Poker promotions are offered to players of poker. In an effort to reel in new players, many online poker sites ran unbelievably wild promotions. When the online poker industry emerged in the early 2000’s, there were absolutely no regulations. The UIGEA didn’t pass until 2006, which allowed over half a decade of untamed extravagance. With an impressive pool of 4.6 million players, the U.S. poker market easily exceeds $3.3 billion. This staggering amount of cash is only 27% of the global poker market’s yearly revenue. With such a high amount of players, the hunt was on to get them to play online.
Faced with a nearly unlimited potential for profits, poker sites did whatever they could to up the ante. In a market that had no regulations and insanely high budgets, the sky was the limit for promotions. This volatile combination led to poker websites continuously pushing the limits to promote their tournaments. The tactics used in these outrageous promotions ranged from hilarious to borderline illegal. While the ethics of these promotions are questionable, there’s no denying their effectiveness. By generating massive amounts of attention and controversy, these tactics convinced millions of players to convert to online poker.
In many ways, wild promotions paved the way for the booming online poker industry that exists today. Thanks to their profound impact, these advertising campaigns can’t be ignored by any respectable poker player. Their exploits revolutionized the industry, and the brashness of their approaches will forever live in infamy. To highlight this often overlooked chapter of online poker history, we compiled a list of the most outrageous poker promotions. Prepare to be shocked and amused by these tactics, since they would never be allowed today!
Most Outrageous Poker Promotions
Poker Promotions #3: Win Mike Tyson’s House – During the 2009 Ante Up for Africa tournament, things got personal at the tables. When English multi-millionaire Dominic Marrocco bought Mike Tyson’s $4 million house poker promotions, he decided to incorporate it into the poker tournament. His initial plan was to create a reality TV show where hundreds of players would compete to win the mansion. Once it was narrowed to two players, they would play against Marrocco and Tyson in a final-four showdown for the house.
In this wild game, the stakes were high for everyone. Tyson could potentially win back his mansion while the other players flirted with living in luxury. Win or lose, Marrocco would make back his money from the revenue generated by the show. While it was a wild concept, it never came to fruition. Mike Tyson never got the chance to win back his house and had to play normal hands against Marrocco in Africa.
Poker Promotion #2: Become a Porn Star – When Swank Poker launched in 2008, it was the first adult-themed poker site in the world. Instead of offering normal prizes, this XXX site focused on their client’s wildest desires. From access to Austrian night clubs to year long VIP membership in sex clubs, everything offered by this site was unapologetically sensual. The top prize was the chance to direct and star in a porno with one of the Swank Poker models. This was an enticing offer, and it made this controversial site one of the most talked about platforms in the industry.
Despite having a novel theme and incessant promotion, Swank Poker failed to take off. After being exposed for misusing player funds, the site closed in 2013. Apparently this seductive site was hiding its gross negligence behind humanity’s most primal desires.
Poker Promotion #1: Play Against a Monkey – In an effort to gain international attention, Poker Share trained a monkey named Mikey to play poker. While the chimp’s skills were basic, Mikey was able to move chips and taunt other players at the table. Videos of the monkey playing poker ended up going viral and caused an outrage in the poker community.
Terrified of potentially losing to a chimp, multiple high level players appealed Mikey’s permission to enter the WSOP tournament. In the end WSOP found a clause in their rulebook that stated only humans could play. While this officially brought Mikey’s career to an end, it showed how creative poker sites were getting to gain promotion.
Athletes to the poker table
Following are the athletes that made their way to the poker table:
1. Jan Vang Sørensen: Sørensen was a Danish footballer who retired early due to injury but found a competitive outlet in the form of poker and has never looked back.
He’s got over $2 million in lifetime earnings on the tournament circuit, two WSOP bracelets, and a $800,000 cash for his win at the 2008 Masters Classics of Poker tournament.
2. Teddy Sheringham: Sheringham is another former footballer who’s had plenty of poker success, winning nearly $300,000 in tournaments since he started playing regularly in 2005.
3. Tony Cascarino: It’s a hat trick for footballers with Cascarino coming in at #3 on our list; he’s won nearly $600,000 on the tournament circuit with much of it ($283,412) coming from his win in a UK Grosvenor Poker Tour event.
4. Shane Warne: The famous cricketer is sponsored by 888 Casino and has been a regular at the Aussie Millions and WSOP tournaments the last few years.
He hasn’t had a huge payday yet but has won just shy of $50,000 in tournaments.
5. Boris Becker: Sponsored by PokerStars, Becker has cashed in at least three different high-level tournaments including winning just over $40,000 at the World Poker Tour Championship in 2009.
Tom Dwan’s Wildest Poker Promotions
Tom Dwan has made a name for himself in the poker world based not only on his success, but the way in which he achieves that success. His aggressive playstyle has earned him millions of dollars playing some of the highest stakes games in the world.
But like the above he too has the wildest poker promotions. The Dwan has at the nosebleeds, he’s certain to have witnessed some crazy stuff along the way. Here are five wild promotions from Durrrr’s amazing poker career.
1. The Durrrr
Dwan has long been known as Durrrr, but the origins of the nickname are pretty interesting. When Dwan first started playing poker on the then popular site Paradise Poker, he had an interesting username in mind. He landed on Durrrr because he thought the nature of the name would naturally infuriate his opponents. As he won money from them the name Durrrr was sure to put them on tilt which he thought would lead to more success.
2. The Rumors
Dwan was a staple on the scene throughout the early and mid-2000s. However, after the infamous Black Friday, Dwan went virtually MIA. A few years ago, Dwan began making appearances in the Triton Series, and it was also rumored he was playing some of the highest stakes cash games in the world. Here, Dwan talks about a seven-figure bluff, for example.
The specifics of the games in Macau will never be known, but the rumors are plentiful. One rumor was spread that, although eventually discredited by Dwan himself, he won $25 million in a session with wealthy Asian businessmen.
3. Poker Television
Dwan’s playstyle made him perfect for poker television shows like Poker After Dark and High Stakes Poker. He was also very successful in these shows. In fact, Dwan profited the most on High Stakes Poker back in the mid-2000’s.
When Dwan initially left the show years ago, the ratings plummeted. Even in his recent return to Poker After Dark he has been a big hit for the show.
4. The Hall of Fame
Year 2009 was the height of Dwan’s fame. After making regular TV appearances for years he had become a fan-favorite. In fact, Dwan was so popular among fans that he was almost selected for the Poker Hall of Fame.
Because of public balloting, Dwan was almost inducted into the Hall of Fame. He was eventually dropped from the race because he was too young and didn’t have any major results in big tournaments. Eventually, a rule was added which made 40 the minimum age for induction into the hall.
5. The Bracelet Bet
Although Dwan was a cash game crusher, he wasn’t particularly known as a tournament player. In fact, in 2010, Dwan laid a bet to the high stakes community that he would win a World Series of Poker bracelet. Players bet against Dwan, giving him 3-1 odds.
When he was heads up against Simon Watt in a $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event, bettors became nervous. In fact, “Huck” Seed had prematurely sent Dwan the $300,000 he bet against him when it got to heads up play. Watt would eventually best Dwan and take down the tournament.
High stakes poker
If you have decent poker know-how and an aggressive spirit you may want to take a whirl at wagering on high risk poker on the net. At top rated poker sites on the online, you can play big stakes poker sessions anytime you want without going to the time and cost of heading to a far away casino. You’ll notice that each of your best-loved games are available from holdem to omaha hi-low. It is free to sign up and there are many incentives and bonuses presented to players. You can rest assured that your information is safe and your privacy is guaranteed.
Additionally you can pick the format you prefer for competing in high risk poker on the online. If you just wish to join a normal table for a couple of hands you can just that. However, if you prefer tournament play you can pick from an assortment of single table and multi-table tournaments. The buyin fees to participate in these tournaments are acceptable, and some of the prizes are extremely large. You can even participate in high risk poker tournaments where you can come away with a seat to an even larger tournament.
When you participate in high stakes poker on the online you have a chance to match your abilities against other good individuals and get better and better at the games of your choice. You will notice the games are just as thrilling and enjoyable as in a regular casino. In fact, most of the poker millionaires you see winning tournaments on television started playing on the web.