Aussie Poker Company Small Fish in a Shark Bowl

Posted at 02:42 2008-11-23
This story is part 1 of a 3 part series that will educate the readers about the incredible series of events knows as, The Neverending Poker Story.


As most poker players know, I am a regular participant at the World Series Of Poker (WSOP). Whilst there in 2007 I observed cards being used bearing the Neverending poker (NEP) logo. I was aware of this company, as it had recently been formed in Australia; subsequently I had spoken to the founder of NEP Steve Wise. The following story is a true story about events that took place at that years WSOP.
Steve’s Story

Steve currently lives in New South Wales and has been an avid poker lover for 30 year’s. He formed the concept of Never Ending Poker back in 2005

In 2006 NEP paid US$14,540.00 to United States Playing Card Company (USPC) also known as KEM to manufacture cards bearing NEP trade marked logo, these cards were manufactured incorrectly (standard index instead of jumbo index).

KEM acknowledged their mistake and reprinted the cards with the correct index. Steve received the new cards and sent back the incorrect cards; USPC assured him they would not be able to use the incorrect cards.

On July 6th 2007, Steve was playing in event 11 at the WSOP, $1,500 Limit Holdem. During play, he noticed that the cards being used featured the trademarked NEP logo on them. Steve then requested to speak to the Tournament director and was introduced to Janet Sexton. Janet was the Floor Person running that event, but was not the main Tournament Director for the WSOP, in 2007 that person was Jack Effel. Regardless, Steve explained to Janet that he had a problem with the cards being used. Not completely understanding the complaint of Steve, Janet responded that players and dealers had complained about the previous cards and that they had since replaced all the cards with the old style small index cards, the ones that featured the NEP logo.

At the beginning of the 2007 WSOP, Harrahs introduced a new style of playing cards. There was an immediate uproar from players and dealers alike, as these cards were very difficult to read. Unfortunately the poker players were not prepared for the new faces, and the WSOP was forced to replace them with regular decks.

Here is a photo of the original cards used by the WSOP in 2007.

As you can obviously see their image was very confusing for both players and dealers!
The cards that were used to replace these were the cards that featured the NEP logo. These cards were used without the permission of Steve Wise and his company.

Steve’s Story continues

Steve then responded that it’s not the old cards he had a problem with; it’s the ones they were using now. He then presented Janet with a deck of cards from his pocket, they were still in the wrapper and they were exactly the same as the cards the WSOP were using. The cards had his trademark logo on them and he had not given the WSOP permission to use them.
Janet then responded by saying, “oh no, we have 100s of packs of those cards.”
She stated she had an executive meeting shortly and someone would get back to him, they never did.

Over the following days, the WSOP continued using the cards, even after further complaints made by Steve that were completely ignored!

It was at this point in time, that Steve decided to take legal action to stop the WSOP from using the cards bearing his logo. Steve’s main problem was that at that point in time, he was negotiating a joint poker venture and he did not wish to potentially jeopardize this.

How does a multi-million dollar company like Harrah’s and the WSOP use another company’s logo cards?



In Part 2, we find out what happened with Harrahs, and move on to the next twist in the road for Steve, legal action against KEM.

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