The lawsuit was filed in Las Vegas on Monday, October 26, against Harrah’s and the WSOP Academy, and the plaintiff in the case is Sally Anne Boyer, the winner of the 2007 World Series of Poker Ladies No-Limit Hold’em Championship poker tournament. She won the WSOP bracelet just days after attending a two-day WSOP Academy course in Las Vegas, and her name and likeness has been used by the Academy in advertisements since her victory.
More than two years after the events took place and the ads began, Boyer filed the suit in the Clark County District Court in pursuit of unspecified damages, a restraining order, an injunction, and recovery of profits from all advertisements using Boyer’s image and name. Named in the suit are Harrah’s Operating Company, which owns the WSOP; Post-Oak Productions, which produces and operates as World Series of Poker Academy; and Brandon Rosen and Jeff Goldenberg, co-owners of Post-Oak Productions.
Boyer not only claims that she never endorsed the WSOP Academy or credited them for her WSOP victory, but she says she never even completed the two-day course and did not “graduate.” Subsequent advertisements in magazines, on websites, and in e-mail marketing materials included her photo and the quote, “The quickest way to your WSOP Bracelet!” were published without her consent or providing her compensation. Therefore, she claimed they violated the Nevada right of publicity law.
The lawsuit reads, in part, “Boyer never said or authorized a statement on her behalf to the effect that participating in the WSOP Academy was ‘the quickest way to your WSOP Bracelet!’ or intimating that her success in the tournament was attributable to her experience attending one day of a two-day WSOP Academy event.”
Defendant Goldenberg was contacted by the Las Vegas Sun for comment and disputed the claims of the lawsuit, saying he was in possession of an e-mail from Boyer in August of 2007 that acknowledged her approval of the advertisement. She allegedly wrote, “Think the latest ad looks fine. I’d like to mail you a better picture I have of myself in my ‘poker tournament attire’ which you could use for future ads if you like.”
There is no word yet as to a countersuit or further proceedings.