Big Money

‘Big Money’ Talks – Part II

Dustin Manning Discusses Distressed Big Money Classic

By Ryan French

“The Big Money Classic is your Watergate,” a Twitter follower recently wrote. He isn’t wrong; just when I think this story is ending, it starts back up. 

The Big Money Classic was held in December, and soon after I started hearing from players that they weren’t being paid. The event with the big entry fee and a promise of a big payout had failed to deliver. The winner, M.J. Maguire, has been paid only $8,000 of the $80,000 he is owed, and according to Manning, runner-up Tom Lovelady has also been paid 10 percent of his $70,000 prize. (Maguire and Lovelady went to a playoff and agreed to split all but $5,000 of the first- and second-place prize money, with the winner getting the additional cash.) Also, multiple women haven’t been refunded their entry fees for a Women’s Big Money Classic that never happened. 

Dustin Manning, the owner of Big Money events, talked to me more than 100 times during the month leading up to the article I wrote on the event and the fallout from it. (Link to full story here). After the piece was published, Manning stopped communicating with me for the most part. He initially called the article “fair” in private DMs and public tweets, but later labeled it a “hit piece.” (I stand behind my reporting.)

After a Twitter exchange last week, I invited Manning to come on the pod and discuss whatever he wanted. That led to this two-part podcast. The understanding was that I wouldn’t edit anything, outside of adding music and an intro. We talked about what led up to this, the lawsuit with StakeKings, (Tyler Hancock, CEO of StakeKings, said nothing has been served to him and that he knows nothing about a lawsuit), the refunds, the plan for paying back the players and much more. I want to thank Manning for coming on. 

Listen to Part I:

Read the full story on the Big Money Classic here.

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