This is probably the first time the poker community has united behind a political candidate.
A candidate for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, Andrew Yang came out in support of legalized online poker in October this year. And since then, it seems he fully embraced the world’s favorite card game.
Andrew Yang Hosts Poker Tournament at Fundraiser
He embraced it so much that he’s hosting a $2,800 poker tournament on December 15th. The venue for this event by Andrew Yang is the Mosaic Theater in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Join @AndrewYang @RealKidPoker @katie_kalvoda & me for special event w/poker champs #MosaicTheatre #LasVegas #YangGang. Win lessons w/Pros & VIP @SteveAoki experience. TICKETS: https://t.co/NZ6Idyp9zZ #HumanityFirst #Yang2020 #BetOnYang @DutchBoyd @MagicAntonio @JeffMadsenobv pic.twitter.com/dIQOj59kix
— Lena Evans🧢 (@LenaEvans88) December 2, 2019
He also got some of poker’s biggest stars to appear and – presumably – play in his event called “Bet on Yang”. In all likelihood, Andrew Yang himself will grab a seat at the poker table as well.
Daniel Negreanu, Antonio Esfandiari to Appear at Andrew Yang Event
6-time WSOP gold bracelet winner and poker social media star Daniel Negreanu is part of “the host committee”. 3-time WSOP bracelet winner Antonio “the Magician” Esfandiari is scheduled to make a special appearance. He held the record for the biggest single live tournament cash in poker history until the Triton Million in London this summer. His record was broken by Bryn Kenney with an over $20.5 million payday.
The third poker pro on the ticket, Dutch Boyd, matches Esfandiari with 3 bracelets.
The musical guest will be the famous Asian-American DJ Steve Aoki.
Attendees will have to pay $300, $500 or $1,000 to enter. The spots in all tiers are limited. The profits from the event will go to Andrew Yang’s campaign fund.
From the little information available, however, it seems that the poker tournament is not there for that purpose. The people at the Andrew Yang fundraiser will simply have the option to buy in for a $2,800 poker tournament and try to win some money.
The event flyer also promises “private poker experiences with World Series champions”. It goes on to specify that that translates to a “brunch with Dutch Boyd” as well as a private lesson from him.
The Previous Scandal of Co-Host Lena Evans
One of the people in the host committee, besides Negreanu and Katie Kalvoda, is poker player and poker ambassador Lena Evans.
Evans is the founder of the tournament series Poker League of Nations. Earlier this year in January, a poker player and reporter from Canada, Aleeyah Jadavji, played in one of the events at PLON.
However, later she discovered that her picture was photoshopped to make her look skinnier after she saw it on the PLON’s social media.
Before and after editing from the very same day. We went to play at Caesars and the photo on the left is from Lena’s nightly winners photo. The right was at Rio earlier that day by Kings lounge, which is the photo she edited. 👩🏽->🍊 pic.twitter.com/HvIEzNpdda
— Alee Yah (@ElleSriracha) January 14, 2019
Evans and her organization faced a massive backlash for that decision.
Andrew Yang and His Unusual Presidential Campaign
Yang’s expressed love for poker is unprecedented in American presidential elections. Evidently, it was very welcome in the online poker community.
However, it wasn’t the only time Andrew Yang showed his affinity for games of chance.
In a debate for the Democratic candidates in September, he announced that he’s giving away $1,000 per month for a year to 10 randomly selected families that register to the promotion through his campaign website.
This was a stunt to promote his famous “Freedom Dividend” plan that would give every American citizen $1,000 a month from their government.
He raised some eyebrows at the debate stage with his announcement and his opponents quickly dubbed him “the sweepstakes president”.
Either way, Andrew Yang has shown that he’s quite willing to think outside of the box and thus won the support of many – especially poker players.
He’s the best chance American poker players got for legal online poker in their entire country.
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