with PokerPlayerNewspaper.
UPDATE 2: Allegations of bad internet etiquette, too … http://www.patrickokeefe.com/2009/07/02/sports-legends-challenge-presented-by-absolute-poker-is-engaging-in-a-despicable-online-marketing-campaign-relying-on-lies-and-spam/
Click below for a list of sports legends you will not be playing golf, poker, blackjack, and slot machines with on Sep 14-17 in the Bahamas this year, despite
strong means weak! super-heavy promotion and mass emailings offering buy-ins at a 40 percent discount:
â€¢ Bobby Hull â€¢ Brooks Robinson
â€¢ Reggie Jackson â€¢ Gale Sayers
â€¢ Richard Petty â€¢ Jerry West
â€¢ Herschel Walker â€¢ Michael Strahan
â€¢ Mike Ditka â€¢ Jim Brown
â€¢ Sugar Ray Leonard â€¢ Fuzzy Zoeller
â€¢ Kyle Petty â€¢ Troy Aikman
â€¢ Emmitt Smith â€¢ Joe Namath
â€¢ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar â€¢ Dr. J
â€¢ Laffit Pincay â€¢ Rocco Mediate
â€¢ Ozzie Smith
Recently added to the roster of folks who said, “Sure, I’ll show up if it actually happens”:
As of yesterday, the pros
whose names were used on a semi-bluff who had agreed to take part included:
Men “the Master” Nguyen