Backs against the gym wall time: Fedor Holz or Neymar Jr?

TAGs: Fedor Holz, Neymar Jr., partypoker, PokerStars

After Fedor Holz announces a partnership with partypoker, Lee Davy, shares his opinion that the collaboration will benefit poker more than Neymar Jr did during his time with PokerStars.

When Neymar Jr joined the PokerStars rank and file I believed it was an inspirational, if not expensive, move. The Millennials adored him, the Baby Boomers and everyone in between respected him, and he loved the game.

Backs against the gym wall time: Fedor Holz or Neymar Jr?And then he left.

{Cue tumbleweed}

Today, I learn that Fedor Holz is joining the partypoker revolution, and my thoughts about the brilliance of the Neymar Jr signing change as abruptly as a chameleon who has just walked into a snake disco.

After leaving PokerStars Neymar Jr also left Barcelona, signing with Paris St Germain for a world record $262m fee. The Brazilian said it had nothing to do with the money. It had everything to do with the money. Neymar signing for PSG is akin to Holz signing for some dodgy online poker site in Iraq.

Neymar’s PokerStars move was all over the mainstream news. partypoker didn’t even tweet about the partnership with Holz,  but the deal will benefit the poker industry more than Neymar did during his time with the Red Spade.

The only official link to partypoker was a welcome Fedor reply from partypoker’s Managing Director, Tom Waters. Holz used the word ‘partner’ demonstrating his autonomy as a personal brand, in the same way, Doug Polk chose to do in his relationship with 888Poker, signifying the growth in personal branding not seen since the likes of Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu.

Some people are already on the move thanks to the signing, but I believe Holz will make a difference to partypoker over the long term, thanks to his sharp business mind, and experience as an online poker boss.

The Holz move demonstrates the authenticity of the adage, ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.’ Holz was a founding member of bitB Staking, partypoker ambassador Patrick Leonard‘s staking platform.

And sticking with that theme, is partypoker going to become the new High Stakes online coliseum?

Partypoker ambassador Sam Trickett recently hosted a $200/$400 cash game online at partypoker. Joining him was Victor Blom, Leon Tsoukernik, Rob Yong, and Tony G.

Trickett curries favour with the likes of Patrik Antonius, Phil Ivey, and Tom Dwan having befriended them during his high stakes jinks in Macau. With PokerStars owning the High Stakes live market, is partypoker about to step in and take over the online market?

Speaking to High Stakes DB (HSDB), Trickett confirmed that both Ivey and Dwan said they would love to join the High Stakes action at partypoker sometime in the future.

Ivey and Dwan won’t be heading to partypoker for the same reason as Holz, but if they do, it will be another big win for the one time giant of online poker in their bid to wrest the crown from the company who now wears it.

Back to Holz, and he chose partypoker for a reason. Given his success, you have to assume he wants to give PokerStars something to think about because he believes competition would be good for the industry that helped him become a king, and that’s the big difference between him and Neymar Jr.

One passed through, having a bit of fun, creating some ads, and making a few contractual appearances. The other one is extremely grateful to an industry that gave him so much, and now wants to return the favour by helping partypoker become the best online poker room in the world, and when they get close to that goal, the poker industry will be thriving.

No sports star can do that.

No actor can do that.

Only a poker player can do that, and Holz is amongst a very select breed.


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