Poker rooms sponsor poker professionals in a similar way large brands sponsor NASCAR racers. The poker professional is expected to promote their brand by wearing their branded apparel and being seen on television. In return, sponsored professionals receive free entries into tournaments, free play at their respective poker site, and other perks. These sponsorships help people that watch poker on television put faces to some of the online poker rooms. For example, PokerStars is instantly associated with Daniel Negreanu and many past World Series of Poker winners. Full Tilt Poker has an especially good team of poker professionals (possibly the best online poker team) with players such as Phil Ivey, Tom “durrrr” Dwan, and Mike Matusow. With the World Series of Poker underway, two major players on the poker scene have been signed to online poker websites.
David Williams was a member of Bodog’s “Brat Pack.” However, that agreement dissolved and David Williams was a free agent. PokerStars jumped on snatching one of the most successful poker players on the scene at the moment with almost $8 million in live tournament poker winnings. Williams will be making an appearance at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas for a cocktail event as part of the expansive Team PokerStars.
The stunning Shannon Elizabeth, who played Nadia in the American Pie series, has signed with Carbon Poker and is now the face of Merge Gaming Network’s flagship site. Even though most poker players probably associate Shannon Elizabeth with the infamous dancing scene of the original American Pie, she is actually quite the poker player. Her greatest accomplishment was reaching the 2007 National Heads-Up Poker Championship. She defeated famous poker professionals Barry Greenstein, Humberto Brenes, and Jamie Gold to reach the semi-finals. She was knocked out at the hands of Paul Wasicka and was rewarded $125,000 for her efforts. A private party is planned in Las Vegas on July 4th and will unveil Shannon Elizabeth as the face of Carbon Poker. She will most likely enter the WSOP Main Event and hopefully make it on television for everybody to see.