Jeff Shulman Explains Controversial WSOP Comments
Talks About His Plans for the World Series of Poker Bracelet
On July 15, as the remaining 27 players in the World Series of Poker main event worked their way down to the final nine, reports emerged that Card Player magazine President and COO Jeff Shulman would throw the main-event bracelet in the trash if he won the event.
Now, as he’s a member of 2009’s elite “November Nine” field (Shulman heads to the event’s recess in fourth chip position), a buzz has swirled as to the reasons behind his remark.
“Some people are reporting that I’m upset because the World Series canceled a media deal with Card Player,” he said.
“My comments have nothing to do with that, and everything to do with my disappointment in how the World Series is run. It used to be run by people who loved and really cared about poker, and had the players in mind, first and foremost. That mission’s been derailed by a few executives who now head the Series.”
Shulman, who has racked up $1.3 million in lifetime tournament winnings, has played in a number of World Series events in the past decade.
“This year, the WSOP locked out players who flew in from around the world to play in the main event, charged nearly $3 million in entry fees for the main event alone, continued to create an uneven playing field by giving special treatment to some, and, in general, display bad attitudes and make inaccurate decisions.”
Shulman dismisses the assumption that his disdain stems from a lack of media access for Card Player magazine and CardPlayer.com at the Series.
“Card Player and the World Series had a media deal in 2005 and 2006. Our opinion was that the event should be open to all media, but the World Series made a decision that only one media company would get access, and that company would have to pay for it.
“Card Player and the World Series had disagreements on the media coverage from day one, and we chose not to even bid on the deal in 2007. It wasn’t worth it, and they sold it to someone else. We were glad to get rid of it.”
Shulman is surprised that some in the poker community are so quick to blame Card Player for the trend of establishing media exclusivity in the poker business.
“Harrah’s made the decision to auction off the media rights to cover the World Series to the highest bidder, not us. Do we like it? Absolutely not.”
As for renouncing the bracelet, Shulman says that he stands by this decision, if he is privileged enough to win.
“Look, I love poker and entered with the hopes of winning,” Shulman stated. “But, more importantly, I support making the industry stronger and better for the players, and to do this, there needs to be some major changes to the way the World Series is run at the highest level.
“Hopefully, by doing something like this, people will start talking about those changes.
“I am going to stand by my commitment, but instead of pointlessly throwing it in the trash, I have come up with a few ideas. Feel free to shoot me any other ideas. I’ve got a few months to decide.”
Jeff Shulman’s alternative bracelet ideas:
1. Auction off the bracelet and give the money to charity
2. Hold a tournament for all players shut out of the main event and award the winner the bracelet
3. Give the bracelet away in a SpadeClub.com tournament
4. Give the bracelet to Stephen Colbert
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