Jamie Gold went on an historic run during the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event. At 36, Gold won the largest tournament prize pool in poker history, taking home $12 million after his win. However, since his exploits in the mid-2000s, Gold has seemingly gone downhill.
From Novice to Champ
Gold has enjoyed poker since he was young, but it wasn’t until he worked on a poker show with Johnny Chan and Chris Moneymaker that he began taking the game seriously. Chan eventually became his poker mentor, and in 2005 Gold won his first recorded tournament for $54,225.
The following year, after cashing two tournaments, Gold took down the WSOP Main Event in one of the most memorable runs the series has seen. With limited competitive poker experience prior to the Main Event, Gold took the poker world by storm with his flashy antics.
Gold’s table talk and manner were so impactful that the following year the WSOP banned players from telling opponents their hole cards, a tactic Gold used incessantly during his run. He even flashed one of his cards at a player while making a big bluff.
It wasn’t long after Gold’s victory until he ran into trouble. In a business agreement between Bodog.com and Gold, Crispin Leyser paid for Gold’s entry into the 2006 Main Event in exchange for marketing work from Gold.
The agreement said that Gold was to split the money he made form the tournament, but after he won he went back on his word and denied Leyser the $6 million he was owed. That year, Leyser sued Gold which froze $6 million of his earnings.
The two eventually settled out of court for an undisclosed amount of money.
Despite the controversy, Gold was a poker star. He made appearances on all the biggest poker television shows like Poker After Dark and High Stakes Poker, but his results were not the best.
Although he won the Main Event, Gold had limited experience playing high stakes cash games prior to 2006. Factor in playing against the best players in the world and you get a recipe for disaster.
In 2013, Gold’s Main Event bracelet was put online for auction. However, Gold explained at the time that the bracelet wasn’t even in his possession, which was confirmed by the website hosting the auction.
The bracelet eventually sold to an anonymous buyer for $65,725. Would someone who doesn’t need the money put up one of their most prized possessions for sale?
More recently, Gold has had some success. In 2016 he took second in a WSOP Circuit event for $139,820, and in 2019 he made his return to Poker After Dark as well as Live At The Bike. He said in an interview that he doesn’t play televised poker much anymore unless it’s convenient for him, but he is still a regular in cash games.
Gold has also used his status in the poker world to host charity events. He especially focuses on the ALS Association because his father was dying of the disease during his run.
He is still active as an investor and portfolio adviser, but it’s safe to say that Jamie Gold will never reach the level he was once at.
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