Jamie Gold is well-known for his domination at the World Series of Poker No Limit Hold'em Championship in 2006, where he received his first and only WSOP gold bracelet, which he will always have to remind him of his success that day.
In addition to performing well at the WSOP, Gold is a well-established television producer, having teamed up to help many famous actors and actresses launch their careers, including Jimmy Fallon and Lucy Lui.
Jamie Usher was born August 25th, 1969 in Kansas City, Missouri. His parents got divorced when he was quite young, so he ended up moving out of state with his mother. After she got remarried, Jamie picked up his step father's last name, Gold. His mother was an excellent poker player and his grandfather was actually a professional gin rummy player, so the love of the game certainly runs in the family.
Gold graduated with degrees from the New York State University and the University of California in LA (UCLA) that focus on entertainment law. His interest in the entertainment business started when he was only sixteen years old and was an intern at the J. Michael Bloom & Associates Talent Agency. While still in college, he accepted a job in the company as a talent agent and before he knew it he was moving into their management/production department. By the time he finished his Bachelor's degree, he had built up quite a decent clientele.
The 2006 World Series of Poker
Gold was first introduced to the very talented Johnny Chan and Chris Moneymaker, when they were interested in developing the WSOP television special, "Grudge Matches." Chan, winner of 10 World Series of Poker bracelets, volunteered to give Gold advice and tips on how to become a better poker player. It wasn't long before Gold began regularly playing in poker tournaments.
In April 2005, at the Bicycle Casino, he won his first major No Limit Texas Hold 'em tournament for $54,000. Over the next twelve months, Gold won six events at the Hustler Casino and had several more in the money finishes at various California casinos. His ultimate goal was to compete in the WSOP.
Gold entered the 2006 World Series of Poker main event, outlasting over 8,000 players and winning a whopping $12,000,000 for his first place finish. Gold is remembered for eating blueberries during the entire tournament, jokingly claiming that the "brain food" helped his performance.
Bluff magazine, made a few comments on Gold's playing style during the WSOP saying, "He forced his tablemates to risk their entire stack time after time. If they reraised him, he either knew they were holding the nuts and folded, or he sniffed out a bluff and forced them all in." No matter what people's views are on the matter, Gold still managed to come up on top.
We later find out that Gold had agreed to find professional poker players to endorse Bodog if in exchange they paid his entry into the main event. Bodog held up their end of the bargain, but Gold chose to keep the $12 million profit and leave them in the dust. Bodog pressed charges against Gold, resulting in half of his winnings being retracted and placed into a frozen account. They later came to terms outside of court, but they didn't release any details to the public regarding their settlement.
Gold's triumphant victory and the controversy behind it lead to him becoming the second most searched name on Google in 2006, falling close behind Paris Hilton.
Life after his Victory
Gold returned to defend his title at the 2007 WSOP, but was eliminated on the first day for showing his hole cards to the opposing players. When it came to the WSOP in Europe, he managed to control his action and placed 35th in the main event. He still enters poker tournaments every now and again, but he focuses more on his career in the entertainment business these days.
Gold often makes guest appearances on televised poker shows including episodes of NBC's Poker After Dark and Game Show Network's High Stakes Poker. In addition to that, he loves competing in charitable poker events, having participated in over 200 different events and raising over $300,000 so far. After winning the 2007 Montel Williams Multiple Sclerosis Foundation Poker Tournament, he donated all of the prize money back to the foundation.
Author: Nicole Miller
Updated: December 2016