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Found 6 results

  1. “Not only am I on partypoker but I’m here to party.” This week, Kevin Hart, one of the biggest stars in show business, was named a new global ambassador for partypoker. Hart, well-known the world over for his comedy and starring roles in blockbuster movies like Jumanji and Central Intelligence, is known as an avid poker fan and a grinder of some of the biggest Hollywood home games available. “Expect the world of poker to get a lot more fun,” Hart declared in a video announcement posted by partypoker’s Rob Yong. “Expect it to get real…and expect us to get rid of all of the people that make it so f*****g technical, man. It’s a community sport, goddamnit. I’m big on community, I’m big on people.” This is by no means Hart’s first foray into poker. Starting back in 2017, Hart had a role with PokerStars as an ambassador. He appeared on the televised poker shows PokerStars Shark Cage and the Championship Cash Challenge as well as famously raced Usain Bolt in the Bahamas for a PokerStars promo. Outside of his relationship with PokerStars, Hart’s been known to have close ties to poker. In 2017, Hart was cracking jokes as he played in the $300,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl. In 2018, he was back in the Bahamas battling some of the toughest players in the world in the PokerStars $100K Super High Roller. “He’s the highest stakes amateur poker player in the world,” Rob Yong said of Hart. In fact, Hart’s amateur status is one of the things that partypoker and Rob Yong like best about Hart. The partypoker stable is already packed with big-name pros including Jason Koon, Kristen Bicknell, Sam Trickett, and Isaac Haxton. However, the entire squad’s combined star power pales in comparison to the over 36 million Twitter followers available to Hart. His Instagram account has even further reach with 88.7 million people taking a look into his day-to-day life as a movie star. As for what Hart will exactly be doing for partypoker, those details "will be revealed in the near future" according to a press release. Yong is hoping that Hart will help him "promote mature poker and promote poker to the masses." So whether it's showing up and bringing the party to a future partypoker MILLIONS event or even just wearing a partypoker patch in a boxing re-match against Antonio Esfandiari, whatever his role is it will likely draw a lot of attention.
  2. [caption width="640"] Daniel Negreanu and Kevin Hart are just two players that could round out the field of the PokerCentral Super High Roller Bowl (PokerStars photo)[/caption] Just about two weeks ago, Aria poker room management was faced with a difficult decision. When registration opened for the 2017 PokerCentral Super High Roller Bowl, a total of 54 players put down a deposit to lock up their spot in the $300,000 buy-in event. Only problem was there were only 35 spots open to the public while the other 15 spots in the 50-player event were being held for invited players only. Degens gonna degen, so the only solution was to hold a lottery, drawing 35 numbered balls out of a tumbler. Each number corresponded to one of the players who had paid the deposit. You can view the final list of 35 names here and you’ll notice it’s missing some of the bigger names in the game today. In an effort to make make things easier on Aria’s Director of Poker Operations Sean McCormack we’ve compiled a list of ten names - five pros and five recreational players – that should be pat of the field when action kicks off May 28. Daniel Negreanu – Poker’s all-time leading money winner was one of those players who paid their deposit and was ultimately left out of the group of 35. It just makes too much sense to get Negreanu into the event. First off, he’s a PokerCentral ambassador, but beyond that he makes for great TV and success in this event would help him get closer to crossing some of his 2017 goals off of his list. Phil Ivey – The high stakes room at Aria – the host of the 2017 Super High Roller Bowl – is named Ivey’s Room after the ten-time WSOP bracelet winner, an honor bestowed on him when the Aria poker room first opened in 2009. Only problem is Ivey probably couldn’t find it without a map since he apparently hasn't spent a lot of time inside the room. To many poker fans out there, Ivey is still the draw and having him in one of poker’s biggest buy-in events feels like a win for everybody. Jason Koon – Another one of the players who lost out on the lottery, Jason Koon might be one of the hottest high stakes players on the planet right now. Since July 2016 he’s cashed ten times, with four of those being wins, for $4,544,781. In January he won the PokerStars Championship Bahamas Super High Roller for $1,650,300. While other players might not want him there, he's certainly earned the invite with his play. Phil Hellmuth – With four days of live TV coverage expected, it’s hard to imagine that Phil Hellmuth won’t find a way to get in front of the cameras. Sure, he can do the commentary like he does for the WSOP Main Event, but Hellmuth loves getting in with the best in the game and showing he can hang. He’s also a PokerCentral and Aria ambassador so it seems likely he’s getting an invite. Mike McDonald – Sure, he’s taken his talents to Twitch lately and is dedicating some time to his PokerShares.com project, but Mike ‘Timex’ McDonald is still a threat on the high stakes tournament scene and has built himself quite the following over the past few years. Besides, who doesn’t want to tune into CBS Sports' coverage of the Canadian guy just staring at everybody? Kevin Hart – The recent PokerStars Championship Bahamas saw comedian Kevin Hart make his super high roller debut. Hart played the $100,000 SHR event, firing two bullets in the event. He made every table he played at a fun one and could be a star of the live broadcast should he find his way to a feature table. Cary Katz – Locks are for doors and windows, but you can safely bet your net worth on Cary Katz getting one of the 15 reserved seats in the PokerCentral Super High Roller Bowl. Why so sure? Well, he’s the founder of PokerCentral and the Super High Roller Bowl is one of his proudest creations. Bobby Baldwin – Sure, he’s a WSOP Main Event champion but even he’s ready and willing to admit that he’s not a professional anymore. Still, having Bobby Baldwin in the tournament would give it a level of prestige and allow the old guard to be represented by one of the best ever. Dan Shak - Yes, he has a day job that he happens to be extremely successful at, but Dan Shak has also amassed $8.7 million in lifetime earnings at the poker table including a seventh place finish in last year's Super High Roller Bowl. He's a regular in the Aria high roller events and has proven on multiple occasions that he's capable of hanging with the younger pros who regularly populate those events. Bill Perkins – If you look at the group of extremely successful businessmen who have entered the world of high stakes tournament poker, none have had more fun that Bill Perkins – and it’s got nothing to do with winning. The hedge fund manager just loves playing poker and the bright lights of the SHRB would be a great place to showcase that.
  3. Hosted by Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters, The Fives Poker Podcast runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and debate the hottest topics in poker. Donnie is back from his wedding weekend just in time to talk about one of the strangest weeks in poker history. The guys cover the million dollar debt that Randall Emmett apparently owed to 50 Cent, the childish Twitter war between Daniel Negreanu and Shaun Deeb and some sort of boxing match between Antonio Esfandiari and Hollywood heavyweight Kevin Hart. They also talk about Negreanu's big announcement that he is selling action for the 2019 World Series of Poker with no markup. And it just wouldn't be an episode of The Fives in 2019 without an update on the dwindling fields in the PokerStars Sunday Million. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  4. If you’ve seen the likes of Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul, NBA great Paul Pierce, skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, 90210 star Jennie Garth, former UFC champ Tito Ortiz, or Star Wars star John Boyega at a major poker event over the last few years, you’ve seen the result of the hard work of Traci Szymanski. Unlike those celebs, Szymanski isn’t a household name but that’s mostly by design. She’s spent the better part of the last decade working behind the scenes, matching up Hollywood heavyweights with poker tournaments and expanding the reach of charity poker tournaments at the same time. She was working in Hollywood managing talent when one day her phone rang. “By chance ten or eleven years ago, I got called to work on a couple poker events, celebrity charity poker events, and I had absolutely no idea about poker or how the game was played or any connection to poker at that time,” Szymanski remembers. “Now I understand the game and now I know how to play. I think it's just a perfect match." It was 2008, Szymanski was working for a talent agency in Los Angeles and PokerStars was hosting a party at the World Series of Poker and wanted to have some celebrities in attendance. She booked that event and has held on to PokerStars as one of her core clients ever since. She’s become the go-to person that can bridge the gap between the poker world and celebrities for anybody looking to do it. Black Friday created a period of uncertainty with one of her biggest clients, PokerStars, but she saw actually saw it as an opportunity to increase the amount of time she was spending working with poker events. “There was that lull with the poker companies and I thought, ‘Wait, I like this and I think poker's a great tool to combine with the different charities I support and helping them to raise money’,” Szymanski says. Over the next few years, she coordinated numerous charity poker events for some of her clients, including one with Sopranos star James Gandolfini. Now she says she’s busy answering calls instead of making them. “I'm in a really good place in my career where I'm not really contacting anybody,” Szymanski says. “The majority of the time companies are coming to me looking for partnerships with celebrities or looking to bring attention to something or build their brand or whatever and then I'm pairing the celebrities with it.” Her time working behind the scenes has also introduced her to some of her closest friends and opened up business opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t have been there. She’s working with Kevin Hart on a TV poker product that she thinks could debut later this year. Being able to consistently deliver a quality product to the companies or charities that hire her, while also keeping celebrities happy, is one reason Szymanski believes she’s been so successful. “People just like to work with people they can trust, for one, and two, that they enjoy being around, Szymanski says. “It's about the experience and the people you're around and being positive and being fun. And there are so many heavy things going on in the world, the last thing you wanna do is bring somebody out to anything that's not gonna be enjoyable” That’s not to say there aren’t challenges though. Often times Szymanski will hear from a company or event with unrealistic expectations about what’s possible. “There are very few, at this point, A-list celebrities that are passionate about poker, that absolutely love the game, that are willing to put their name and face on it and promote the game,” Szymanski says. “So that's one obstacle when people are coming to me and everybody wants Brad Pitt to play poker and I'm like, ‘Brad Pitt's not gonna come out, he's just not, he's not unless there's a reason for him to come out’." Another issue is budget. Celebrities always come with a cost attached and Szymanski finds people often don’t realize that there’s more to getting talent out to an event that just an appearance fee. Making sure her clients are happy makes it easy for her to book them again and again. Then there’s the issue of making sure the celebrity can actually play poker. “I have had celebrities that are just worried about making a fool out of themselves because they aren't that strong of a player and it's new to them,” Szymanski says. “So I think it’s just confidence level, somebody feeling comfortable to go and sit down, especially if there's gonna be press covering it, nobody wants to look dumb.” After working in the industry for over a decade, Szymanski believes she can help the game grow by allowing her celebrities to introduce the game to as wide of an audience as possible. “I do think poker does have room to grow,” Szymanski says. “I still see the doors opening to a wider demographic and that's something I think the poker world needs to work on.”
  5. [caption width="640"] Usain Bolt is bringing his 'run good' to PokerStars.[/caption] Just six weeks after announcing a partnership with Hollywood heavyweight Kevin Hart, PokerStars has dipped back into the celebrity pool and partnered with eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt. “PokerStars is a winner and I’m happy to join Kevin in helping to bring poker and PokerStars to the masses. It’s a challenging game that’s fun, social and competitive so I’m pleased to be able to introduce it to my fans and to people around the world.” Bolt made the signing official via his social media channels. PokerStars plans to use Bolt in marketing campaigns and live appearances to promote the brand and introduce it to new players. With a combined 11.5 million Twitter and Instagram followers, Bolt's popularity and personality were key reasons behind his signing. “Usain Bolt is a fierce competitor who pushes his game to the limits,” said Eric Hollreiser, Vice President of Corporate Communications at PokerStars. “But he’s also one of the most-liked athletes in the world. His strong global following and winning personality will help us to introduce poker in a fun, social and fast way.” This isn't the first time that PokerStars has worked with world class athletes. Footballers Neymar Jr. and Christiano Ronaldo worked as brand ambassadors and were prominently featured in TV spots and social media campaigns, as well as live appearances at poker tournaments around the world. The company stopped using them in online marketing campaigns earlier this year. From 2012-2015, tennis superstar Rafael Nadal carried the red spade, including a highly publicized heads-up battle with Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst. Boris Becker was also a one-time member of Team PokerStars.
  6. [caption width="640"] The 2017 Super High Roller Bowl will be the largest field in the three-year history of the event (PokerCentral photo)[/caption] When registration for the 2017 Super High Roller Bowl opened last week a total of 54 players made the initial deposit to secure their spot in the biggest buy-in tournament of the year. Only problem is, there were only 35 seats available. The remaining 15 seats were being held back for ARIA VIPs and high rollers. After holding a lottery for the available 35 seats, there were 19 players left out in the cold and unable to play in the $300,000 buy-in event. On Wednesday the ARIA announced they would be adding six more seats to bring the total to 56 players - eight seven-handed tables. “Based on the success of last year’s Super High Roller Bowl and the overwhelming interest in this year’s event, ARIA believed it was in our best interest to increase the size of the event by six players,” said Sean McCormack, ARIA’s Director of Poker Operations. The 21 open spots will now be at the discretion of McCormack and the rest of the ARIA poker management team. Announcements as to who is filling those available seats could come as early as next week. Some of the bigger names who missed out on the lottery include Daniel Negreanu, Jason Koon, Dan Colman and Dan Smith. READ: 10 Players We Hope to See in the Super High Roller Bowl Field“More players getting a chance to play against some of the best competition in the world and more recreational players getting a chance to measure themselves against those top players in a televised event will only add to the total experience for poker fans,” said McCormack. With the rake-free event expected to sell out all 56 seats, the total prize pool will be $16.8 million with the eventual winner walking away with $6 million. Given the overwhelming popularity of the event and the subsequent expansion of the field, organizers have already determined to expand the field for 2018 to 56 as well. The Super High Roller Bowl runs May 28 - 31 at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Complete list of the 35 players guaranteed a seat in the 2017 Super High Roller Bowl Koray AldemirBryn KenneyStefan Schillhabel Matt BerkeyIgor KurganovJake Schindler Pratyush BuddigaJason LesErik Seidel Christian ChristnerAndrew LichtenbergerScott Seiver Connor DrinanAnkush MandaviaSteffen Sontheimer David EinhornTom MarcheseSam Soverel Antonio EsfandiariDominik NitscheBen Sulsky Isaac HaxtonDavid PetersBen Tollerene Fedor HolzNick PetrangeloChristoph Vogelsang John JuandaDoug PolkHaralabos Voulgaris Byron KavermanBrian RastSean Winter Rainer KempeAndrew Robl
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