A Wicked Chops Poker Exclusive*
In a lawsuit filed in a California state court last Tuesday, an L.A. television and film producer named Babette Pepaj claims she created and pitched online gaming giant Bodog an “original poker style reality television” concept entitled “Poker Showdown” and that with the upcoming airing of “Calvin Ayre Wild Card Poker” on Fox Sports Net, Calvin Ayre and gang have “used, exploited and utilized”** Pepaj’s reality show concept.
Pepaj, who you may or (more likely) may not know for producing such “landmark” small screen programming as “He’s a Lady,” “Classmates,” “For Better or for Worse,” “Love Shack” and “Livin’ Large,” is seeking unspecified monetary damages.
According to a Bodog spokesperson, an injunction sought against the airing of the show has already been denied by the Los Angeles Superior Court, so for those who already have their TiVo set for “Wild Card Poker” this Saturday night, 11 p.m.-1 a.m., the party is on.
Pepaj’s filed complaint is attached as a pdf here. We unfortunately don’t have Bodog’s Defense and Counterclaim to the suit to share with you, but they say too much legal reading “may” cause blindness, erectile dysfunction, and premature balding, so unless you already have those conditions and have nothing to lose, you shouldn’t read that stuff anyway.
But to sum up Pepaj’s claims for you, basically she’s saying she created a reality tv show idea that “would for the first time infuse the high tension of poker tournament play with the ‘in your face’ drama of reality television,” and “included numerous novel aspects such as…. experiences of the participants living within the Bodog Mansion, and various other excursions exposing the audience and participants to the Bodog lifestyle.”
The parties involved in the suit met on several occasions at swanky LA hotels, agreements were or weren’t made and the end result is that Bodog begins airing its reality poker series this Saturday and Pepaj is saying she got screwed. Her suit claims breach of written contract, breach of implied contract, breach of confidence and misappropriation of ideas.
We have no opinion on any of these allegations except that Pepaj’s previous work blows and that the planned show called “Poker Showdown” sounds neither “unique” nor “original,” and even appears to infringe, in name alone, on Bravo’s “Celebrity Poker Showdown.” We also have the opinion that “Calvin Ayre Wild Card Poker” will be watched more for its poolside action than the action on the felt and that
But our opinions are our opinions so instead we’re just going to share a link with you of the commercial for ‘Calvin Ayre Wild Card Poker” (you can also click the image above). It features various footage from the series’ shindigs/tournament and Ayre at the end saying “Welcome to My World,” which depending on how this lawsuit and potentially others turnout, may or may not be a world you wish for.
:: A Time Magazine article on women poker players, in which the 30-something year old Babette Pepaj was interviewed.
:: Wicked Chops Poker stories on the filming of “Calvin Ayre Wild Card Poker,” including the raid by Costa Rican police –
* As far as we know.
** Leave it to a lawyer to use the word “used” and “utilized” in the same sentence.