Poker chips sometimes move around the table pretty quickly in tournaments, but this coming weekend, chips will be moving faster than they ever have before as PokerStars’ partner, Oracle Red Bull Racing (ORBR), hits the Las Vegas streets for the inaugural running of the Las Vegas Grand Prix (LVGP).
As part of the brand-new livery for the ORBR Formula 1 car, PokerStars became the first ORBR partner to feature on the team’s wheels, and players have a chance to win one of the unique set of race-worn covers.
It has been a minute since PokerStars was in Las Vegas, but this month, the Red Spade is taking over the town once again. Starting with the recently completed return of the storied North American Poker Tour (NAPT) at the beginning of the month, PokerStars rolls into an epic F1 weekend as the world’s #1 racing circuit descends on Sin City for the LVGP.
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As the official partner of ORBR, PokerStars will be front and center during the festivities, and while in the past a gambling sponsor might have been seen as second-class, in 2023 the Red Spade is a featured part of the ORBR attire as it prepares to compete for F1 glory.
Specifically, ORBR entries for the LVGP are fitted with bespoke wheel covers prominently featuring the iconic red spade logo from the venerable online poker site.
But the excitement keeps going — PokerStars players will have a shot at bagging one of these unique wheel covers for themselves. The custom covers will be up for grabs in a special upcoming giveaway, and to top it all off, they will also be signed by three-time World Champion Max Verstappen and his ORBR teammate, Sergio Perez.
Poker Chips at 200mph
PokerStars players are used to their chips moving around the table, but the speed of movement will be a few orders of magnitude faster this weekend during the inaugural LVGP. That is because part of the ORBR racing livery for the F1 race this weekend includes an iconic wheel-cover design featuring the Red Spade.
Based on the chip design used at PokerStars Live events, the new custom wheel covers are part of the fan-designed outfit for the ORBR cars going into the LVGP on November 29. ORBR fan Lindsay Palmer designed the livery for this race, and the PokerStars wheel covers fit in right alongside that iconic design set.
Rebecca McAdam Willetts, Director of Partnerships & Public Relations at PokerStars, said the brand was honored to be the first partner on the team’s wheels, especially for such an iconic race in the spiritual home of poker, Las Vegas.
“Our wheel reveal marks the pinnacle of our efforts this year to excite and reward fans and customers, and we’re super excited to physically share such an iconic piece of racing memorabilia with our community.”
The Red Spade Takes Over the Town
It has been a minute since PokerStars was in Las Vegas. A little thing called Black Friday — you may have heard about it — meant the Red Spade and poker in the USA did not get along for more than a decade.
But with the waves of that tsunami from the past now dissipating, the iconic online poker brand returned to the global home of poker with a vengeance in November 2023.
Not only is the operator part of the huge F1 festivities as Las Vegas hosts its first Grand Prix race in decades (while this is the first F1 race in Vegas in a while, hardcore F1 fans might remember a couple of forgettable races in the 80s in Caesar’s parking lot) as the partner of ORBR, but it also brought back one of the most iconic tours in its history, the NAPT.
While the tour had only three stops before Black Friday killed it, the NAPT managed to create an outsized legacy, not least because it was part of the stage from which Vanessa Selbst began her assault on the poker world, winning two of the three original Main Event titles.
Of course, Selbst became one of the winningest players in the game’s history and the first woman to ever hit the #1 spot on the Global Poker Index rankings, a title she held in June 2014.
After about 12 years away, however, the NAPT returned with a bang in 2023 with a huge festival in Las Vegas the week before the big F1 festivities. The Main Event, won by Sami Bechahed for a whopping $268,945, was the biggest field of any NAPT Main Event, and despite a significantly lower buy-in than the historic versions, still managed to nearly match the prize pool of the last NAPT in 2011.
It has been a massive month for PokerStars in Las Vegas, and the excitement keeps coming. Stay tuned for details on how to become a part of F1 racing history with one of the unique, race-used wheel covers as ORBR and PokerStars race into 2024.
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