As the poker industry is starting to find its feet again in the US, 888poker has moved to extend its partnership with Poker Central.
Announced at the close of January 2018, the deal will see the online poker operator act as the official sponsor of the 2018 Super High Roller Bowl for the third consecutive year. In addition to 888poker branding adorning the set of Poker Central’s flagship tournament, the pair will also collaborate on additional projects into 2019.
As the real money poker sponsor of the show, 888poker will not only receive exposure on Poker Central’s online platform, PokerGo, but on NBC Sports too. As it did in 2017, Poker Central has agreed on terms with the American network to ensure its events are broadcast to mainstream audiences across the US.
When the Super High Roller Bowl launched in 2015, the buy-in was $500,000. American Brian Rast walked away with the winner’s prize of $7,525,000 after topping the 43-player field.
The following year, with the buy-in at $300,000, 49 world-class players took to the felt, which saw Germany’s Rainer Kempe bank $5 million for the win.
In 2017, a record-breaking 56 grinders joined the high-stakes showdown, with the buy-in again at $300,000, and fellow German Christoph Vogelsang won $6 million.
When the action goes down between May 27 and 31, 2018, at the Aria Las Vegas, the organisers are predicting another big turnout.
With high stakes regulars such as defending champion Vogelsang, Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth all ready for the challenge, 888poker’s logos will be in impressive company. Indeed, it’s this type of branding that the operator will be hoping to capitalise on as the US market continues to evolve.
Following on from Pennsylvania’s 2017 decision to allow online gaming, more states could be set to follow this year. New York and California look to be two of the most likely candidates, but a change to US sports betting laws could bring even more states into the mix.
For 888poker, linking up with Poker Central and its selection of media partners is part of a bigger play to become ‘the’ name for online poker in the US. Prior to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 and Black Friday (2011), Full Tilt had a major TV presence. As well as being a sponsor of the original Poker After Dark series, Full Tilt also partnered with the popular show, High Stakes Poker. Through these affiliations, Full Tilt was able to gain a strong foothold in the US. When legislation brought an end to these relationships and Full Tilt’s presence in the US, it opened the door for another name to rise up.
Thanks to 888poker’s presence in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware, it’s managed to move into the gap left by Full Tilt. The renewal of its Poker Central deal is a testament to that and will not only help to generate more exposure in the US, but the world at large. It's clear to see that the body remains one of the world's top poker sites.
“We are thrilled to continue our relationship with Poker Central and look forward to the fantastic initiatives we will pursue together,” said Guy Cohen, SVP head of B2C, 888 Holdings. “888poker’s commitment to taking back the game is further strengthened by this renewed partnership. This exciting collaboration will connect our players to global poker content of the highest calibre both as fans and participants.”
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