Bodog Gets Sued Over “Calvin Ayre Wild Card Poker,” Series Starts this Saturday on FSN

A Wicked Chops Poker Exclusive*

CalvinayrewildcardIn 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 Ayre is a rich dude who is getting tons of exposure these days and no doubt this won’t be the last of allegations made against him (nor the first).

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.

Related reads:

:: Bodog Press Release for “Calvin Ayre Wild Card Poker” TV Series

:: 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 – here and here.

* As far as we know.
** Leave it to a lawyer to use the word “used” and “utilized” in the same sentence.

 

19 Responses

  1. beans

    April 11, 2006 12:17 pm, Reply

    I think the freedom friendship corps might sue Calvin for the use of “Welcome to My World”, which is obviously a rip-off of the tag line on the t-shirts given to WCP as “swag” at the weekly game, “Welcome to Our World”.
    The guy doesn’t have an original idea in his head, except for the notion that mostly-naked girls, otherwise known in the industry as “sex”, sells… which is all him, he’s a genius.

  2. P'flash

    April 11, 2006 12:22 pm, Reply

    true dat..what he said.
    though what the hell is freedom friendship corps?
    sounds like a jimmy carter thang.

  3. jason

    April 11, 2006 12:39 pm, Reply

    it looks like Calvin is blockin the hot chicks behind him in that photo…he better not be doing that on the show. bad idea.

  4. Paull

    April 11, 2006 12:48 pm, Reply

    Please tell me that the spokesperson you spoke to at
    Bodog wasn’t the same woman who’s included as a
    defendant in the lawsuit?
    Also, being a lawyer myself, getting an injunction is
    pretty rare for any case so I wouldn’t trust that as a
    good gage. Let us know if there is an update to this
    case. From a legal standpoint this is pretty
    interesting.

  5. snake

    April 11, 2006 1:03 pm, Reply

    As a (former) shyster myself and writer of this story, the statement above regarding the injunction was purely factual and doesn’t in anyway purport to gauge the outcome of Pepaj’s lawsuit.
    We’ll keep you posted.

  6. Frank

    April 11, 2006 1:39 pm, Reply

    From the lawsuit, it looks like FOX is also a
    defendant, but your article doesn’t mention them. Can
    you elaborate on that and what FOX thinks about this
    issue? I bet they are pissed. If that show ends up
    being the same, won’t FOX be now liable?

  7. snake

    April 11, 2006 1:45 pm, Reply

    Fox was named as a defendant i believe only as far as the injunction because they are the broadcasting entity. All other causes of action were against every defendant but FSN. i believe FSN arent technically producers of the show and this law suit seems to be based on production grounds not broadcast. plus, wouldnt she be better off if it is broadcast considering she is suing for profits and monetary damages…a show that doesnt air has no value right?
    btw, I’ll seek a statement from FSN.

  8. snake

    April 11, 2006 2:00 pm, Reply

    Blackspy, you’re a lawyer…your job is to read unnecessarily long winded crap…this should be a piece of cake for you (if not crap)
    but to help you out….
    Woman who does reality tv shows allegedly sold Bodog on a reality poker concept. meetings allegedly ensued. bodog allegedly ended up doing show without her. she apparently sued. show is airing this saturday.

  9. snake

    April 12, 2006 8:25 pm, Reply

    Thanks James, we received Bodog’s statement as we were publishing our story and simply added the bit about the injunction being denied as the rest was standard response in light of litigation. good story by the way. good stuff.

  10. Blair Thein

    May 8, 2008 4:29 pm, Reply

    Hi poker world
    My name is Blair Thein I am the creator/contestant of a ground breaking reality show that is ready to make sport’s and entertainment history with a combination of 3 of the hottest sport’s on the planet. Pool,Poker & Pain (extreme fighting) There has been 12 stories written a pilot film $300k invested 4 years in the making and 37 contestants ready to prove there is a new breed of athlete that is multi-talented and ready to shock the sport’s & gaming worlds.
    Thank you
    Blair Thein
    561-201-0331

  11. Blair Thein

    May 8, 2008 4:30 pm, Reply

    Hi poker world
    My name is Blair Thein I am the creator/contestant of a ground breaking reality show that is ready to make sport’s and entertainment history with a combination of 3 of the hottest sport’s on the planet. Pool,Poker & Pain (extreme fighting) There has been 12 stories written a pilot film $300k invested 4 years in the making and 37 contestants ready to prove there is a new breed of athlete that is multi-talented and ready to shock the sport’s & gaming worlds.
    Thank you
    Blair Thein
    561-201-0331

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