SPADEPOKER>POKER NEWS> He came, he conquered and left - the story of the forgotten hero Jamie Gold

He came, he conquered and left - the story of the forgotten hero Jamie Gold

The poker world is an endless fountain of interesting, hilarious, sad and shocking stories, including the one about Jamie Gold. The champion of the biggest ever WSOP ME could have started a brutal career 18 years ago, but unfortunately fate has arranged it differently...

Winning the most valuable title in the poker world also brings with it worldwide media attention, and every champion is talked about long after they have won the prize of a lifetime. Jamie Gold is no exception, but he's no ordinary champion - it was Jamie who in 2006 broke the WSOP's second largest ME to date (8,773 entries), from which he took home a record $12,000,000 as champion.

But Gold didn't exactly win the hearts of the fans during this lifetime achievement - irritating trash talk, constant boasting and provoking his opponents, often bordering on the rules, accompanied his journey to the end. "People often misinterpret and exaggerate. Television presented me in such a way that I looked like a total provocateur. But those who know me know that was just my tactic and that I wasn't exaggerating at all."

Although Gold was not one of the favourites for the final table, he was able to make his dream come true in the end and walk away with the gold bracelet. But the life-changing success didn't kick-start the poker career he had promised; on the contrary, as time went on, people forgot about Gold until he became embroiled in several infamous scandals, lawsuits, the sale of his bracelet, and an affair triggered by British TV producer Crispin Leyser, who claimed Gold owed him half of his winnings.

The ten thousand Euro entry fee was paid to Gold by a poker club owned by Leyser, for which half of the eventual winnings were to go to the club. This did not happen, and everything led to a court case, the outcome of which was never made public, but a statement was offered to the media that the two sides had finally settled out of court.

In the years following the win, Gold became involved in show business, where he both appeared regularly at charity events and also began earning money by advising companies on how to properly grow and become a top performer in their field. "For me, poker has never been about how many tournaments I win. For me, it's always been about how much money I can make and how many people I could then help. Outside of the money, the biggest plus for me is that I can inspire people to make the world a better place to live."

But let's go back to the aforementioned bracelet, which unexpectedly appeared in an online auction in 2013. Poker's most valuable piece of jewelry was eventually auctioned off by an unknown buyer for $65,725, and Gold has never provided any further information on the whole affair. The only thing he revealed was that he himself was neither the seller nor the buyer.

On a global scale, Jamie's poker skills are certainly not lost on the world, as he regularly proved years later on shows like High Stakes Poker and Poker After Dark, where everyone was able to get a glimpse into his poker mind. Since that memorable win, Jamie has appeared 40 times in ITM major tournaments and has twice come very close to another bracelet - finishing fifth in a $1,500 NLH event in 2015 and second in a $1,675 NLH event a year later. His last live cashout came in September 2023, when he took home $23,105 for 8th place from the $2,200 PS Summer Series event in Philadelphia.

Whether you respect Jamie or he gets on your nerves, no one can take his lifetime achievement away from him. The success is only underscored by the fact that compared to the stars of the world's sports, Jamie managed to earn $12 million extremely quickly (in 14 days), which in those days was something incredible (Tiger Woods earned it in 3 and a half years, Kobe Bryant in 4 years, and Roger Federer in 6 years). How do you remember this unique player? Do you belong to his camp of fans?

Sources - HendonMob, Wikipedia, PokerNews, HighStakesDB