Unibet has signed the World Series of Poker November Niner, Kenny Hallaert, in a deal that acts as a reminder to everyone on the importance of meaning and purpose.
I overloaded on WaitButWhy posts yesterday. I got stuck into Tim Urban’s back catalogue and found myself falling in love with his travel series.
I mean, come on, who on earth travels to Russia, Nigeria, Iraq, Greenland, and Japan?
And then I remember.
My Dad does.
Tim Urban and my Dad are very different people. And I’m not talking about the fact that my Dad spends 80% of his life working, 10% sleeping, and 10% smoking, eating and drinking.
Tim Urban travels all over the world because of a deeper meaning and purpose behind his inquisitiveness. My Dad goes to places like Nigeria to earn money so he can build a new patio in the backyard.
Money or purpose?
The ultimate dichotomy when it comes to what you do with your life.
Do you become a slave?
Or do you reach for freedom?
After visiting those five very different countries, Tim Urban asked a broad selection of people what they would ask for if they had a genie?
And guess what?
Irrespective of where they were in the world, they all wanted the same things, and amongst them were money and happiness.
Which one would you pick?
Can you have both?
Kenny Hallaert Has Both
In 2015, Kenny Hallaert travelled to Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and left with a sizeable six-figure profit after finishing fifth in The Colossus and 123rd in the Main Event earning over $200,000.
I interviewed him, and two things stood out for me. The first was his understanding of the importance of multiple streams of income. Hallaert was a professional poker player, but he still earned money through his affiliation with a betting website, and as a Tournament Director (TD).
And he isn’t afraid of hard graft.
“If I have to go back to a normal job, then I will.,” Said Hallaert.
The man is a realist.
And then there was his love for the game.
“The key to becoming a pro poker player is to love the game.” Said Hallaert.
And I am beginning to think the little Belgian loves it more than anyone else in the game.
Kenny Hallaert Signs First Big Nov Nine Sponsorship Deal And There’s a Twist
His 2015 WSOP performances weren’t a flash in the pan. They arrived after a decade worth of hard graft both online and live. Not that he needed to prove a point but he returned to the WSOP a few months ago and made the November Nine.
When the fun and frolics begin on Oct 30, 2016, Hallaert will start fourth in chips. He is the fourth favourite to win with odds of 13/2 offered by most bookmakers. He has already bagged a million dollars. He could win seven million more.
If Hallaert had answered the Tim Urban ‘genie’ question, he wouldn’t be asking for more money. After the WSOP Main Event ends, he will have enough to last him a lifetime.
And for Hallaert it’s not about the money.
It’s about the love of the game.
It’s about meaning.
It’s about purpose.
The November Nine is the one true gold mine left when it comes to sponsorship money. Companies don’t throw money around like the good old days, but every player benefits including Hallaert.
The Belgian could have signed to become a sponsored pro for most online sites, but when Unibet came knocking it wasn’t a player deal they had in mind.
They wanted Hallaert to become the Unibet TD.
And Hallaert said yes.
Now let that sink in a while.
Hallaert secures a million bucks. He could turn that into eight million bucks in a few months time. He could be our World Champion. And he has decided to become the TD for Unibet.
It’s akin to Neymar Jr stopping playing football and becoming a referee.
It’s love for the game, and I am struggling to think of a comparable example.
Hallaert Debuts in Copenhagen
Hallaert will make his debut in Copenhagen where he will officiate the Unibet Open August 25-28. It’s the first time Unibet has held an event in the Danish capital during the summer, and online satellites are currently running on the site.
“I’m very happy to be part of the Unibet Open team. I have already played some of these events in the past and always had a good experience. Now I want to give that same experience to the players”. Said Hallaert.
The Casino Copenhagen will host the €1,100 buy-in event. It’s the third event of the season. David Shallow defeated 418 entrants to win the £62,000 first prize in London, and Martin Soukup beat 292 competitors to win the €65,000 first prize in Malta. The location of the Grand Final is yet to be determined.
Who will be triumphant in Copenhagen?
I know one thing.
It won’t be Kenny Hallaert.
And that’s fine with him.
It’s happiness that Hallaert seeks; not fame, not glory, and certainly not money.
A lesson for us all.