Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Just Conjecturin', Part 4: Inside the Excapsa Ownership Bloc

When the movers and shakers behind the UltimateBet online poker site needed to dump their original liquidator, Mintz and Partners, Ltd., the resulting call for votes by share exposed a thin majority of Excapsa’s ownership to public scrutiny. All told, votes in the affirmative were obtained on behalf of 113,969,851 of 201,804,155 outstanding shares in the company, or 56.4%. Partial lists of the owners of this 56.4% of Excapsa stock have been published elsewhere, but these lists in general have been incomplete and rife with typos. This post includes a better list, one that I think is the most accurate published to date.

The original Excapsa seems to have been a collection of owners, officials and low-level workers from Greg Pierson’s software firms ieLogic and Iovation, coupled with a healthy mix of well-known, relatively old-time poker personalities who were not committed to other firms. UB was pulled together in the early years of the decade, though the partial-ownership snapshot represents how the company stood in July, 2008.

The complete (if partial) list follows, published here in no particular order. Next post brings some sorting and assignations:

Erik E. Pierson -- 10,128
Leonard L. Pierson -- 5,000
Melva S. Pierson – 5,000
Fred (J.) David -- 1,680,000
Daniel P. Cunningham and Melissa M. Cunningham - 2,085,872

RBC Trustees (CI) Ltd. (trustee of The Westwood Trust) -- 3,279,792
Charles Schaupp -- 3,843,504
Omaha Beech Investments LLC -- 4,000,000
The Desert Palm Irrevocable Trust -- 4,304,730
Molly O'Hearn Living Trust -- 4,304,728

The Tip Top Irrevocable Trust -- 9,385,822
The Rising Son Irrevocable Trust -- 13,220,816
Dale Lovett – 10,256
Leonard J. Morgan -- 5,000
Charles F. Fletcher II -- 5,128

Tamara Jean Smith -- 5,128
Tamara J. Smith -- 5,000
Julia Bodine -- 5,128
Richard S. Yugler – 5,128
Stephanie Harlen – 8,000

Rick Vail – 5,128
Joel N. Cunningham -- 12,300
James B. Cunningham – 75,944
Corwin Swick -- 20,000
Whitney Arnold -- 70,000

Scott Kirkowski -- 84,000
Jason Karl -- 255,984
Daniel Friedberg and Raywa Friedberg, (JT TEN) -- 331,069
Gerald Fujii -- 443,997
Melissa L. S. Gaddis -- 737,952

Uri Kozai -- 1,200,000
Daniel Friedberg -- 1,360,000
The Clearwater Irrevocable Trust -- 2,085,872
Chomvilai Hanchena -- 2,935,512
Roger K. Gaumnitz Family Partnership -- 3,074,800

The Jack McClelland and Elizabeth McClelland Trust -- 1,229,920
Manchurian Living Trust -- 1,574,800
Duane J “Dewey” and Judith K. Weum, JT TEN -- 1,974,800
Fluffhead LLC - 2,975,839
Monsour Matloubi -- 3,846,256

Russell W. Hamilton, Jr. -- 4,304,720
Brett David Calapp – 5,128
Carolyn Heick -- 587,952
Derek C. Morgan – 2,500
IGL Group IM – 46,153

Kirstin Thomas – 80,000
Daniel P. Cunningham, Dorothy B. Cunningham (joint tenants) – 130,740
Nicholas M. and Aimee K. Leonard, TEN COMM – 275,000
The Mountain Ridge Irrevocable Trust – 410,792
James P. Hendrie – 537,952

(Ida) Susan Albrecht – 922,480 [widow of James Albrecht]
The KMJ BelleFountain – 2,128,000
John G. Lowe – 2,774,800
The Tranquility Irrevocable Trust (Close Trustees Cayman Limited TR) – 3,279,784
The Rough Diamond Irrevocable Trust (South Dakota Trust Company, LLC) – 3,384,800

MS Irrevocable Trust – 4,804,720
The Vision Irrevocable Trust – 7,489,323
The Grandview Irrevocable Trust (trustee, Meridian Trust Company Ltd.) – 13,220,816

In addition, several other shareholders and shareholder entities were mentioned in billing correspondence assembled by Mintz and Partners, which as a self-respecting legal firm seems to have never missed an opportunity to bill at $250/hour for answering the phone or opening a letter. Okay, I’m making up the rate, but you get the idea. These additional shareholder entities, noted in correspondence prior to the July, 2008 separation date, include:

Michelle Hellmuth Trust
James Hoffman
M&G Investments
Peter Collery
Chris St. John
______ Sawers (Mr.)
Sanford Millar
Dwayne Walker
Fundamentals (Peter Case)
Martin Crew
Alex Silverman
Nancy Friedman
Ian Jones
Matthew Hicks
Christine Schwamb
Jeff Anderson
Art Stoop

Antonio Esfandiari (?)

The Michelle Hellmuth Trust is the most interesting of the latter names, suggesting that Phil Hellmuth and his presumed shares may not have been on board with the liquidator change, or at the least were not included in the 56.4% bloc. (Phil’s wife is named Katherine, by the way, and his mother is Lynn; this might be a sister, and a minor “gift” share bloc.) Esfandiari gets a question mark because his ownership/involvement with UB changed over time. While he was for sure involved with UB in some form in 2006, he may not have been at the time these documents were created. Esfandiari, Hellmuth and Annie Duke manned an UltimateBet autograph booth at the 2006 WSOP, but in 2007 Esfandiari was widely rumored to have left the company in all aspects. The correspondence from the Mintz case indeed shows that Esfandiari received a disbursement check, amount and reason unknown, issued in January, 2007. Therefore, if he had a UB ownership share, as was rumored, he may have sold it.

All told, it seems as though there were 200 to 400 ownership entities connected with Excapsa and 6356095 Canada. The majority appear to have been very minor employee/relative stakes awarded to or purchased by people connected with Pierson’s software firms, with a handful of larger blocs seemingly controlled by Iovation executives. The poker connections are relatively fewer in number but for the most part, were for larger blocs of stock.

More next time, including more of the names behind and connections between several of the stock blocs above.

1 comment:

Will "The Hammer" said...

Fantastic work Haley !
Adding your blog to my
must read list.
Warm regards,
Will The Hammer