|In America, five poker professionals have settled their long-running dispute with World Poker Tour Enterprises (WPTE) Incorporated over the use of player release forms.|
Players Chris ‘Jesus’ Ferguson, Andrew Bloch, Annie Duke, Phil Gordon and Howard Lederer launched the case two years ago after refusing to sign the forms, which controlled the use of their images at World Poker Tour competitions. They stated that endorsing the forms could violate or prejudice other activities and agreements conditional on their celebrity and were subsequently excluded from World Poker Tour events, which they claimed violated their rights in terms of anti-trust laws.
Professional players Greg Raymer and Joe Hachem were also involved in the original action but subsequently relinquished their participation.
The agreement included no pecuniary damages but does involve a change in the contested release form and was described by Ferguson as ‘fair’.
'We are happy to have come to an agreement that is fair to all players and to have put in place a new release that clears up ambiguities in how players' images may be used,” said Ferguson.
“We are especially happy that this new release will apply to all poker players who wish to participate in World Poker Tour tournaments and events. WPTE has created some of the best poker events in the world and we are excited to participate in them once again.'
'WPTE continues to deny any liability or wrongdoing but wants to settle its differences with the players so that the Tour can focus on its continued growth rather than litigation,” said Steve Lipscomb, Chief Executive Officer for WPTE.
'We are glad to put this dispute behind us and we look forward to working with all players to grow the sport of poker.'