Doyle caught bluffing?

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by gunslinger, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. Updated: 3:12 a.m. ET Dec. 17, 2005
    US regulators are investigating a $700m bid for World Poker Tour Enterprises launched by Doyle Brunson, one of the game's best-known players.

    The Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday said it is formally investigating whether Mr Brunson's unsolicited offer and its publication violated anti-fraud laws.

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    Shares in WPTE, parent of the World Poker Tour television series, rose more than 50 per cent when the offer from Mr Brunson and unnamed investors was disclosed in July.

    But the shares fell when the bid expired just a few days later. WPTE could not substantiate the offer, saying Mr Brunson and Goodman & Chesnoff, the Las Vegas law firm representing him, had ended communication.

    The SEC is trying to enforce subpoenas issued to Goodman & Chesnoff attorneys David Chesnoff and Chaka Henry to hand over documents and testimony, according to documents filed this week in federal court in Texas. The $700m offer represented a 100 per cent premium over WPTE's then market value.

    "Publication of this offer, widely covered in the media, triggered a steep rise in WPT's stock price on record trading volume," the SEC said.

    Mr Brunson has invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and declined to testify in the investigation.

    He invoked the attorney-client privilege and asked the Goodman & Chesnoff attorneys to withhold documents related to the offer.

    But the SEC's latest court action seeks to set aside the attorney-client privilege on legal grounds. A WPTE spokesperson said the company would co-operate fully with the investigation.

    Mr Brunson won the World Series of Poker in 1976 and 1977 and is author of Super/System, considered a bible for poker players.

    The World Poker Tour is credited with fuelling the recent poker craze since the series was launched on US cable network The Travel Channel.

    Copyright The Financial Times Ltd. All rights reserved

    -When the bid came out my first thought was, before WPT went public, some of the poker pros could've conspired to by shares on the offering or right after (no suspicions would've been raised since it is their industry). Hold the stock for a year or two, then come up with some quasi-legit bid for the company, that would hold some water upon investigation, and sell on the news. Then I thought these guys are too smart to be that stupid.
  2. jsmith


    Sounds like he had no intention of buying.
    Probably was holding plenty of shares and dumped it the few days after the news.
  3. Like Livermore said "stick to what you know". I hope Doyle`s attorneys advised him on the possible consequences of stock manipulation schemes.
  4. Htrader

    Htrader Guest

    It sure took them long enough to start an investigation.

    The worst part is, even if the SEC manages to prove some illicit activity, at best Doyle and his lawyers will only have to pay a fine and give back their profits. Talk about a risk-free crime.
  5. Usually starts with SEC then goes to Attorney General. I like Doyle, so I hope it was all on the up and up.
  6. if he has to pay back the profits, and a fine on top of that - how is that risk free? what if the fine is double the profits earned. that's certainly not 'risk free.'
  7. alanm


    I was pretty shocked to see Doyle involved. For such a shrewd guy, I was surprised he got conned into putting his name on this scam, apparently thinking that there wouldn't be consequences. I wonder who it was that talked him into it.

    That Goodman's firm was involved, too, was pretty surprising, though they pretty quickly distanced themselves from it, as I recall.