Friday, May 10, 2013

Render unto Caesar

The May 2013 issue of Bluff magazine had this photo of World Series of Poker (Main Event) winner Jerry Yang. His bracelet and watch that he won have been seized by the IRS because he has multiple tax liens. The largest was for $571,894.54.

After the news broke, he spoke to Fifth Street Radio:

"I'm not going to blame anybody but myself, but I encountered people that (sic) I thought I could trust and would give me good advice, but unfortunately some of the people that (sic) I hired or got on my team were advising me the wrong way."

Surely their advice wasn't not to pay your taxes, was it Jerry? Notice how he says he isn't going to blame anybody, then he immediately does.

"So I did make some mistakes, and what made the matter worse was that in April of 2008, when it was time to pay the federal tax, there was a financial crisis with the Bank of America, and that's where I put my money in. Unfortunately, all my funds were locked away, were frozen if you will, and so I wasn't able to pay my federal taxes on time."

Well, that was 2008. It seems he could have "unlocked" his funds by now and paid what he owed (plus any penalties), right?



  1. Maybe he expected Jesus to pay his taxes.

  2. I presume someone told him that tax might not be due on some of his winnings/income?

    I always wonder how bridge professionals account for their income. Especially the foreign players who I presume need a Green Card to play professionally?

    I'm surprised that the local professionals, especially those displaced by Italians, Bulgarians and the Dutch, have not got the tax authorities interested.

  3. Amazing to me how many wealthy celebrity types end up in the news every year for tax evasion. Martha Steward, Wesley Snipes, Willie Nelson, Nicholas Cage...

    You can't pay your taxes? Seriously?

  4. It never ceases to amaze me how people can be so frivolous with money. Yang never struck me as a particularly bright player - much less a bright person. I guess it's to be expected that he will choose "advisers" who aren't bright themselves...

    The reality is that to the advisers, its in their best interest to keep Jerry out of jail and away from the courts because they'd be killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

  5. Yang struck me as a doofus back then, and he seems like a doofus right now.

  6. What an idiot..He said in the interview that he hoped to get the bracelet back, like he didn't even understand the whole situation still and the IRS would eventually just give it back to him LOL. I read that it sold to a collector for $30k. Love how he "wasn't going to blame anyone" and then did. Nice.

  7. Thanks to all who left comments.

    @Paul: When you get paid, they take out 30% tax withholding. That should have been his first clue.

    As far as being an idiot, he was amazingly lucky to win -- one in a zillion. Also, I found his Jesus shtick off-putting. I have news for him. Jesus doesn't give a shit if he wins the tournament or not.

  8. I love tax evasion.

    I'm hoping to have a big score sometime in the future so that I can do the same and go down with my hero's.

    Oh sweet jebus - I'll probably also say I won't blame anyone but myself and then shift the blame to others - and Point Directly at this BLOG and this particular Story as my inspiration :)

  9. Nice to hear from you, Dave. I'm on a bit of a hiatus but will be back at it soon.

    I'd say this guy is full of "it." Or perhaps he just was not aware that he was supposed to pay taxes. You know, he left that to other people. Poor fellow!