NFTs, the Poker Brat and Entain’s $millions Dominate the Headlines

This week we are going to take a look around the poker world, with the focus on whats making the headlines in industry, social media and across the poker forums…

By: Andrew Burnett

Entain ponder £62.9million furlough repayment

We’ll kick off with news that partypoker’s parent company, Entain, has yet to make a decision on whether or not it will repay £62.9million ($86.9million) it received from the UK government’s furlough scheme.

Entain, formerly GVC Holdings, who also own sportsbetting brands Ladbrokes and Coral among others, have furloughed 15,835 employees during the coronavirus pandemic as bricks and mortar betting shops have been closed down..

However, the company saw revenues of €3.562 billion in 2020, its share price rising sharply during the same period due to a huge increase in online activity.

Politicians have called for Entain and other gaming-based companies such as Flutter to repay furlough scheme money.

Patrick Leonard’s advice for a friend’s $1million

On Twitter, the popular English pro Patrick Leonard sparked an interesting discussion by asking: “If you had a friend win $1m in a poker tournament from a $10k Bankroll, what advice would you give him?”

The replies were plentiful and ran the full gamut of options, from Ryan Laplante’s sensible, “Stash some away in low risk long term investment that is tough to touch quickly. Stick mostly to the games you were playing before, moving up too quickly = easy way to lose a lot back,” to Branson Reimer’s speculative, “Invest 95% in crypto!”

Among Leonard’s own ‘no-nos’ were, “Don’t stake anybody, don’t get into business with friends,” suggesting instead: “700k safe away to live off interest/low risk - 100k v high risk investments/crypto - 100k bitcoin - 50k bankroll - 50k fun.”

Poker’s most valuable NFTs?

The 2plus2 forum had its own interesting threads on the go, and talk of NFT (Non-Fungible Tokens) was among them, with the discussion wondering which of poker’s great moments or things might qualify as an NFT.

Forumite ‘TRUSTtheDRAWCESS’ asked, “Do you think NFTs in poker will become a thing? Will famous hand histories from highstakes battles or the prominent HU challenges be sold as NFTs?”

The responses were, as expected, searing in their criticism of the very idea of an NFT.

“… the whole NFT concept seems incredibly stupid, another weird thing for the ultra-rich to "invest" lol their endless dollars into,” wrote one poster, adding: “2.5m usd to own a tweet, that no one can see you "own" lol it, or like who tf cares, dope. imagine bragging about that lmfao.”

Others claimed poker was way ahead of the game with NFTs, with NerdSuperfly posting: “NFTs were a poker thing even before crypto ... like when ppl oversold action or sold action but didn't play, or just sucked but had a recognizable name. you bought something of value, but had nothing. simpler times for sure...”

Reddit poker fans amused by Hellmuth rant

Meanwhile, Reddit poker was busy discussing the HighStakesDuel between Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu, with the focus on the Poker Brat’s amusing tantrum midway through the live poker heads-up battle.

GGPoker ambassador Negreanu built up a massive lead in the match and handed his rival a box of tissues when Hellmuth became upset when DNegs’ won a perfectly normal hand.

The Poker Brat tossed the box aside and continued to curse Daniel, but all’s well that ended well for Phil, and you can read all about his epic comeback victory here and check out the Reddit discussion here.

888 and Caesars extend partnership

Back in the poker industry arena, news this week that 888 and Caesars have agreed on a 5-year extension to their partnership, which will see 888 software remain behind the WSOP Nevada and New Jersey online portals.

888 Holdings Plc stated last week that they are, “…pleased to announce a multi-year extension to its exclusive B2B poker partnership with Caesars Interactive Entertainment.”

According to PokerFuse, “One of the key points arising from this deal will be WSOP’s implementation of 888’s brand new Poker 8 client,” launched last year in Europe and able to “host multi-day and multi-flight tournaments.”

That’s it for this week’s roundup, but we’ll be back next week with another look at the poker world’s most talked about stories. Be sure to check in!

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