IPT’s Trudeau Promises Full Payment

The founder of the International Pool Tour, multi-millionaire Kevin Trudeau yesterday promised that all the players who participated in the last World Open 8-Ball Championships will be paid the prize money due them, in full.

In a letter sent out by Trudeau to all the IPT players which was forwarded to Viva Sports/Manila Standard Today by Tour Director Deno Andrews, Trudeau said that he was committed to pay all players "a portion of the prize money due each week, starting this week, until you are paid in full."

Trudeau blamed a new law which made online gaming in the US illegal for "dramatically and instantly" reducing the IPT's sponsorship revenue and additional funding sources by over 80 percent which caused "a temporary shortfall in IPT revenues" which forced a delay in payment of prize money. He said the IPT was organizing additional funding scources to get the players paid as soon as possible. Trudeau claimed that for the future he had "commitments based on the IPO of Ho Interactive, of $25 million from institutional investors after the first of the year. "

The latest development sets aside an original plan to cutback on the total prize money of $3 million to $1 million with each player receiving one-third of prize money due. IPT executive and TV producer Jon Denny in an earlier overseas telephone call to this reporter said under the payment scheme Reyes who won $500,000 would receive $166,000 and if he agreed to taking the cut would get almost $40,000 one week later with a second installment in December and the final payment in January.

However, in the face of opposition from American Rodney "The Rocket" Morris who lost to Reyes in the finals of the IPT World Open 8-Ball Championship and insisted he would only settle for full payment of $150,000 which he won , as well as the support he got from some of the other players, the IPT apparently backed off. AZ Billiards reported that players had "already formed a committee and are seeking various avenues of recourse" with hints of possible legal action to recover their prize money including a claim for damages..

Reyes who had the most to lose didn't wish to comment on developments but had earlier expressed confidence that he would receive his prize money eventually pointing out that he had no problems in collecting his $200,000 prize when he won the IPT Tour "King of the Hill" beating American ace Mike Sigel last December and some other big money which he won in the North American Open 8-Ball Championships.

In his letter Trudeau that the 2007 IPT season will go and "every player will have been paid 100 percent, in full, before the next tournament." Trudeau said he appreciated and understood the players "frustration and disappointment" and asked for their "understanding and patience." He promised a robust 2007 season and beyond and told the players "if you want to play in these tournaments I encourage you to do so. If you choose not to play in IPT events, that will be your choice. I am taking the IPT to the very top and whoever wants to come along with me is welcome."