|Four of the UK’s best poker players, collectively known as the Hendon Mob, have signed a major sponsorship deal with Prima Poker to compete in a series of global poker tournaments from Las Vegas to Melbourne. |
Now competing in London, at the Poker Classics 2003, The Mob seem to be enjoying their home field advantage with Joe Beevers winning the opening event, Ram finishing 5th in the £200 Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo and 1st in the £500 Seven Card Stud Freezeout, and Barny making the final on Thursday. But The Mob is even more pleased with the response that they are getting as sportsmen than they are with the prize money.
“Thanks to our sponsorship from Prima Poker we are being recognized as more serious sportsmen by the media and by the public. It’s great that Britain is behind us on the home leg of our Prima Poker Tour,” said Joe. “With the sponsorship, poker is getting the kind of mainstream television, radio and magazine exposure that other spectator sports enjoy,” Joe continued.
Why has it taken this long for poker to become recognized as a mainstream sport? Probably because before poker was available online, the poker community was a smaller, more close knit society than it is today now that poker is available on the Internet. With 5,000 players around the world playing online, 24-hours a day and with corporate sponsorship seeing the opportunities in the sport, players and spectators are finally able to participate and enjoy the sport online and off.
Channel 4’s successful television program, Late Night Poker, truly opened the eyes of the British public to the sport of poker, but according to Barny, one of the Mobsters, there is something even more fundamental. “Poker is the only sport you can realistically play online and get a similar experience as playing in person. It’s the only sport that works just as well online as off.”
Prima Poker is the premiere poker network on the Internet, but understands that online and offline poker complement each other. Prima Poker sends the best players from their network of online card rooms to compete in tournaments all around the globe qualifying them through a series of satellite tournaments held online through the family of card rooms found at www.primapoker.com