You know, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. There is a lot to be learned from perusing over archived poker commercials. You get a glimpse into a brand’s overall marketing direction along with the methods used to attract a target audience.
Take these five poker commercials that have mostly drifted into the sunset as the game has evolved.
2007 — Phil Ivey
If you haven’t seen this old-school pimpage of the now defunct Full Tilt Poker brand, you’re in for a treat. Learn, chat and play with the pros.
That “Hey, Buddy. Back of the line!” exchange at the 30-second mark is what Internet Gold is made of. At a time when online poker pros were a rebellious group — busy trying to convince the world you could make money on these sites, the marketing campaign went for a younger, Internet-savvy crowd.
2010 — Phil Hellmuth
What do Sasquatch, Jack Link’s Beef Jerky, and Getting Rivered have in common? Check out this 2-minute World Series of Poker ensemble effort that was perhaps a few years behind its time. After all, running Cowboys into Bullets was so 2005 in my opinion.
Right at the end of the clip, Hellmuth tells his nemesis to “Show a little class, Buddy.” It’s impossible to miss that UB cap Hellmuth is wearing, which might be good for another dozen entries into that Reddit AMA he did last September.
The AP/UB scandals are covered in that thread, along with just about everything else from good to bad. Other than what’s already been Asked & Answered, the only thing I’ve verified over the past decade is that Phil Hellmuth is the all-time leading WSOP bracelet winner who remains one of the biggest draws in poker.
2010 — Patrik Antonius
If you don’t count the meme-worthy freeze frame at 0:24, it’s plain to see that major poker sites were definitely “selling the dream” six years ago.
This Patrik Antonius “My Chips” advertisement coincided with some of the biggest high stakes TV cash games of all time, including an epic $1.1 million Million Dollar Cash Game pot that he had a ringside seat to.
“The way I see it, those are my chips. You’re just holding them for me.”
2006 — Chris Moneymaker
Chris Moneymaker parlayed a low-stakes PokerStars satellite tournament into a $2.5 million payday and kicked off the rejoice in the streets era of online poker in the process.
A few years later, US-based online poker players continued to gravitate towards PokerStars in pursuit of winning like Money800 did. The commercial was uploaded to YouTube in 2008, but the Moneymaker Millionaire was actually a 2006 promotion that was pimped that year during the WSOP in the expo area of the Rio.
The Champ returned to his old stompin’ grounds to shoot this PokerStars commercial that brought in more new customers than even Jason Somerville, who managed to attract 30,000 sign-ups for Stars last summer.
Make it rain, Chris!
2007 — Natalia París & Paradise Poker
I gotta say that getting an established Colombian bombshell to keep the “poker millionaire” search term in mass circulation doesn’t reflect the pro-centric ads of this next clip’s generation.
Still, you can say what you want about PokerStars software (and yes, it’s very good), but Paradise Poker was the only poker site I’ve ever known where you could place an order of virtual fries next to you at the table.
There was a very significant MTT community on Dise back around 2005 which revolved around Todd Arnold and Real Poker Training (back when online poker coaching was an innovative idea).
Exotic all-expense paid trips to far-off lands with plenty of upside? Escape to Paradise indeed…