Gerry Dee, a Canadian comedian best known for his role as a teacher on television’s Mr. D, has signed a sponsorship deal with PokerStars to appear in TV commercials to promote online poker tourneys and at live tournament events. In turn, the world’s top poker site will be sponsoring the Gerry Dee Comedy Tour.
The commercials will be awarding monthly packages to the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) in January, 2013, valued at $20,000. Dee will be on hand at the tournament series at the Atlantis Resort and Casino on Paradise Island, Bahamas, and will be filming a TV special during his stay, CNW reported.
An award-winning stand-up comedian, Dee began his comedy career in 2003. Dee plays Gerry Duncan in the weekly sitcom that is partly based on Dee’s decade spent teaching physical education to high-schoolers prior to striking out on his own on the comedy circuit.
“I’m better at math and statistics than the teacher you see on TV, so I’m not a bad poker player,” Dee said. “I’m no pro but I’ve always been a bit of a poker buff. I really admire the skill it takes to compete at the top level. I’m excited about this partnership and am looking forward to improving my game!”
Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu–a fellow Canadian–has filmed an episode on the Mr. D show that will air in January and wouldn’t mind giving his countryman some advice on playing poker.
“I’ve played poker with quite a few actors over the years and many are surprisingly good players,” Negreanu said. “It will be interesting to see how Gerry does at the PCA. I’m happy to have him join the contingent of Canadian players representing PokerStars, but I think he’ll need a bit of beginner’s luck in the Bahamas.”
Negreanu knows what it takes to be successful at the PCA. In the $100,000 Super High Roller Event last year, he finished as runner-up for a cool $1 million. In the same event this year, a fifth place finish was good for $250,900. The PCA is scheduled to run from Jan. 6-15 in 2013 and is expecting another fine turnout.
PokerStars has expanded its marketing recently to include celebrities who have made names for themselves outside of poker. In June, tennis pro Rafa Nadal–winner of 11 Grand Slam titles–signed on as a Team PokerStars Sportstar.