England football icons Paul Ince and Wayne Bridge are the two first co-stars of #HEADSUP, a new video series produced by 888poker, the world's second largest online poker site.
Announced Wednesday, Dec. 9, #HEADSUP is a new monthly digital magazine feature for the 888poker website that "will see two well-known sportsmen discuss the latest sporting news over a game of Texas hold'em."
As you can see from the five-minute clip posted below, the first episode of the series focuses more on the chatter at the table than on the poker action, with the two players entertaining the viewers with stories from their time in professional football.
If on one side the poker game ends with the two players going all in preflop without even checking their cards first, football lovers will be delighted to discover interesting anecdotes like the one that Ince calls being "the biggest prank I ever pulled" — when he and his teammate Ryan Giggs visited Manchester United legendary coach Sir Alex Ferguson late in the evening to negotiate a new contract.
While poker seems to be used more as an excuse to bring the two players together in front of the cameras, this approach to the game is not completely new to 888poker, as the 888live events organized by the poker room throughout 2015 have clearly shown that the poker room is determined to focus on the fun and community aspects of the game of poker in all its initiatives.
This is also not the first time that 888poker has tried to have its brand associated to popular football players. Back in May 2014, the poker room signed a sponsorship deal with Uruguay striker Luis Suarez to have the player play at the room's online tables and participate in live events and special football-related promotions.
The deal with Suarez, however, did not last long, as the sponsorship contract would be terminated only one month later following an incident during a World Cup match in which the Uruguayan striker appeared to bite Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.
As a note from 888poker explained, the poker room decided to sign Suarez "following a fantastic season for which his achievements were widely recognized. Regrettably, following his actions during Uruguay's World Cup match against Italy, 888poker decided to terminate its relationship with [the player] with immediate effect."