World Series of Poker (WSOP) Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack has resigned from his post at the WSOP and Harrah’s. Friday, November 13th, was Pollack’s last day on the job.
“It’s bittersweet, but I’m leaving with just great memories and a really nice sense of it being a great run. More than anything else, I’m just appreciative of the opportunity to have been part of the WSOP,” said Pollack, who was instrumental in growing the WSOP since assuming his position in 2005.
The WSOP entered its 40th year this year, with Michigan pro Joe Cada crowned its latest and youngest champion last week.
World Series of Poker spokesman Seth Palansky said there were no immediate intentions to replace Pollack.
Back in May, Pollack teamed with former Party Gaming CEO Mitch Garber to lead Harrah’s Interactive Entertainment, the casino giant’s newly-formed online arm. Pollack was slated to be its President and Harrah’s CEO Gary Loveman commented in a press release announcing the launch: “As the world’s largest gaming company, Harrah’s is taking a proactive approach toward international and interactive expansion. It is important we position ourselves to explore new markets as well as new technologies with our best in class brands.”
Pollack said his next career move remains up in the air: “I really wanted to see this year through, see this series through. I’m leaving on an absolute high note.”
Cannery Casino Resorts, the Las Vegas-based company that owns The Meadows Racetrack & Casino, is restructuring its executive line-up to allow its founders to spend more time on long-term strategic planning, according to a story in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The newspaper reported that CCR named Tom Lettero to the newly created position of president. Lettero also will retain his duties as chief financial officer.
Xavier Walsh was hired from Melbourne, Australia-based casino owner Crown Ltd. to be CCR’s chief operating officer, a position Lettero is surrendering.
Walsh will oversee operations of all CCR properties, which also include the Cannery in North Las Vegas and the Rampart Casino at the JW Marriott at Summerlin.
Walsh’s prior employer, Crown Ltd., suspended its attempt to purchase CCR for $1.75 billion in March. While Crown still has a two-year option to close the sale, the company, controlled by billionaire James Packer, paid $325 million for a 24.5 percent stake in Cannery pending regulatory approval.
CCR, like its competitors, is burdened by heavy debt and declining casino revenue. It had about $860 million in debt in late May. Executives told the newspaper the company is financially strong and is making plans beyond the current economy.
The Nevada Supreme Court has ordered a new trial on punitive damages awarded to a Las Vegas gambler against the Imperial Palace, citing attorney misconduct.
In an opinion issued last Thursday, the high court said James Grosjean’s trial lawyer, Robert Nersesian, improperly asked jurors to “send a message” to the casino and to put themselves in his client’s position.
Grosjean, an expert gambler, was awarded $99,000 in compensatory damages and $150,000 in punitive damages after he was handcuffed, searched and detained by security guards in 2000 at the request of state Gaming Control Board agents.
Court records say about halfway through the 45-minute incident, another Control Board agent said Grosjean should be released, but he was not immediately let go.