Forget the slightly daft moniker, Parker "TonkaaaaP" Talbot is one of the finest poker players currently on the circuit, and as such it is a huge coup on the part of 888poker to confirm his signing as a brand ambassador. As one of the largest online poker sites on the planet, 888poker have made it their mission to partner with some of the game’s biggest stars.
Talbot will be following in the footsteps of the likes of Natalie Hof, Xuan Liu, JC Tran and many more. "TonkaaaaP" is one of the most streamed poker pros around, and his capture suggests 888poker are looking at new ways to secure a rather more eclectic audience. With Twitch providing a venue to reach millions, it's no wonder 888 scooped up one of its stars!
In addition to his prolific and highly entertaining streaming via the Twitch platform, Talbot is also a well-respected poker pro with career earnings of almost $250,000. The highlight of his run to date has to be the $180,909 he trousered for finishing seventh in a high roller event in Barcelona back in the summer of 2016.
That accomplishment – along with his everyman approach to the game – is part of TonkaaaaP’s allure. The man himself is delighted to be on board at 888.
"I'm obviously a big fan of 888poker as I play a chunk of my online volume there. When presented with the opportunity to become an 888poker Ambassador, it became apparent that this could turn into something very exciting! 888 is 100% a premiere online poker operator. I'm very hopeful for 888 taking over the game in the coming years."
As part of the deal Talbot will continue to stream five days of the week using the 888poker channel, as well as participating in a number of live tournaments and taking his turn in the commentary box alongside David Tuchman. TonkaaaaP went on to confirm:
"I’ll be streaming 888poker every day I stream, which is currently Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday starting at 1 p.m. EST. I play a pretty high average buy-in, but I have recently been mixing in a lot of $20-$50 games for volume because I've realised how awesome the $30 tournaments are on 888poker. So basically, every $22 tournament that runs in my schedule will be played and streamed."
TonkaaaaP is the latest in a long-line of high-profile signings from the 888poker brand as they look to assert their dominance over the industry. Current team captain Chris Moorman - who signed on with 888 in 2016 - was at one point the highest-earning online poker player on the planet, and a four-time final table participant in World Series of Poker events. He has gone on to earn more than $11 million in career earnings.
Alongside Moorman other notable 888 brand ambassadors have included JC Tran, Jackie Glazier, Sam Holden, Russell Thomas and former World Series of Poker Main Event champion Joe McKeehen. Alongside poker professionals, 888 have tried to engage a new kind of player by signing deals with recognisable sporting stars and celebrities.
The likes of former cricket ace Shane Warne, MMA title winner George St. Pierre and World Cup winner Denilson have all come on board. The Brazilian is not the only football ambassador that has signed up to the brand, South American counterpart Luis Suarez also signed on the dotted line in 2014. However, his actions at that summer’s World Cup – where he bit an opponent – led to his contract being terminated.
Parker Talbot is one of the hottest stars from Twitch.tv, which is Amazon’s live streaming platform for gamers. Talbot is amongst the most streamed poker stars on the channel, and brings with him a cult following of fans.
His videos have had more than 3 million views and stacks of subscribers, and his down-to-earth personality, backed by a happy knack of being an excellent player, is clearly a winning combination. TonkaaaaP's finals comments:
"I think that I'm generally pretty relatable and genuine, and I think people can just join in on that. I'm generally upbeat as well, and I feed off of the energy of the chat. I could never stream and be exciting or have energy if I didn't have all the muppets hanging out with me and rooting me on. Winning hundreds of thousands of dollars on occasion can also be very helpful."