CANADIAN ICE HOCKEY STAR TO PLAY IN WORLD SERIESOF POKER MAIN EVENT (Update)
 
British Columbia Lottery Corporation to sponsor former Vancouver Canucks goalie
 
British Columbia was the first Canadian provincial government to launch online gambling operations, and this week the operator, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation, illustrated its interest by announcing it has sponsored the $10,000 buy-in to this year's World Series of Poker main event for Vancouver Canucks hockey star Roberto Luongo.
 
Luongo is an avid poker player, and took part in the NHL Charity Shootout at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas in 2009. He has an endorsement contract with the BCLC and represents its Playnow.com poker and casino games website at a number of gaming events.
 
July 6,2012 : “Businesses commonly partner with celebrities or sports figures to help strengthen their brand image,” Kim Steinhart, BCLC's senior public affairs officer, said in a statement Thursday night.
 
“Roberto Luongo is an well-known celebrity in our marketplace, and a natural fit for this type of a marketing approach.
 
“The partnership provides BCLC with an opportunity to build the PlayNow.com brand by providing our customers with an opportunity to interact in a meaningful way with a well-known sports celebrity. The money for Luongo's agreement is part of BCLC's annual marketing budget and has no impact on revenue that flows through to the province.”
 
World Series of Poker spokesman Seth Palansky said Thursday that the main event field has not yet been finalised, but confirmed Luongo is expected to play.
 
Last year, 6,865 players from 85 countries competed with the winner, Pius Heinz of Germany, taking home more than $8.7 million and a gold bracelet (see previous InfoPowa reports).
 
This year's main event commences tomorrow (Saturday) and will play down to a final table of nine around July 16 before adjourning until October 28 to avoid clashing with the US presidential elections in November.