Poker Junkies may eventually come to a theater near you -- but it could take longer than hoped thanks to action by the Division of Securities at Colorado's Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA). Officials there have issued a cease and desist order against producers for failing to register security offerings with the state before cold-calling potential investors with, among other things, promises of a premiere-night dinner with Gene Hackman. The companies involved include Poker Junkies Productions and Abundance Entertainment. According to DORA, reps of the firms were attempting to raise $15 million to make their dream project a reality, with one potential investor being told by a pitchman that by ponying up, he'd receive "red carpet treatment. You will get to go to the Hollywood premiere. You get to have dinner and sit next to Gene Hackman at the dinner banquet, passing him the salt. When the credits roll, BOOM, you're PF Enterprises executive producer. You are treated right."
By the way, the online material touting Poker Junkies makes no mention of Gene Hackman being involved in the film, which makes sense given that he's retired from acting. The Wikipedia page linked above notes that Hackman made this announcement in 2008, four years after the arrival of what would become his final flick, Welcome to Mooseport -- a movie capable of making any Oscar winner consider calling it a career.
But while Hackman is absent from the online hype, the Poker Junkies folks can't resist nodding to other successful films in its chosen genre, including Casino and Rounders. They're appropriate references, since, at this point, the entire project seems like something of a gamble.
Look below to read the DORA release, see the cease and desist order and eyeball the Abundance Entertainment description of the movie.
DORA press release:
CALIFORNIA MOVIE PRODUCTION COMPANY SANCTIONED BY SECURITIES COMMISSIONER
Denver, Colorado -- Colorado Securities Commissioner Fred Joseph announced today that he has entered a final cease and desist order against two California companies and their manager for allegedly violating the securities registration provisions of the Colorado Securities Act ("Act") in connection with the offer of securities in Colorado.
Named in the Order are Poker Junkies Productions, LLC, Abundance Entertainment, LLC, and their principal manager, John Hermansen, all of Los Angeles, California.
The Staff of the Division of Securities (the "Staff") alleged that Abundance Entertainment cold called Colorado investors to invest in the production of a movie to be called Poker Junkies. According to the Staff, Abundance told investors that they were raising $15 million dollars from investors to fund the production of the movie. Investors were provided glossy advertising materials that promised investors 110% of their initial investment out of the first 80% of proceeds from the production of the film. One investor was told by a salesman that if you buy "10 or 20 units" that you will get the "red carpet treatment. You will get to go to the Hollywood premiere. You get to have dinner and sit next to Gene Hackman at the dinner banquet, passing him the salt. When the credits roll, BOOM, you're PF Enterprises executive producer. You are treated right."
The Staff alleged that the Respondents failed to register either security offering and, by offering the investment opportunity to the public at large through the use of cold calling prospective investors, Respondents were unable to take advantage of any private offering exemption under the Act. "Cold calling investors for private offerings of securities is a violation of the law when those securities have not been registered," said Commissioner Joseph. "Investors should always be wary of stock offerings promoted through the use of cold calling. Contact our office to verify that securities have been properly registered before purchasing any security after a cold call."
The cease and desist order, which all Respondents agreed to, orders them to immediately and permanently cease and desist offering or selling unregistered securities in Colorado, or otherwise engaging in conduct in violation of any provision of the Act.
DORA is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission.
Poker Junkies stipulation for a cease and desist order:
The Poker Junkies pitch from Abundance Entertainment:
IN PREPRODUCTION NOW: "POKER JUNKIES"
A new film from writer/producer MARS CALLAHAN
With poker stars becoming internationally known celebrities, on-line gaming sites earning billions of dollars a year in revenue, television programs featuring poker on Network T.V. every night, dozens of magazines dedicated to poker, nationally televised tournaments, massive commercial campaigns and numerous A-list celebrities now playing poker, the time is right for the quintessential poker movie to be made... Poker Junkies!
Poker Junkies was created by writer/director Mars Callahan. The same creative force responsible for Poolhall Junkies, which was nominated for best sports film at the 2003 Espy Awards and is considered one of the most beloved films in its genre. Poolhall Junkies has been distributed world wide and is available now online at major retailers including Amazon.com.
Mars Callahan will play, the hottest up and coming cash-game player in the world. Regarded as the best new-comer in the game, rubbing elbows with many of the legendary players currently playing on tour he makes his way through private games that span the globe from abandoned warehouses in Boston to private suites in Vegas and from the decks of hundred million dollar Yachts in Rio to underground clubs in Macao.
But as good as he is and as fast as his star is rising, he will never be considered the best until he beats David Rottman, the greatest cash-game player off all time, in a heads up showdown for all the green.
With twist and turns and rapid-fire dialogue signature of any Mars Callahan film, Poker Junkies will look to capture the real flavor of the game as it is known to so many who play it, give an inside glimpse into a world that most can only imagine and perhaps even set a new standard for films in its genre.
Mars Callahan: Writer/Producer ("Double Down", "Poolhall Junkies", "What Love Is", "Spring Break '83")
John Hermansen: Producer ("Poolhall Junkies", "Happy Campers", "$pent", "Spring Break '83")
George Bours: Producer ("Zig's" a.k.a. "Double Down", "What Love Is", "Spring Break '83")
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