LAS VEGAS (CN) – NBC stole a man’s idea to create its “Face the Ace” poker-themed game show, the man claims in Federal Court. Brandon McSmith says he created “All Star Poker Challenge,” in which contestants play no-limit Texas Hold ’em against pros for a chance to win a seat at the World Series of Poker.
McSmith says he registered the idea with the Writers Guild of America West and the U.S. Copyright Office in 2007.
McSmith says he pitched show to defendant Full Tilt Poker in November 2007, but the company passed, claiming it does not invest in shows.
In April 2009, NBC announced its show, “Face the Ace,” which aired later that month and was hosted by Steve Schirripa of “The Sopranos” fame (Tony’s brother-in-law, Bobby Bacalao).
Defendants had never “produced a contestant versus professional program until having received plaintiff’s materials,” McSmith claims.
McSmith says he sent NBC cease-and-desist letters, but says NBC contended that the show originated from a show called “Four Aces,” by Full Tilt Poker, in 2005 and 2006.
McSmith seeks at least $150,000 for copyright infringement.
He is represented by Thomas Michaelides.