On August 25, 1969, Jamie Usher was born in Kansas City, Missouri. The youngster moved with his unmarried mother to New York where she remarried and his surname was subsequently changed to Gold, same as his newly married mother. His mother, a keen poker player as well as his grandfather who loved playing rummy and gin, instilled his interest in poker at an early age, growing up with card lovers.
The family moved to New Jersey where he completed his schooling and college in Paramus. He graduated at the New York State University in Albany in 1991. He decided to further his studies specializing in entertainment law in California. At 21 his studies were complete and he started at a talent agency, J. M. Bloom & Associates as an intern. His career was a success with big names such as Lucy Lui and SNL’s Jimmy Fallon. He met a poker pro named Johnny Chan during this time and played occasional games with him.
Although he was a big name in his industry, he started showing more than just mere interest in poker and tried online games. In 2005, in Las Vegas’s Bicycle Casino, he entered his first major event winning $50,000. He made several other final tables after that but it was only a year later that he entered one of the world’s largest events, the World Series of Poker (WSOP), 2006. With a $10,000 buy-in ,he won $12 million in a field of 8,773 entries. Alongside him played his friend and mentor, Johnny Chan, beating second place winner Paul Wasicka and third place winner Michael Binger. In the midst of the event, he signed a sponsorship with Bodog with Johnny Chan.
Jamie had sudden success without a prolonged prior poker career, and was now classified as a professional. He subsequently founded his own entertainment company following his win, Buzz Nation. Although he continued to play poker, his next win was placed in the shadows of his big win. In a WSOP tournament in 2007, he finished in the money three times and one of those was the London WSOP Europe inaugural event where he won 27,150 Pounds, finishing in thirty fifth place.
In 2009, he entered the three-person team Poker Championship and finished ninth overall as single player, with his team winning overall. A month later in Dublin at the Irish Open He also cashed when he finished sixth at the final table. At the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship, in 2010, he finished with a win of $25,000 reaching 9th place.
In poker history, his $12 million win is hailed as most significant win ever as well as the largest amount paid out in a WSOP Main Event. Since that win in 2006, he has entered every WSOP tournament. He is known for his involvement in the GSN television show, High Stakes Poker, as well as Poker After Dark on NBC. He had a successful endorsement with Aced Poker, an online poker website in 2009 for several months.
Residing in Malibu, he still plays tournaments and charity events while maintaining his Californian production company.