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$60 Million Business Deal Forged Over Las Vegas $1-$2 Poker Table

Retail Chain Sold Thanks To Card Game

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A conversation started at a poker table during last year’s World Series of Poker is responsible for the sale of a retail chain worth a reported $60 million.

As first reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Kansas City Business Journal, the CEO of Joplin-based Vintage Stock Inc. and Jon Isaac of Las Vegas-based holding company Live Ventures Inc. were playing poker together on the Las Vegas Strip and started talking business.

After the game and later some lunch, Isaac’s firm was buying the movie, video game and memorabilia retail chain, which boasts 60 stores in seven states.

Isaac told Card Player that they were playing a $1-2 pot-limit Omaha game at the Venetian Casino. According to Isaac, he had won about 10 buy-ins from Vintage Stock CEO Rodney Spriggs on the day they met. “Until this day he reminds me of his loss to me,” Isaac said to Card Player. “My counter argument to him has always been that the table at which we met was his most profitable poker session ever, netting him $60 million.”

Spriggs was in town for the annual WSOP, the pinnacle of the poker year.

“Like business, poker is a long-term game," the 34-year-old Isaac said of the parallels between the two worlds. “You may win or lose individual hands or sessions, but if you take risks only when the odds are in your favor, you will make money long-term. Both involve quick math, instinct, and require that you have the heart to make a big move when timing is right.”

Vintage Stock wasn’t exactly on the market at the time, but yet a deal was had. The sale brought Live Ventures’ assets to $120 million, according to a press release. The deal, which was for 100 percent of Vintage Stock, closed in November 2016, just three months after the poker game.

“Vintage Stock’s CEO, Rodney Spriggs, is truly a one-of-a-kind executive,” Isaac said at the time. Isaac’s company, formerly known as LiveDeal, is public on the NASDAQ under the symbol LIVE.

“I play poker as a getaway from the long hours of running a company and some of the same skill sets are vital to winning at poker,” Spriggs said.

Spriggs added that he was winning in the game before Isaac sat down and they started talking business, but had he beat Isaac at cards the deal might never have happened.

“The real amount Jon owes me is $1,500 because I was up that much in the hour I played before he got there,” Spriggs said of the poker game, “but over the next six hours my focus was definitely on what his company was doing and what looked to be a perfect fit. If I would have beat him it might have only been a two-hour conversation.”