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SEC Drops Doyle Brunson's World Poker Tour Bid Investigation

by PokerPages.com
Wed, Jun 13th, 2007 @ 12:00am

On July 7, 2005 WPT Enterprises (WPTE), owner of World Poker Tour, received an unsolicited cash bid of $700 million which was a stunning 100% premium over its trading price from a group of investors headed by poker legend Doyle Brunson, which quickly fell apart, but triggered an inquiry by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). This week, gambling portal 911 reported that the SEC inquiry has been dropped.

According the SEC, shortly after the bid was submitted two years ago, a public relations firm Brunson hired and a website he endorsed publicly announced the offer for WPTE. The stock jumped over 50% the day of the announcement and the word "pump and dump" was used by Motley Fool's Lawrence Meyers to question whether the bid was a manipulation of the stock price (click here for related article).

When WPTE publicly disclosed Brunson and his law firm's unresponsiveness to deliver follow-up information on their bid, WPTE stock price sharply declined, costing investors tens of millions of dollars in lost market value. Brunson's offer eventually expired.

The Commission had investigated whether Brunson's offer and its subsequent publication violated federal securities laws, including the antifraud provisions of Sections 10(b) and 14(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

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