World Poker Tour Enterprise Inc have announced that they have finally settled the lawsuit filed against them by several well known professional poker players in July 2006.
The case concerned the player release form which the WPT used, where the players claimed that the terms and conditions of the player release violated their rights to manage their own images and in turn, force them into violating other endorsement deals, which consequently resulted in their non-participation in WPT events.
Chris Ferguson, Phil Gordon, Annie Duke, Andy Black and Howard Lederer were all listed as party to the final settlement of the suit.  Whilst Joe Hachem and Greg Raymer,  who were originally in the group of 7 players who filed suit, both dropped their involvement before the settlement.
The WPTE denied any wrongdoing, insisting that their standard player release was not in violation of antitrust or any other law.  However they did stress their desire to move forward and to settle its differences with the players so that they could focus on its continued growth.
The resolution of the settlement did not include any monetary compensation but addresses the terms of the WPT’s player release, which will be provided to all players at all WPT events, beginning with the Bellagio’s $25k WPT Championship event which starts over the forthcoming weekend.
WPTE founder and CEO, Steve Lipscomb said “We are glad to put this dispute behind us, and we look forward to working with all players to grow the sport of poker.”.
Once of the players in action, Chris Ferguson commented “We are happy to have come to an agreement that is fair to all players, and to have put in place a new release that clears up the ambiguities in how players’ images may be used.  We are especially happy that this new release will apply to all poker players who wish to participate in WPT tournaments and events. WPTE has created some of the best poker events in the world, and we are excited to participate in them once again”.
Not only is this settlement of benefit to the players, but it is also great news for the fans who can now look forward to seeing some hugely popular players back on the WPT Circuit.