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Poker Stories Podcast With Jamie Gold

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Jan 01, 2020

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Poker Stories is a long-form audio podcast series that features casual interviews with some of the game’s best players and personalities. Each episode highlights a well-known member of the poker world and dives deep into their favorite tales both on and off the felt.

To listen, visit www.cardplayer.com/poker-podcasts or download it directly to your device from any number of mobile apps, such as Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, or Spotify. Catch up on past episodes featuring notables such as Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreanu, Justin Bonomo, Nick Schulman, Barry Greenstein, Michael Mizrachi, Bryn Kenney, Mike Sexton, Brian Rast, Chris Moneymaker, Maria Ho, Joe Cada, Freddy Deeb, and many more.

Age: 50
Born: Kansas City, Missouri
Live Tournament Earnings: $12.6 Million

Top Five Live Tournament Scores

Aug. 2006 — WSOP Main Event — 1st Place — $12,000,000
March 2016 — WSOP Circuit Bike Main Event — 2nd Place — $139,820
July 2015 — WSOP $1,500 NLHE — 5th Place — $120,952
Sept. 2007 — WSOP Europe Main Event — 35th Place — $54,300
April 2005 — Stars And Stripes Event — 1st Place — $54,225

Jamie Gold was just a teenager when he got started in the entertainment business, and was the youngest talent agent in Hollywood when he broke in, landing clients such as James Gandolfini, Jimmy Fallon, Felicity Huffman, Jeffrey Wright, and Donnie Wahlberg. After getting burned out by being constantly on call, however, Gold decided to take some time off and focus on his new passion, which was poker.

Gold jumped head first into some of the biggest cash games in Southern California, and eventually found success playing tournaments. Later that year he worked out a deal to play the World Series of Poker main event, and after navigating his way through a field of 8,773 players, earned the title and the $12 million payout. In the years since, Gold has been seen on numerous poker shows, including High Stakes Poker and Poker After Dark, but has spent the majority of his time on the felt helping to raise more than $500 million for various causes and charities.

Highlights from this interview include missing Dean Cain’s birthday party, a Woodstock birth, being the youngest agent in Hollywood, the year Jimmy Fallon slept on his couch, why James Gandolfini hated the spotlight, jumping into the biggest cash games BEFORE winning the WSOP, hanging around Johnny Chan for poker tips, table talk, trading celebrities for buy-ins, the truth about his deal with Crispin Leyser, money misconceptions, ‘losing $1 million’ in a city he hasn’t been to in a decade, being cheated in private games, from Molly’s Game to Inside Game, the Hollywood party that made the Playboy Mansion look boring, getting yelled at by Jack Nicholson and being consoled by Paul Reiser, a four-day poker session, what Robert Downey Jr., Stephen Colbert, and Chad Lowe have in common, betting a yacht on the Super Bowl, and seeing Bad News Bears 22 times in the theater.

The Transcript Highlights

On What He Missed By Winning The Main Event

Jamie Gold: We had a very interesting [celebrity] Bodog team that year, which included Dean Cain, who was Superman at the time.

Julio Rodriguez: I went to lunch with Dean Cain that summer. Such a nice guy.

JG: The nicest guy. Yeah, he played on the team, and at the dinner break… it was the only point in the tournament that I wasn’t doing really well. I was almost out. I think I was down to 3,000 in chips. And Dean said, ‘Listen, I have a private jet waiting. It’s my 40th birthday. Do you want to come party with me?’ And I said, ‘Absolutely! I’m pretty sure I’m going to be out. Will you hold?’ And he said, ‘I’ll hold it for you, don’t worry about it.’ But after dinner, I started rolling. I got up to the top 10 in chips, got lucky, and went from there.

JR: Well if you are going to miss a Dean Cain party, you might as well win the damn thing.

JG: I ran into him a year later, and I said, ‘I’m so sorry, I should have apologized to you.’ And he said, ‘I had a feeling you got busy. What ever happened with that WSOP?’ (Laughing)

On Dealing With The Haters

JG: People don’t understand that I’ve never been a full-time poker player ever. I’ve always made my living other ways. I invest in companies. I’m an advisor. I do a lot of things with my life, that have nothing to do with poker, but people only judge… It’s so funny how concerned people are with how much money you have.

People will say to me, ‘How much money do you have, anyway?’ In what other life would you go up to a stranger and ask them that?

JR: What’s the weirdest or rudest question or comment you’ve ever gotten from somebody?__

JG: I’ve gotten a lot of creepy, or odd comments. The other day I’m in a bathroom stall, and two guys come in and start talking. ‘Hey, did you see who that is?’ ‘Yeah, it’s that Jamie Gold guy.’ ‘Yeah, I was in Chicago earlier this year, and I watched him lose a million dollars. That guy is a fish!’

So, [the other guy leaves], and I come out of the stall and I say, ‘You know I haven’t been to Chicago in ten years. So when did you see me exactly losing this money?’
And he says, ‘Oh, he knew I was just kidding.’ ‘No, I don’t think he knew you were kidding, and I think you should stop telling stories about people you’ve never met.’

JR: I would have loved to see that guy die inside when you walked out and confronted him.

On Getting Yelled At By Jack Nicholson At Carrie Fisher’s Birthday Party

JR: Obviously, you’ve worked with a lot of celebrities over the years, but have you ever been star struck, or have you ever been nervous to meet somebody?

JG: Yeah, especially when I was younger, there were certain people. Every year, there was always this legendary party that nobody could get invited to.

JR: Yes, an A-list party?

JG: More than just A-list. I mean, the Playboy Mansion parties were very difficult to get in, but you could. These were absolutely impossible. These were famous people with only famous friends who only invited their famous friends. It was Penny Marshall and Carrie Fisher, who had a double birthday party, and it was just known that they would only invite superstars. I was an agent at the time, so not necessarily invited.

One of my famous clients, however, told me they couldn’t make it, and asked if I wanted to go in their place. They said I would probably get thrown out, but gave me the invitation to try. I said, ‘why not?’ I was friendly with so many people there anyway, that I figured it would just work out.

It was very tough security, but they let me in. I was walking in and I was seeing Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Sean Connery, and George Clooney. On and on and on. Everywhere you look, you think, how is this possible? It was like going to the Oscars, but at a private party where, not everybody, but a lot of the people are… enjoying themselves a lot.

JR: You mean taking from the mountains of cocaine on the table?

JG: I’m not going to tell any private stories about [what I saw from the] famous people, it’s just not my way. But I can tell one personal story about me. I was a massive fan of Jack Nicholson, and I was standing in line waiting for the bathroom. He comes out, and I did a double take.

And, you could tell that I was one of the only people at the party that would react like that, because everybody else was famous enough to [keep their cool]. But I did that crazy fan reaction, which was very inappropriate, and he knew what was coming.

He basically berated me. ‘Who the fuck are you? What are you doing here? You piece of shit, get out of here!’

I felt so small. I wanted to die. To meet one of my ultimate guys like that, and have him scream at me. I was standing with some people, who were also famous in their own right, and they were saying, ‘Its okay, don’t listen to him.’

And Paul Reiser… I’ll never forget this. He took me aside and said, ‘First of all, you don’t want to meet your heroes, because they’ll never live up to what you want them to be. But also, you have to understand that he is a method actor, he’s studying for a role, and he’s in that mode right now. Look at him, he’s screaming at everybody.’

Turns out, he was doing a movie called As Good As It Gets, where he plays the ultimate asshole who screams at everybody. So that had nothing to do with me. I think he won the Oscar for that movie.

JR: So, it was worth it to get yelled at like that. What if your reaction is what he needed to find his character? What if he pictured your face the entire time he was making that film?

JG: I should contact him and remind him that I helped train him for that role. I’m sure it had a lot to do with me. (laughing)

JR: Well thank god for Paul Reiser. ♠

You can check out the entirety of the interview in the audio player at the top of the page or download it directly to your device to play on the go from Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app.

Catch up on past episodes featuring notables such as Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreanu, Bryn Kenney, Justin Bonomo, Nick Schulman, Barry Greenstein, Michael Mizrachi, Mike Sexton, Brian Rast, Freddy Deeb, Joe Cada, Layne Flack, Chris Moneymaker, Maria Ho and many more. If you like what you hear, be sure to subscribe to get the latest episodes automatically when they are released.