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Pokerstars to buy a US National Football League team

Monday September 1,2014 :  POKERSTARS AND U.S. FOOTBALL - AN EXCITING CONCEPT
 
But one which was a step too far even for the online poker giant's management.
 
Imagine the possibilities....and consequences...of an attempt by online poker powerhouse Pokerstars to buy a US National Football League team.
 
Apart from setting the NFL's teeth on edge, such an initiative would definitely generate extensive media coverage even if halted, and that was the main objective when it was suggested in 2006 by the company's communications chief, Nolan Dalla, now a high profile industry blogger and personality.
 
Dalla has revisited the proposal on his blog, acknowledging that the proposal was a little too ambitious and audacious, even for the daring and creative ownership of Pokerstars, which was at that stage playing second fiddle to industry leader PartyPoker and looking to gain ascendancy.
 
The team Dalla had in mind was the New Orleans Saints, a franchise that owned an 80,000 seat stadium regularly filled with loyal fans, despite struggling to succeed on the field.
 
Tom Benson, the owner of the Saints, considered selling the franchise for around $600 million following the 2005 Hurricane Katrina debacle that devastated much of New Orleans and damaged the stadium, and Dalla saw this as an unprecedented opportunity to put Pokerstars on the map in its biggest market...North America.
 
Dalla accepted that the transaction would probably be stopped in its tracks by the ever-sensitive NFL, but that by that time the initiative would have generated extensive publicity worth up to $20 million in a key market.
 
He argued that even if the project gained approval, there were enormous PR advantages to be had in saving the franchise and earning the loyalty of millions of fans.
 
After careful consideration, it was decided not to pursue the proposal, and in the event Pokerstars rose to completely dominate the online poker market internationally in the years that followed.
 
PartyPoker reversed out of the US market when the UIGEA was signed in late 2006 after a stealthy late night passage through Congress attached to a "must pass" security bill, and Pokerstars flourished whilst its former top rival shrank.
 
The UIGEA came less than a year after Dalla's proposal, and was executed principally through political deals and Congressional maneuvering, so it is unlikely that even Pokerstars could have pre-empted its introduction.
 
Whether Pokerstars would have been able to overtake PartyPoker commercially if the UIGEA had not come about is a matter for conjecture, and is now of only academic interest, but the financial transaction banning bill certainly had a significant and damaging impact on the industry, and probably set the foundations for the 'Black Friday' federal enforcement actions five years later in April 2011.
 
That precipitated the exit from the United States of Pokerstars and other major online poker companies at great cost.
 
As is so often the case, future events would have vindicated a purchase of the Saints back in 2006; Dalla concludes his account of the project by revealing that three years after Benson mulled selling the franchise, the team made a spectacular comeback to win the Superbowl....and that $600 million asking price is currently dwarfed by the valuation of the franchise at around $1.5 billion!



Gambling News :

NHL Odds: Lightning go for Season Sweep Over Red Wings - The Tampa Bay Lightning (37-29-9) have been doing everything possible to make a fourth straight appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Without star centre Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov (38 goals, 40 assists) and Victor Hedman (15 goals, 47 assists) have stepped up and will look to continue their strong play against the Wings. Game time is 7:30 PM ET on FS-D.

MPN Charity Poker Tournament at ICE 2017 - During what was a busy three-days for Microgaming at ICE Totally Gaming 2017, the MPN team enjoyed a charity poker tournament with Microgaming operators on Tuesday 7 February.

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NHL Odds: Forsberg Faces Elliott in Nashville - The last time the Nashville Predators played against the Calgary Flames, Calgary had a 4-1 lead five minutes into the second period. Nashville responded with four back-to-back goals, including a hat trick from centreman Filip Forsberg. Both teams went into overtime with five goals, and Calgary defenseman Mark Giordano (12 goals, 22 assists) scored the winning goal.

Sit & Go 2.0 launched online exclusively at Americas Cardroom - Get ready to cheer like a champion before the first flop is even dealt. The much-anticipated Sit & Go 2.0 is now launched online exclusively at Americas Cardroom and Sit & Go players are reaping the benefits of the next evolution of poker.

NBA Odds: Hawks, Wiz in Southeast Showdown - The Washington Wizards (42-27 SU, 36-32-1 ATS) can pretty much secure the Southeast Division title with a win Wednesday night over the Atlanta Hawks (37-32 SU, 31-38 ATS). Tip-off is at 8 PM ET on ESPN; the Wizards lead Atlanta by five games with less than a month remaining before the playoffs.

Mega Moolah progressive jackpot Hit Again - Microgaming’s Mega Moolah progressive jackpot slot has been hit yet again at just over €6.6 million!

NBA Odds: Clippers Try to Slow Down Bucks in LA - Milwaukee Bucks small forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin are two of the most talented and versatile forwards in the NBA. The two lead their teams into battle on Wednesday in Los Angeles.

NCAAB Odds: SMU Hosts Tulsa With AAC Title on the Line - There aren’t too many college basketball teams more profitable than the SMU Mustangs (25-4 SU, 18-5-1 ATS). They host the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (14-14 SU, 15-12 ATS) this Thursday night, tipping off at 8 PM ET on CBSSN.

NHL Odds: Canadiens Welcome Islanders Tonight - The Montreal Canadiens (32-20-8) welcome the New York Islanders (28-21-10) on Thursday (7:30 PM ET on SNE). After getting their first victory under new head coach Claude Julien, the Canadiens will look to build on that momentum against a red-hot Islanders team.

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