David Williams Canned by Leaves Bodog after Winning WPT

WTF? Manderbutt

by , May 5, 2010 | 4:30 am

A semi-ironic old photo (l to r) of Phil Hellmuth, Clonie Gowen, and David Williams.

I woke up this morning (really – WSOP media conference call) and noticed a few murmurs on twitter. But surely it was just a poorly worded joke … then ran into a power problem that prevented me from digging for more. But then late tonight, I heard details from a generally reliable source, definitely reliable on this …

And indeed, David Williams is no longer a Bodog pro. What, winning the WPT World Championship and wet-cementing himself as truly one of the top-top players in the game isn’t quite the “Bodog Life”? Maybe his minglings with hot chicks and celebs at Vegas nightclubs doesn’t count as much if he ain’t drinking hard?

Williams (go Dallas poker!), of course, was one of the longest-lasting Bodog pros. The site recently scrapped Jean-Robert Bellande and Justin Bonomo, but they kept Evelyn Ng. Who woulda thunk that second place in a 2004 six-player ladies sit-n-go could ever mean so much!

Oh, and the big news somehow related to it all … Bodog did sign Amanda Musumeci, a hottie-ish 25-year-old American who built her microstakes bankroll into nearly $200k online. (Click for her Betty Page-meets-online-grinder pics.) She goes by the name “Manderbutt“, btw. Kinda looks like a Manderbutt, no?

Anyhow, new chick aboard + Evybaby = Team Bodog. It’s hard to determine if this was a pre-arranged firing or maybe Williams, who proudly wore his Bodog patch during the WPT, initiated the break-up? Perhaps it was as simple as Bodog not being willing to pony up the price Williams, now a WPT World Champion, could get elsewhere and thus they split amicably? They almost always split amicably, right? (Save for Clonie …)

I’m pretty sure we’ll discuss this a little more on the next Poker Beat … but you gotta think whatever was behind this move — again, more crazy industry shifting — it makes @dwpoker one of he hottest commodities in the game.

Unless of course he decides to vigorously declare his online poker independence and run all Darvin Moon with his newfound free agency.

27 Comments to “David Williams Canned by Leaves Bodog after Winning WPT”

  1. Chaz

    p>.90 that Bodog simply couldn’t afford him now.

    Could be wrong though. Maybe he’s quitting poker & going back to playing Magic the Gathering full time.

  2. Andrew

    Really entertaining how on the poker edge last week he was really praising Bodog…and then a few days later, he gone.

  3. DanM

    got a link to that episode? i’d like to listen. i could see it going both ways — DW either trying to kiss some butt hoping to hang on to a bodog deal, or just saying really nice things because he knew he was ready to move on.

  4. Kevin Mathers

    Poker Edge: http://a.espnradio.com/podcenter/poker/poker100429.mp3

    He did the same over at the 2+2 PokerCast: http://pokercast.twoplustwo.com/listen_and_browse.php?episode=118

    Musumeci became a Bodog pro by winning a contest looking for female players.

  5. BodogBecky

    Hi everyone, I just posted the following over at 2+2- I hope this clears a few things up! Thanks, Becky

    There are no conspiracy theories here, I’m afraid. April is simply when the contract was up and Bodog Poker is now looking to invest in their own players rather than existing pros, hence signing Amanda Musumeci.

    David and Bodog Poker made a fantastic team for a long time and they could not be parting at a better time. David has been one of the world’s best poker players for many years, and his success in the WPT was the cherry on top- Bodog Poker wishes him well!

  6. DanM

    Thanks Becky. We can always find a conspiracy theory though, and if it’s not there we like to just make them up.

    how long was DW’s run … 4 years? Also, does this mean Evelyn Ng is on her way out the door, too, after playing big-sis to Manderbutt?

  7. BJ Nemeth

    As BodogBecky pointed out, when players “leave” sponsor deals, it’s usually nothing more than an expiring contract. David Williams’ contract just happened to expire shortly after he won the WPT World Championship. (And, like the respectful person he is, David continued to praise Bodog through the end of his contract regardless of whether or not he was re-signed.)

    The story here isn’t that Bodog dropped David Williams or that David Williams dropped Bodog. The story is that a young, media-friendly player who happens to be in the Top 20 on the All-Time Money List has become a free agent. Now it’s up to Brian Balsbaugh at Poker Royalty to work on DW’s next deal.

  8. BodogBecky

    haa, I’m sure you guys can!! Cheers, Dan! Yep, DW had a long run with us, and nope, Evelyn is still very much part of the Bodog Poker team…

  9. traction

    So how is Evelyn Ng considered “investing in their own players”? She was an existing pro the Bodog picked up.

    Sorry Becky but if you’re going to use the rationale for DW’s contract not being renewed then saying that Evy is very much staying doesn’t add up.

    Dan I think you are right. There is more behind the curtain

  10. BJ Nemeth

    Evelyn Ng and David Williams were both existing pros that Bodog signed to sponsorship deals a long time ago. David Williams’ deal expired at the end of April. Evelyn Ng’s deal did not.

    How hard is that to understand?

    Evelyn may or may not be re-signed when her contract eventually expires. But like David, Evelyn is a respectful professional, and I’m sure she will do her best to represent Bodog to the best of her ability until the very end of the contract, whether or not they decide to continue the sponsorship deal.

    I find it funny/sad that when people find the truth to be boring (whether it’s Team Bodog or September 11th or the existence of aliens), they invent conspiracies to make “reality” seem more interesting to them.

  11. Paul Ellis

    Consipiracy theory or not, its totally weird timing. Why would you want to get rid of your hottest comodity on the heels of such a public win? You would think that this would add fuel to sign their biggest name. Maybe Bodog feels much the same as the rest of the poker universe….WPT just doesn’t have the same amount of interest anymore.

    But I think that its pretty obvious that Bodog made up their mind prior to the event that David wasn’t being re-signed. Look for Pokerstars or Full Tilt to ink him soon. He’d be a real good fit at Stars.

    Perhaps its just as simple as Bodog wanting to become a site known for signing hot chicks. Maybe they’ll go after Lacey Jones and Tiffany Michelle next?

    And BTW BJ….Aliens DO exist.

  12. DanM

    now now, be nice to becky … even though i’m willing to bet she will not be a bodog pro in 2012, it’s nice to have a bodog hottie (i’m assuming you’re hot, right becky, or you wouldn’t have the job?) come and engage us directly on these matters. you wouldn’t see that from the PR flaks at other sites. Seriously, Bodog Beckie, next time you come to town we can talk in person about Bodog’s future … maybe over wine and candlelight?

    with that said, i’m apt to agree with BJ on this one … seems like straightforward business going on here. but it does raise the question of what David Williams, or any pro for that matter, is really worth to an online site in 2010. But I’m with Paul on the aliens — BJ, how can you believe otherwise. Forget the statistical improbability of there NOT being aliens … haven’t you met paul magriel?

  13. BJ Nemeth

    “But I think that its pretty obvious that Bodog made up their mind prior to the event that David wasn’t being re-signed.”

    You answered your own question there, Paul.

    I wouldn’t call it “totally weird timing” — I’d call it a bit unfortunate for Bodog (though he was wearing their logo when he won), and fortunate for David Williams. He’s becoming a free agent right at the moment that his market value increased.

    As for Bodog, they weren’t likely to toss aside their planned marketing campaign and re-sign David just because he won a major tournament.

    And while I agree that extraterrestrial aliens are likely to exist (the universe is unimaginably immense), they have *not* visited Earth at any point during human history.

  14. DanM

    >>>I’d call it a bit unfortunate for Bodog (though he was wearing their logo when he won), and fortunate for David Williams. He’s becoming a free agent right at the moment that his market value increased.<<< ok, BJ, there you go talking all crazy on me. i'd say the timing is FORTUNATE for bodog because you know how tv poker re-runs work... this win is a gift that will keep on giving for them. but david ... while i think there's a strong chance it IS a blessing in disguise ... i think we might also find the market isn't as fruitful as it once was. June 1 ... clock ticking. and though we're not gonna go all aliens in this thread -- sensitive subject to our mexican-hating arizona friends ... c'mon, of COURSE they have visited. if you can't see it in X-22, surely you've seen Men in Black, Independence Day, or V. They don't make this shit up.

  15. BJ Nemeth

    I call it a bit unfortunate for Bodog, because it would have served them much better if David won something this big early in his contract, and not at the very end.

    Bodog had a WPT World Champion on their team, but only for a week. Now that David’s contract has expired, I don’t expect Bodog to hype his victory — something they certainly would have done if he was in the middle of his contract.

    As for David, his value in the poker sponsorship market definitely increased with the high-profile victory and Top 20 All-Time Money Winner status. That’s true even though the overall poker sponsorship market is in limbo right now. Poker superagent Brian Balsbaugh definitely has his work cut out for him.

  16. BJ Nemeth

    So Dan activated italics in his comment, forgot to turn them off, and my comment is forced into italics too? That sucks.

  17. DanM

    duly fixed. that was a weird one … i had the / i in there, but it didn’t translate. if the Feds aren’t somehow trying to hijack my site, surely the aliens are.

    (ok, lol-at-self … i will drop this line of shtick. boring myself with it now, but it’s just so easy!)

  18. BodogBecky

    Hi everyone, Calvin asked me to post the following on his behalf:

    “David is a great player and a great guy. Patrik Selin (former CEO of OnGame which sold to Bwin for 500 M Euros in 2005) took over bodog Poker last year and he has a new business model that is to be more recreational player based and does not have room for big poker pros. As far as I know they parted on good terms and David has known that his contract was not going to be renewed since before he won that tournament. I was happy to see David win a big one personally and have fond memories of my time working with him prior to 2006. He will make a great addition to any of the big poker brands out there should he choose this.

    Calvin Ayre
    Founder of BodogBrand.com”

  19. buckmouth

    heard about big prop bet greg merko had on scotty talk about bad beat

  20. buckmouth

    understand last longer scotty vs flattop baxter scotty was chip leader or close 5.5 mill flattop 400 k bet merko was in shock have to check on ammount but rummor has it was boxcars

  21. DanM

    a few more details about said prop bet, por favor?

  22. bundas

    Wow Dan you have to be really proud of pokerati…

    No you have folks posting on behalf of important people… what’s next, important people actually posting for themselves…
    Cheers ~

  23. bundas

    That was suppose to say

    now you have folks posting on behalf of important people… what’s next, important people actually posting for themselves…
    Cheers ~

  24. Andrew

    Manderbutt. That is all.

  25. donkey bomber


    Notice that your candelight dinner option with BodogBecky was a complete air ball. She didn’t even make mention of it in her response. That had to leave a mark…rejected on your own blog.

  26. DanM

    all good. she knows what i need her to know …

  27. BodogBecky

    ha haa, you guys are funny