RE: Face the Ace $85 Million Lawsuit

by , Sep 16, 2009 | 11:31 am

So this Face the Ace lawsuit … yeah … you’ve got a lone amateur TV-show concept-creator trying to take on (lawyers for) PokerPROductions and NBC with claims that they stole his legally protected idea to put out a ratings-bomb game show … and therefore owe him $85 million.


Similarities between Brandon McSmith’s video pitch for All Star Poker Challenge and Face the Ace are one thing … and this video, shot outside what appears to be Poker PROductions studios in Las Vegas and posted on YouTube in July (and pointed out to us by a reader yesterday) is another:

Umm …

Click below to read the rejection letter sent almost two years earlier from Poker PROductions honcho Mori Eskandani that may or may not have put McSmith on tilt:

From: Mori Eskandani
Subject: RE: TV Poker Game Show Concept
To: “‘Brandon'”
Date: Thursday, November 8, 2007, 4:46 AM


Thank you for sharing this with me. It is interesting, but our company does not invest in shows, we only get contracted to produce them. BTW, there is a major flaw in the concept of the contestant losing everything by playing on. In another words, if he wins the first match, he should stop playing because on the second, third, fourth and fifth match he’ll be laying 2-1, 3-1, 4-1 and 5-1 respectively on an even money proposition.

Take care


From: Brandon
Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2007 9:54 PM
To: mori eskandani
Subject: TV Poker Game Show Concept

All Star Poker Challenge

Ordinary people get to test their No Limit, Texas Hold Em poker skills in a series of heads up matches against the world’s top poker stars for a chance to win a coveted $10,000 seat at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Tournament.

The Game: The contestants play 5 heads up No Limit, Texas Hold Em matches against the world’s top poker stars. Every match is worth $2,000 in prize money. After winning a match the contestant will then have to decide whether to risk the money won to continue playing for the $10,000 WSOP seat, knowing if he or she loses a match they will lose all the prize money accumulated at that time. After winning the 5TH and final match, the contestant gets to keep all prize money won plus the $10,000 WSOP seat. Leaving total Game winnings of $20,000.

At the beginning of the game there are 5 doors, which the professional poker players will be behind, the contestant must pick a door to get his or her opponent never knowing who awaits them and keep doing so until he or she defeats them all.

Partial Poker Stars List:

Phil Ivy Mike Matusow
Doyle Brunson Scotty Nguyen
Jennifer Tilly Daniel Negreneanu

Created By: Brandon McSmith

Writers Guild of Amer-W# 1218203

P.S. This is a true game show for amatuer and wanna be poker players hoping to make it to the World Series Of Poker No Limit Texas, Hold Em Tournament. This will have mass audience appeal for young & old; men and women. As long as there is a WSOP tournament the show will have millions of viewers world wide. Ratings & revenues from United States & International markets could be tremendous. There is nothing like it in the TV poker world.

I have a deal for the show. I even had talks with Chris Runnells from Innovative Show Design & Larry Rogers from Show Partners to hire them for set design & possible production. Unfortunately my financial backing seems uncertain at this time. Now I’m back pitching the show again. Hope you like the concept.


Brandon McSmith

18 Comments to “RE: Face the Ace $85 Million Lawsuit”

  1. Kevin Mathers

    This clip is less annoying than three of the first four contestants on the show.

  2. Joey Dawe

    PokerStars Million Dollar Challenge will beat Face The Ace as the worst show on tv IMO. At least you win your way on Face The Ace by playing 3 rounds of poker. PokerStars picks their winner’s from a video that will be sent in. They say they will know the winner’s when they see the video,s. Sure they will. The winner’s will be the one,s with the biggest bank accounts on Stars. They won’t want to pi.. them off.

  3. Kevin Mathers

    Considering the only way to win is to make the top 10 of a freeroll, your argument is severely flawed.

  4. Joey Dawe

    Not flawed Kevin. On Face The Ace you have to finish first in a 180 or 360 man tournament to win a ticket to another tourney where you have to finish in the top 100 or so out of about 3,000 and that gets you a ticket to the final where you face 10,000 and you would have to finish in the top 10. Much harder i would say. And you say the only way to win is to make the top 10 of a freeroll. You only win the right to make a video with about 2,500 other winners of which Stars gets to pick the 21 they want. Full-Tilt got no control who wins and Stars got all the control.

  5. Kevin Mathers

    Your point is the players with the biggest bank account on Stars are going to appear on the show. Also, with Stars they’re trying to weed out the dull/annoying people who made their way onto Face the Ace to make a better show.

  6. Joey Dawe

    No,my point is that no Poker site should have the power to say who the winners are without a final play off.The site that has that power is getting a little to close to the Russ Hamilton cheating scandal that erupted on Ultimate Bet.

  7. Kevin Mathers

    When PokerStars has a scandal about people inside the company or associates seeing the hole cards, then you’ll have a point.
    A TV show that’s a paid commercial for a poker site is nowhere close to that.

    Also, there is a “final playoff” for someone to play Negreanu for $1,000,000:

  8. Joey Dawe

    It will be PokerStars Management inside a room picking the 21 videos THEY want from over 2,000 winners( who can’t be in the final playoff) who have no say although they won their tournament. And so the “final playoff” for someone to play Negreanu will be handpicked by PokerStars. The scandal at Ulimate Bet was going on for years before it was found out. This just don,t smell right. I think both shows will have bad players and ratings. My last post on this so have the last comment. Best of luck in life.


  9. DanM

    But that’s the thing about network TV … even a “bomb” is still a success for an online site.

  10. Kevin Mathers

    Brandon McSmith interview with Poker News Daily:

  11. Kevin Mathers

    McSmith says he’s now got the FBI involved:

  12. DanM

    Maybe Clonie should think about hiring McSmith’s attorney.

  13. Kevin Mathers

    Not so fast my friend!

    McSmith’s lawsuit has been dismissed.

  14. DanM

    That 4-figure settlement offer they gave to McSmith probably seems a bit nicer now. Wonder if the judge said — who cares, even if they did steal it, YOU’D owe the poker community for unleashing this terrible show on the world.

  15. McSmith

    Not worried about the dismissal I can still appeal. Judge Leavitt has to be the worst sitting judge in Nevada do the research on her. I still can file in Federal Court which is probably where it should have been in the first place as pointed out by the FBI agent. Now that they’re involved I’m going to let them do their investigation as my focus is on criminal prosecution at this point.

  16. DanM

    Brandon, I mean this with all due respect … if at any point moving forward they offer you any money to simply go away — take it. I know you’ve got your case mapped out, and it’s a pretty good one … but even if we grant you up front that everything you say is 100 percent completely true with no possible different opinion of it … they will crush you. The system will crush you. The concept of chip-and-a-chair is nice and all, but you are up against three or four monster stacks — and they’re colluding against you!

    You told me on the phone that you are a family man. Think about that, before you throw yourself into debt trying work your way through a system where probably fewer than 1/10th of 1/10th of 1 percent are able to “win” representing themselves pro se. Think of the time and dedication it would take to succeed at anything against those odds. And now think about how slow the court system moves, and how many years it would be before you recouped anything.

    Not to be dramatic, but I think even if you did win and get, say, a few million dollars … at what cost would that come, at what sacrifices to your family, and money or not, after spending so much time (that you’ll never get back) … will you really be able to say you won after all?

    Sorry for the sermon. Just my sincere way of saying, dude, negative EV.

  17. McSmith

    Of course they are colluding against me and I thank God that Arlo Delvin Brown took an interest and has the FBI investigating. That puts me in a great position. Like I said before I’m just going to wait until their investigation has concluded. I have over 2 years to file in Federal Court for copyright infringement.

    As far as them offering any money to just go away that probably won’t happen because it is at a whole different level right now. If they come to me now with an offer logically they wouldn’t want me to cooperate with any kind of prosecution. Which means they feel they could or would be charged by Mr. Brown.

    Now given the above statemnet what is the upside of me taking money just to go away. There is none at this point. Unfortunately for them now my focus is on criminal prosecution not a settlement.

    Having the US Attorney & FBI investigating is costing me absolutely nothing.

  18. Brandon McSmith

    What a surprise FTP under Federal Grand Jury Investigation about a month after the FBI contacted me. Hope I had something to do with it, I guess I’ll find out in the next couple of weeks.

    On another point has anyone contacted or interviewed Poker PROductions/Mori Eskandani or NBC on their so called victory in District Court against me? Strange they haven’t came out saying they had been vendicated or I was a liar or frankly suing me for their lawyer fees hmmmm should make you wonder.