Posts Tagged ‘sponsorship deals’

Poker Hits the (North American) Road

WSOP-Circuit Schedule for 2012-13 includes non-Vegas bracelet event

by , Jul 23, 2012 | 12:30 pm

The WSOP released the new Circuit schedule for the poker new year. They’ve added stops in Canada, Cleveland, and North Carolina … but perhaps the biggest move is relocating the Million-Dollar Circuit National Championship from Las Vegas to New Orleans.

More details here.

Oh the lol ironies as the WSOP-Circuit goes, shall we say, a bit NASCAR with the sponsorship of SoCo 100? But a beautiful evolution of the game, imho … as the Caesars Interactive Empire brings their brand of corporatized poker events to lower stakes players seeking an old-school rounders experience and maybe a Circuit ring to boot … presented by an extra-strong sweet American whiskey … but not to boot — drink and gamble responsibly! Coming soon to a neighborhood or Indian casino near you …

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Free Poker Beef Jerky

Confessions of a Zynga degen

by , Jul 6, 2011 | 3:22 am

A lot of people have been wondering where I’ve been this WSOP. I’m ready to admit it — I suffer from an addiction … one that snuck up on me when I least expected, but I can no longer deny. I’m addicted to Zynga Poker. I’m at level 43.

Seriously, not lying when I say I’ve played virtually EVERY DAY of this Series, probably not going longer than 36 hours without logging on — at least to redeem a gift that expires in 1 hour. I’m too embarrassed to be seen playing at the Rio, which is why I stay home … But still, when I am playing, I can’t help but think about the World Series of Poker going on just down the road, on Twitter, on Facebook, on iPhones, via livestream … not to mention the personal text messages and deluge of PR emails … pretty much anywhere with wifi there is Zynga — er, I mean WSOP. To play Zynga you only need 3G.

jack-links-beef jerky zynga

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Meet the First Free Poker Pros

Rise Poker Team a glimpse of poker, patching futures?

by , Jun 17, 2011 | 6:42 pm

We were kinda just kidding when we suggested this might be the Year of Free/Subscription Poker. I mean we knew we were gonna see some moves into WSOP poker space by various free American-friendly play money sites … but how that would translate at the 2011 World Series (and beyond) wasn’t so clear. It still isn’t. But Rise, makers of those douchebag-free poker clothes and now an online poker site … is showing that they will indeed be a force in the free poker future … whatever that might mean.

Maria Ho Scotty Nguyen Jean-Robert Bellande Rise Poker Team WSOP

Move over Full Tilt Poker dot net. Scotty Nguyen sends the whole table a virtual Corona!

Personally, I don’t think they coulda picked better pros — Scotty Nguyen, Maria Ho, Jean Robert Bellande, and Dani Stern, aka Ansky (not pictured) — even better than a Team of Brunson, Hellmuth, and Negreanu, imho. If you don’t see why these pictured three +Ansky should do incredibly well @RisePoker … well, I could tell you, but, well … let’s say it goes beyond just “Asian”.

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Poker Industry Beginning to Embrace Free Poker Sites?

Poker Royalty partners with ZEN, Rise clothiers for online/live poker interface

by , May 23, 2011 | 4:08 pm

Maybe people are just jonesing to click-and-raise or maybe various industry stalwarts are starting to see the new poker era that dawned upon us on April 15th isn’t all about tearing down Full Tilt and PokerStars [update: and now Doyle’s Room] in their battle with the DOJ … it’s about building new structures that will become the basis for the game (and industry surrounding it) in the 21st century. (That’s how Vegas-style implosions work.)

Rise — those clothing makers who you may recall came onto the scene a while back as the people trying to remove the d-bagginess from poker fashion — has partnered with Poker Royalty, the pre-eminent poker representative agency, to launch a new fully legal play-for-free online poker site with real cash prizes. Though I do have to wonder when they say their new poker team will include “some of the most recognizable poker players in the world” … are they talking about pros who may or may not have deals currently with dot-net (lol) online sites or the likes of @kevmath?

ZEN Entertainment, the operation powering the new Rise Poker room, is the group that recently launched the Hustler Casino’s online poker site. Though we weren’t necessarily anticipating a clothing line getting in on the action before more casinos … and two doesn’t necessarily make for a statistical trend … Pokerati is feeling good about our newsy speculation that the upcoming 2011 WSOP may indeed be full of free online qualifiers, which would be kinda different from WSOP’s past.

Read below for the official announcement:

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Maria Ho Signs with WinStar

Hi-ho, hi-ho, off to Oklahoma for poker we go ...

by , May 19, 2011 | 12:18 pm

Continuing the trend of poker players signing with brick-and-mortar (and in the case of WinStar tent) casinos … Maria Ho joins Greg Raymer as a celebrity endorser of WinStar Casino in Far Far North Dallas, Oklahoma. Just in time, btw, to begin pimpin their upcoming big River Tourney. Apparently the satellites are about ready to open … and this year they are guaranteeing a $3 million prize pool.

This tournament has grown and grown into one of the biggest of the year in the country … and not that it would be all Ho and Fossilman’s doing … but I have a feeling this year people outside of Texas and Oklahoma will start to take note.

Here’s a little behind-the-scenes vid of Maria’s commercial shoot with the Chickasaw … who by the way, just officially bought Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, presumably changing the dynamic of Texas gambling legislation, but that’s a story for another time … right now it’s all about the value of Asian poker hotties playing the role of high-stakes cash game player. That and/or being a WSOP main event champion still seem to play well in the poker endorsement world.


Another Quick Message from The Micros

by , May 7, 2011 | 11:40 am

The news won’t stop breaking … and just because American online players may be crying in watered down beers … that’s not gonna stop one magnetic on-camera Croatian from signing a player sponsorship patch deal with Bodog, the original American-friendly online gambling operation to officially go rogue:


Darvin Moon Signed

Sponsor-resistant November Niner selling out to Heartland Poker Tour?

by , Mar 9, 2011 | 8:11 pm

Darvin Moon stood out among the ’09 November Nine not for the play that got him 2nd place (and $5.2 million) … but because he stood alone. The logger who had never been on a “big airplane” before the WSOP refused to accept upwards of a half million dollars to simply wear a patch for the likes of Full Tilt, PokerStars, or anyone else … because, basically he didn’t wanna be anyone’s bitch. (I’m paraphrasing, of course.)

But soon to be announced and official, the hapless poker multimillionaire from western Maryland has apparently caved — signing a deal with the Heartland Poker Tour to serve as their “ambassador” and wear HPT gear in all tourneys, including the WSOP.

This comes from a plenty reliable source; however, said source would not confirm (nor deny!) that Darvin Moon is near-broke and thus rethinking his aversion to wearing poker-related patches … but did confirm that no poker agents were involved in signing the agreement.

Moon, of course, was the unsignable runner-up at the 2009 WSOP … making him pretty much the opposite of Dennis Phillips, and the only November Niner ever not to be patched up at the main event final table. He also snubbed the WSOP this past November by turning down repeated invitations to be part of 2010 November Nine festivities in Las Vegas, opting instead to play a $1k HPT event at the Meskwaki Casino Bingo Hotel in Tama, Iowa.

One of my favorite fights with Katkin is on the value of Darvin Moon as a sponsored player. I dig the dude as a character … and consider him good for … nay, great extra=solid for poker — while Katkin (clearly stuck in his ’06-’07ish glory-days poker-world mindset) I think believes his donk play and non-pro, non-online nature make him the wrong guy for the WSOP to celebrate in their commercials. To which I say … hater.


Facetime Poker?

Apparition of Daniel Negreanu playing on non-PokerStars video avatar site

by , Feb 11, 2011 | 9:40 pm

Gah, another juicy newsbriefable thingy to speculate wildly on with little information or context when we all could just make a phone call or send an email to find out what’s up) … yet no Poker Beat to break it down. 🙁

Anyhow, check it out and decide with minimal information for yourself … Daniel Negreanu, “caught” on webcam via screencap … playing on a site that isn’t PokerStars?

It’s something new called PokerView — which looks like just about any other online poker site except instead of avatars you have webcam video. Very tell-revealing you might think in straight-up play. And Negreanu obviously isn’t making any effort to hide his identity any more than he’s actively trying to promote this new endeavor.

So many stories potentially in play here. Is Negreanu going the way of Hellmuth, Duke, Raymer, and Maven … seeking a new poker home? Does this new site have any connection to PokerStars (the biggest online poker company in the world, save for maybe Zynga)? Could this technology be a major step forward in TOS security, giving a real-time glimpse of who’s really playing and what else might be going on in their seat. Could you mix it with Rush Poker to create online poker’s version of chat roulette? And with that in mind, serious question … how long before people start showing their junk and contend it’s merely a strategic maneuver if your schlong got the other guy to fold?

ALT HED: Show Me Your Nuts

(Thanks, DL, for the tip!) (Shame on you, DL, for trying to play me a chump!)

CONFIRMED: Not a real Daniel Negreanu endeavor.


Final Table Patch Power

From Full Tilt to CardRunners to Full Tilt

by , Nov 10, 2010 | 10:36 pm

Our extra-good friends at CardRunners had quite the score this November Nine … patching up a full third of the field in play — chip-positions 4, 5, and 6, fwiw. The top online poker training site stepped in to fill the patch void left by Full Tilt’s November Nine over-dominance banking some big branding time on last night’s ESPN final-table broadcast.

Matt Jarvis, Fillipo Candio, and John Racener were CR’s table reps — though Racener did switch to Full Tilt-branded gear for heads-up play. No surprise that his original primary patch sponsor would want back in as rules permitted, but it is somewhat unusual (perhaps even unprecedented?) to see ESPN production crews relent to online poker patch-interests over matters of television continuity in a single episode.


The original CardRunners Three

photo: Rob Gracie / Greasie Wheels

But sure enough, with Racener surviving to be the last CardRunner standing, something looked different to TV viewers once they got down to heads-up. Maybe just big money on the table?

Also interesting to note: Full Tilt has produced and/or patched up only one WSOP main event champion — Jerry Yang.

Just a matter of variance?


Team PokerStars Shakeup?

WCOOP seeing Stars prune its roster of pros

by , Sep 7, 2010 | 12:28 pm

The WCOOP has reached day three, but already some noise has been made outside the hundred of thousands of guarantees that Stars is running each day. No fewer than three pros are no longer signed with Pokerstars, and all without much fanfare or even explanation from Stars as to why they removed them from their rosters.

Hevad Khan, core reason behind the “Hevad Khan” WSOP tournament rule, out.

Gavin Griffin, first player ever to lock up an unofficial triple crown, consisting of a WSOP bracelet and WPT and EPT titles, gone.

Peter Eastgate, 2008 WSOP Main Event Champion, sayonara.

In the end, these three all seem to make some sense. Peter Eastagate has quit retired from poker, though its anybody’s guess how long this haitus retirement is going to last. And if Hevad’s and Gavin’s Hendon Mobs are any indication, neither player has done anything particularly spectacular in the last two years. This coupled with high profile signings of David Williams and Vanessa Selbst earlier this year may have prompted Stars to trim the fat with regards to its pro holdings. Whether they stop here or not is anyone’s guess, but it will be interesting to see if at least the non-retired pros get picked up by a new site in the near future.


WSOP Power Patches

Team Pokerati, ESPN, Loudmouth, and Tao of Pokerati

by , Sep 3, 2010 | 5:51 pm

More multimedia for your Friday … Team Pokerati got some good lovin’ on ESPN this week. Good thing, too, because The Big Randy would fail to deliver on his patch-wearing duties early on Day 4 when he happened to be sitting next to Michael Mizrachi … have a quick listen to step back in WSOP-time when Pauly and I seemed to have a certain prescience about both patches and Mizrachis starting to mean something:

Tao of Pokerati
Episode 64: Big Head Randy and the Min-Cashers – Dan and Pauly hang out at the Bad Beat bar and wonder if they are coolers? Or if the Big Randy had busted out because he was not wearing a Pokerati patch. Yes, the Big Randy busted before the money bubble. The discussion shifts to the bubble strategy for PokerStars qualifiers who also have a PCA package riding on the line along with the min-cash.

Fortunately, team captain Tom didn’t disappoint (anyone but himself and his family). Schneider showed up on ESPN this week, playing the main event on the outermost feature table, and for a surprisingly funny bit with him and fellow Team Pokerati-er Julie Schneider, as Norman Chad tries to learn about cooking and/or what makes a poker marriage work:

Be sure to check out Pauly’s post about this episode — scroll down to Day in the Life of the DonkeyBomber and Pancakes with Angry Julie — for some decidedly Tao take on Tom and his Loudmouth living.

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World Series of Beer Farts

Tao of Pokerati

by , Jul 10, 2010 | 2:41 pm

Episode 56: Beast Light Reunion – Pauly quizzes Dan about reconnecting with his ole teammates from Milwaukee’s Best Light (one of whom has also joined Team Pokerati) and wonders whatever happened to the inflatable beer cans that seemed ubiquitous at the WSOP just a few years ago.

Episode 57: Scents and Subtle Sounds of the Main Event with Snoopy – An impromptu episode (with our British colleague Snoopy) to further discuss odor emissions — stemming from loose bathing habits, flatulence, pungent reefer, and a growing desire for luck — as the main event progresses.


David Williams Signs with Poker Stars

Joins Joe Cada and Vanessa Selbst as current champions

by , Jun 29, 2010 | 11:49 am

Is this news only to me?
UPDATE: Question mark removed. Williams and Selbst signage confirmed by Williams’ agent and PokerStars marketing exec.

David Williams, 2010 WPT World Champion, apparently will be donning the Spade-and-Star of PokerStars during the WSOP main event. I’m pretty sure you can bet on it …

Maybe I just missed the announcement, or any telltale patchwork in the Amazon room … but I hadn’t yet heard whom he’d be allying with, and this morning got an email invite for a little media meet-and-greet with:

Joe Cada: 2009 Winner – World Series of Poker
Vanessa Selbst: 2010 Winner – North American Poker Tour at Mohegan Sun
David Williams: As of 2010, his total live tournament winnings exceed $7,893,000

A formal invite is below, please let me know if you would like to RSVP for this event!

Figured it had to be them or Full Tilt … maybe Victory, but probably not, as Williams, upon becoming a free agent this spring just after winning the $25k WPT Championship, seemed to be one of the very few pros with the right combination of image and cred to make him extra-marketable.

All makes perfect sense really. As powerful a duo Williams could make with Antonio Esfandiari, it seems much cooler to match him up with two other current and defending big-event champs.


From Curling to Poker

Loudmouth Golf expands its reach with D-Bomber at the WSOP

by , May 31, 2010 | 6:06 pm

norway curlingRemember those crazy pants worn by the Norwegian curling team at the 2010 Winter Olympics? They were designed by Loudmouth Golf, a company whose intention was to liven up golf-wear … when a few Norwegians saw them and thought they might also work wonders on the often too-stoic ice. (Norway went on to win silver in Vancouver.)

Now the makers of “The First Argyle Pants for Men in the World!” are expanding into poker, looking to brighten a game where a typical player’s fashion proclivities lean toward drab hoodies, dark ball caps, and Vitamin D deficiencies. Representing the new Loudmouth Poker … none other than Team Pokerati captain Tom Schneider, who will be wearing his new 97 percent cotton, 3 percent spandex duds during the WSOP.

The occasional WSOP star joins Loudmouth’s team of representatives, which includes golfer John Daly, professional long driver Bobby Wilson, rock legend Alice Cooper, and NFL Super Bowl QB Jim McMahon.

“Loudmouth has been looking at a variety of expansion directions such as skiing, skating, tennis, kids, etc.,” says Larry Jackson, CEO of Loudmouth Golf. “With the opportunity to connect with poker players and fans through our Loudmouth friend Tom Schneider at the WSOP, we all saw the opportunity immediately. The WSOP and poker in general is filled with a variety of interesting characters and that is fertile ground for Loudmouth.”

It’s generally good to see new, non-poker entities getting into poker, especially when they’re snazzing up, not scuzzing up the WSOP. Where would we be, after all, without Jack Link’s Beef Jerky, Milwaukee’s Best Light, Mr. Peanut, or Levitra in our world?

Before and After: Loudmouth pants may spruce up Tom’s WSOP wardrobe, but will they spruce up his game?

Says Schneider of his newly sponsored style: “I’ve always dreamed of being a fashion model since I was a little girl. Now, thanks to Loudmouth, that dream has been realized. I just hope I can win a few more bracelets to go with my pants so I can serve as an inspiration to non-descript 50-year-old suburban men everywhere.”

Ha ha, nice, Tom. And while we like to give the 2007 WSOP Player of the Year a little guff for being the best player whose game no one respects as much as he does … at least now with his Loudmouth pants on, the DonkeyBomber can lay claim to being the Norwegian Curling Team of Poker.


David Williams Canned by Leaves Bodog after Winning WPT

WTF? Manderbutt

by , May 5, 2010 | 4:30 am

A semi-ironic old photo (l to r) of Phil Hellmuth, Clonie Gowen, and David Williams.

I woke up this morning (really – WSOP media conference call) and noticed a few murmurs on twitter. But surely it was just a poorly worded joke … then ran into a power problem that prevented me from digging for more. But then late tonight, I heard details from a generally reliable source, definitely reliable on this …

And indeed, David Williams is no longer a Bodog pro. What, winning the WPT World Championship and wet-cementing himself as truly one of the top-top players in the game isn’t quite the “Bodog Life”? Maybe his minglings with hot chicks and celebs at Vegas nightclubs doesn’t count as much if he ain’t drinking hard?

Williams (go Dallas poker!), of course, was one of the longest-lasting Bodog pros. The site recently scrapped Jean-Robert Bellande and Justin Bonomo, but they kept Evelyn Ng. Who woulda thunk that second place in a 2004 six-player ladies sit-n-go could ever mean so much!

Oh, and the big news somehow related to it all … Bodog did sign Amanda Musumeci, a hottie-ish 25-year-old American who built her microstakes bankroll into nearly $200k online. (Click for her Betty Page-meets-online-grinder pics.) She goes by the name “Manderbutt“, btw. Kinda looks like a Manderbutt, no?

Anyhow, new chick aboard + Evybaby = Team Bodog. It’s hard to determine if this was a pre-arranged firing or maybe Williams, who proudly wore his Bodog patch during the WPT, initiated the break-up? Perhaps it was as simple as Bodog not being willing to pony up the price Williams, now a WPT World Champion, could get elsewhere and thus they split amicably? They almost always split amicably, right? (Save for Clonie …)

I’m pretty sure we’ll discuss this a little more on the next Poker Beat … but you gotta think whatever was behind this move — again, more crazy industry shifting — it makes @dwpoker one of he hottest commodities in the game.

Unless of course he decides to vigorously declare his online poker independence and run all Darvin Moon with his newfound free agency.