Above the Felt Poker Talent Agency Launches
Poker celebrities generally have limited opportunities outside of the felt. Poker Royalty was created to help celebrity players get greater exposure, and they have had a monopoly on that service. That is until now. Recently, Above the Felt Entertainment launched to give poker influencers and personalities a way to form partnerships with other organizations.
The company has also signed their first four clients, including a well-known poker broadcaster and the man that started the Poker Boom.
Above the Felt Launches
Above the Felt Entertainment officially launched on March 1st and lists itself as a “Poker Talent & Marketing Agency.” It provides Talent Management, Marketing Services, and Entertainment Services. The company says that its roster of poker talent can “provide unique and beneficial representation to companies across multiple industries.”
Tom Wheaton is the head of the company. Wheaton is best known as the found and CEO of Faded Spade. His roster of poker talent includes high-stakes pro Matt Berkey, World Poker Tour Champion Darren Elias, and poker commentator Jamie Kerstetter.
However, the biggest name on the roster is 2003 WSOP Main Event Champion Chris Moneymaker. As you may already know, Moneymaker left PokerStars at the end of 2020, claiming that he was going to step away from the game. He didn’t stay gone long as he then signed a deal with America’s Cardroom to represent the site.
According to CEO Wheaton, “Our roster of poker talent truly rise Above the Felt. Each member is more than a successful poker influencer and player. They are leaders with a passion for poker and its purposeful impact on the world. Play Poker. Live Life. Above the Felt.”
Roster Comments on New Company
The company posted a press release on its website on Monday and every member of its roster commented on the new venture. Matt Berkey spoke to the lack of opportunities in the industry, stating, “Poker is a young industry with very little coordination or collaboration on the business side of things. Currently, there are very few third parties with the best interest of the players in mind. Tom and the Above the Felt team help to market players and cultivate business relationships that wouldn’t otherwise exist.”
WPT Champ Darren Elias spoke on the opportunities this company can bring, stating, “As a player, I’ve always been open to these sorts of opportunities but never spent the time or effort to pursue them. I believe Above the Felt has put together a great team and can create mutually beneficial relationships between players and brands for years to come.”
Jamie Kerstetter was drawn to the people in the company, stating, “I am drawn to Above the Felt because the people involved are top-notch and I’m excited to work with them. I believe Above the Felt can help those of us in the community broaden our reach and grow the game.”
Moneymaker also commented on the new company, stating, “I’ve known Tom for many years from Faded Spade and am very impressed with the company he has built. As a person, I cannot wait to see what he does in this space with Above the Felt. The poker community has an enormous amount to offer, and I’m thrilled to be working with Tom and the team at Above the Felt to expand poker’s reach to companies around the world.”
Can the Company Be Effective?
It will be interesting to see how effective that this company can be with arranging partnerships. While Moneymaker and Kerstetter are fairly recognizable names outside of the game, Berkey and Elias are not as notable. This could make it tougher to arrange partnerships.
Next, while the website is serviceable, it does not feel as polished as you’d expect from a marketing website. It looks like a template was put together with a video made on Fiverr. The design could be better.
Granted, a website is just one small piece. If the team working at the company is knowledgeable and has the right connections, the company will be a success. The poker industry needs as much publicity as it can get and Above the Felt can help grow poker and improve the visibility of some of its most notable personalities.