Bernard Lee to Become Official Face of Foxwoods Casino

Ambassadorial deal with non-online, brick-and-mortar site

by , Feb 9, 2010 | 6:00 am

As more and more casinos proliferate across the United States, some of the old stalwarts are looking for ways to keep themselves at the top of their region when it comes to poker prestige and casino profits … and the famed Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut has hired semi-accomplished poker pro and ESPN analyst Bernard Lee as their new representative.

Beyond being a landmark deal for himself personally, Lee’s partnership with Foxwoods opens up what may or may not become a trend in US brick-and-mortar poker rooms — hiring poker players with brand-worthy recognition to represent them on the tables, in the media, and possibly even at casino business meetings. Who needs an online site when there are fully legal, long-regulated American corporations trying to compete for gambling revenue share?

Pretty nice score for a guy who had one of his worst poker years ever in 2009, going 0-fer in the last WSOP and booking just a single five-figure cash ($13k for a 23rd-place finish in Misssissippi) since the election of Barack Obama.

Click below for the press release Foxwoods has put out announcing their new marriage:

Pro Poker Player and Media Personality Bernard Lee Named Official Spokesperson for Foxwoods Resort Casino
Gaming Talent Joins Forces with Connecticut’s Premier Poker Room

MASHANTUCKET, CT (February 9, 2010) – Foxwoods Resort Casino today announced that professional poker player and media personality Bernard Lee has been named official spokesperson for the property’s World Poker Tour-branded Poker Room. Foxwoods, a charter member of the WPT, is the first major casino to sponsor a poker professional.

A Wayland, Massachusetts resident, Lee has won more than $1.35 million and three titles on the tournament circuit since becoming a professional poker player three years ago. The Harvard University and Babson College graduate worked as a senior marketing/new business development manager at a Fortune 500 company before finishing 13th — New England’s top finisher — in the 2005 World Series of Poker (WSOP).

Since turning professional, Lee has become one of the busiest poker personalities in the world, hosting shows on television, radio, and the Internet and working as a columnist, commentator, and author. Recognized as “the voice of poker in New England” by Cardplayer.com, Lee is known nationally and worldwide as a poker media personality.

“We’re thrilled to add Bernard Lee to the Foxwoods team,” said Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprises (MPGE) President Michael Speller. “Bernard is such a compelling figure on the poker landscape, and we’re certain that his expertise and talent will bring even more excitement and energy to the poker experience at Foxwoods.”

Foxwoods Resort Casino is an important part of Lee’s poker history. He was among the earliest players to visit the casino when it opened in 1992, and it was the first place he played in a poker tournament, participated in a poker main event, and won a tournament. Lee captured three tournament titles between 2006 and 2008, all at the Foxwoods World Poker Finals.

“If there is such a thing as home-court advantage in poker, for me it’s at Foxwoods,” Lee said. “I’m proud and humbled that Foxwoods would choose me to be their official spokesperson among the millions of poker players in the world.”

Bernard Lee is co-host of ESPN.com’s weekly online poker show, “ESPN Inside Deal,” and is a poker columnist for the Boston Herald, ESPN.com, PokerNewsDaily.com, and other media outlets. He has released two books, The Final Table, Volume I and Volume II, which are compilations of his Sunday Herald poker columns. He is also an instructor for the WSOP Academy and a poker commentator for the WSOP and New England’s Eastern Poker Tour.

Lee will wear the Foxwoods logo at all participating tournaments. Additionally, Lee’s radio show, “The Bernard Lee Poker Show,” is now officially “Presented by Foxwoods Resort Casino.” The show, which debuted in May 2007, airs on 1120 AM in the Boston area and internationally on www.RoundersRadio.com.

Foxwoods Resort Casino and MGM Grand at Foxwoods have always placed a premium on offering the finest gaming options and promotions. At the six casinos at Foxwoods, there are more than 380 table games with 17 different varieties, including blackjack, craps, baccarat, roulette, Caribbean stud poker and pai gow poker, and the only WPT World Poker Room in New England, with 98 tables open around the clock. The casino at MGM Grand at Foxwoods features 60 table games, including blackjack, roulette, craps, Spanish 21, and 3-card poker. Together, the seven casinos offer more than 7,200 slots, a Rolling Chip program that rewards frequent players, Wide Area Progressive slot machines, High Stakes Bingo, free online play, and Ultimate Race Book.

To learn more about Foxwoods, visit www.foxwoods.com. To learn more about Bernard Lee, visit www.bernardleepoker.com.


15 Comments to “Bernard Lee to Become Official Face of Foxwoods Casino ”


  1. Kevin Mathers
    says:

    Seems a little harsh to say Bernard’s “semi-accomplished”, especially when he accomplished enough to get himself a deal. Also, Scotty Nguyen at one point was sponsored by one of those Oklahoma casinos (Cherokee Casino?).


  2. DanM
    says:

    scotty nguyen cherokee deal was very different than bernard’s … Cherokee is no Foxwoods, and Lee’s relationship with Cherokee is more than just name attachment.

    Agreed a little harsh on “semi-accomplished” — no disrespect BL — but just making the point that there’s obviously more to this deal than just his results on the table.


  3. Kevin Mathers
    says:

    Would Daniel Negreanu’s deal with the Wynn back in the day be more similar to Nguyen than Lee?


  4. DanM
    says:

    Ooh, that’s a good question. Without knowing much about that deal done back in a different poker time … I’d think Negreanu’s is closer to Lee’s deal than Nguyen’s.

    But I have seen pictures of Scotty with Cherokee branding all over him. I don’t ever recall seeing that with Negreanu and the Wynn. But maybe that’s just because they didn’t have patches back then.

    ALT Head: Nguyen-Wynn? lol


  5. Kevin Mathers
    says:

    From what I recall, he was there to help draw traffic to the Wynn’s poker room with his six-figure challenges back in 2005.


  6. Josh H
    says:

    What great news for Bernard Lee. I think the work he does on ESPN Inside Deal and his radio show is fantastic. I however question the comments saying he’s “semi-accomplished” figuring you seem to hear from him everywhere and the cashes he usually makes are big ones. Poker is such an up and down sport that everyone goes on bad runs. Bill Edler anyone?


  7. DanM
    says:

    I agree that I think Bernard Lee is great on ESPN (I don’t always agree with his analysis, but he makes me think one way or the other) and a fine “accomplished” poker player overall. Poor word-choice, I am learning here.

    I was just busting his chops a bit because, hey, he just scored a sweet deal, and I run into too many poker players who think they should be sponsored just because they’ve had some wins. (Our own Tom Schneider, who has results similar to Lee’s, comes to mind.)

    And remember that convo between Daniel Negreanu and Kathy Liebert?


  8. PokaPaloma
    says:

    I agree, wording is a bit harsh in some sentences. Bernard Lee’s accomplishments are well publicized. If you are not impressed – well,okay. I think the criticism should be directed to Foxwoods… Why’d they make the choice they did.

    As for me… the choice makes sense. Glad to have a Northeasterner chosen.. Congrats to Bernard Lee.


  9. Kevin Mathers
    says:

    Maybe Tom should talk with one of the casinos in Arizona (if he hasn’t already) and see what happens.


  10. donkey bomber
    says:

    Congrats to Bernard.

    Don’t think I’ve ever played poker with him. He has done a great job marketing himself.

    Foxwoods would do well letting him fix their poker room. It has the well deserved reputation of being the least friendly and least accomodating room in the U.S.. So many pros have sworn off going to Foxwoods.

    Good luck to Bernard and here’s one vote to Foxwoods to let Bernard influence the atmosphere in the poker room.


  11. peopleofthecasinos
    says:

    we need some pics


  12. anonymous
    says:

    I really hate how Foxwoods uses a time charge rather than rake in their small NL games. The dealers also chop their tips. The end result is terrible dealers who don’t care how bad or slow they deal.

    Hopefully Bernard can convince them to change this soon.


  13. Matthew Parvis
    says:

    Having spent a lot of time in Sydney and Melbourne recently, it seems as if casinos here are following the Aussie lead. Crown Casino works with Joe Hachem as it’s official representative, and has for a few years now and Star City in Sydney, has both Grant Levy and Eric Assadourian representing their poker room.

    It’ll be interesting of the trend continues.


  14. photo man
    says:

    Dont you think he would have opened his eyes for the picture?


  15. REAPER
    says:

    BL is a very good teacher and a very personable poker pro.