Gambler Stiffs Deadmau5 Out Of $200k For Playing “Livin’ On A Prayer”

Chris DeVille | October 11, 2013 - 10:28 am

Deadmau5 came in at fifth on this year’s Forbes list of highest-paid DJs ($21 million!), so he isn’t exactly hurting for cash, but getting stiffed for $200,000 is never a pleasant experience. That’s what allegedly went down Feb. 11, 2011, according to a pending dispute in Las Vegas federal court.

The Hollywood Reporter describes an absurd agreement in which the button-pushing DJ agreed to play Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On A Prayer” at the request of a high-rolling blackjack player named Don Johnson, a friend of Jon Bon Jovi’s. Johnson allegedly agreed to pay a cool $200K for the right to gyrate on stage to his pal Jon’s ’80s mega-hit during Deadmau5’s performance at the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore Hotel Resort. Apparently, Johnson, who once won $6 million in a single night of gambling, refused to come up with the cash when Deadmau5’s manager came calling, so promoter Jesse Waits and Deadmau5’s management company William Morris Agency pooled their money to cover the payment. Now William Morris Agency is suing the promoter, Waits, not the gambler, Johnson, alleging that Waits misrepresented Johnson’s intentions to pay up.

The details of the story are somewhat confusing, not least of which is that Deadmau5 and his agent are both named Joel Zimmerman. Watch the incident below and try your best to make sense of it here.