The World Series of Poker limits sponsors to just three players at the final table, making it imperative that potential sponsors, following the Grail Knight’s wisdom from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and “choose wisely.”
888 Poker seems to have done just that.
888 Poker’s strong trifecta
888 has put together a trio of sponsored November Niners, each of whom would make a good ambassador should they triumph.
888 pulled off the biggest “get” of the November Nine by locking up Joe McKeehen.
McKeehen is not only the overwhelming chip leader and odds-on favorite to win the WSOP Main Event, he also has strong ties to New Jersey and Pennsylvania, which just so happens to be one of the top advertising markets for 888 Poker’s New Jersey online poker site.
McKeehen has also shown a willingness to participate in other televised events, having appeared on Poker Night in America several times since making the WSOP Main Event final table, and has become a regular at major tournament stops across the globe.
If 888 can get a commitment from McKeehen beyond the WSOP final table, it may have landed a very strong brand ambassador.
Cannuli is a New Jersey native who plays a lot of online poker on the state’s legal online poker sites. A Cannuli victory would be terrific for 888, as it could launch a campaign along the lines of “Come play with the 2015 WSOP Main Event Champion at 888 Poker New Jersey.”
Of course, winning the WSOP Main Event usually upends the person’s life, and calls for increased travel, but a Cannuli victory would probably be the best case scenario for 888’s US poker products.
The third member of 888’s November Nine contingent is 61 year old Neil Blumenfield.
Blumenfield would also make an excellent champion, as he would end a seven year streak of WSOP Champions under the age of 30 – Peter Eastgate, Joe Cada, Jonathan Duhamel, Pius Heinz, Greg Merson, Ryan Riess, and Martin Jacobson – and put to rest the notion that poker, and specifically the grueling World Series of Poker Main Event, is a young man’s game.
Is anyone else out there? Hello?
Interestingly, other than the aforementioned 888-sponsored players, precisely who will be wearing what patches this year is difficult information to find.
Here’s the patches you won’t see when the November Nine return to the Rio on Sunday to begin their three day quest for poker’s most coveted title.
An offshore site will have something of a presence at the final table as Americas Cardroom has locked up Joshua Beckley to a sponsorship deal.
Beckley has been plugging ACR on social media and in interviews, but his ability to promote the offshore site will stop there. Beckley will not be permitted to wear Americas Cardroom patches at the final table, as WSOP rules forbid the promotion of such unregulated sites.
In 2014 the DraftKings logo was everywhere at the Rio, including on three players at the final table: Dan Sindelar, Billy Pappas, and Will Tonking.
This year the site was expected to have a similar, if not increased presence, particularly since one of its qualifiers, Max Steinberg, had made the November Nine.
However, as John Steinbeck said, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.
Because of the Nevada Gaming Control Board’s designation of DFS as gambling and the NGCB’s requirement that all DFS operators be licensed by the state, DraftKings, FanDuel, and every other DFS operator pulled out of the state.
DraftKings has decided to end its deal with the WSOP prematurely, and Steinberg has also said his sponsorship by DraftKings has also come to an end.
WSOP spokesman Seth Palansky said of the termination, “In light of last week’s news in Nevada, DraftKings asked us to cease any sponsorship activities around the remaining few WSOP events of the year, and we complied.”