Last week we presented a Top 10 list of the best poker commercials of the decade. This week, to keep things balanced, we’re going to flip the coin and bring you 10 commercials that failed miserably.
Editor’s note: There are some (currently still running) on TV that we couldn’t locate online.
Most notably absent from the list below: Party Poker’s Aussie Millions commercial which demonstrates that if you're dealt a bad hand you're somehow vacuum suctioned into oblivion and eliminated from the tournament. Who knew?
Also, according to that commercial, tables can hold upwards of 300 players at a time. Whoever produces these commercials needs to realize that some of their viewers are probably more confused than intrigued. Truly baffling.
But without further ado, here are the Top 10 worst poker commercials of the past decade.
#10 – UltimateBet’s Ultimate Battle
The problem with this commercial is that they went too heavy on the cheese. Way too heavy.
Hellmuth’s regular persona is bad enough as it is. To see him painted as some sort of Roman Emperor is too much to stomach even in a 30-second stint.
#9 – And the Buzz Word of the Day is … Poker!
This commercial isn’t that bad in terms of comedy, acting, and random entertainment value but it makes the “worst” list because of its total irrelevance to the game.
It comes off as an ad for an agency that has nothing to do with poker but decided to cash in on its current popularity. There is no way they come up with this same idea in 2002 or prior.
#8 - Card People Gone Wrong
Absolute Poker makes some of the best commercials on TV. They have solid concepts and good production. They run a series of commercials called Card People which is almost always guaranteed for a laugh. Almost.
Here's one that just doesn't make sense and should have been left on the cutting-room floor.
#7 – TigerGaming Crosses a Line
This commercial is not particularly funny. However, it makes up for that by being a bit disturbing and borderline inappropriate. It’s not much of a shocker that this one was banned from TV.
#6 – Inappropriate Workplace Behavior
In this Party Poker commercial a guy stares at a woman’s boobs. That’s about it. Maybe he’s staring because they seem to palpitate unusually when she types? Does that really happen? Ad lacks a necessary close up for further clarity. Fail.
#5 – And There You Are, A Poker Player
Poker Stars has a series of these commercials that try to equate a poker player playing a sport they clearly can’t play to them being sharks at the table … or something like that, I think.
And even though I recognize the location of where this was shot and happen to know it’s a beautiful park, it doesn’t overcome the extreme futility of this 30 seconds.
Just awful. Nice jumper Joe. Oi Oi Oi.
#4 – Kid Poker or Kid Hockey?
Same thing here as in #5. Do they think that sticking a Canadian in a street hockey game will somehow make this idea credible?
There is no logical connection but boy do they try. If only they had opted against the Dennis Savard spinnerama at 0:15. If only.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a spin move work so effectively that it simultaneously spins the defender in the opposite direction. Very impressive Daniel.
Nice bodycheck on Tuan Lam btw.
#3 - Pot Commitment
Here is another example of two non-relatable items being synchronized for the sake of advertising: a wedding and poker.
I just don’t get why. What’s the point? Are they trying to be controversial? How is saying “I do” or “I don’t” similar to calling or folding? What would a raise signify in this instance?
The priest declaring “nice hand” at the end was the only redemption this ad got.
#2 + #1 – Cool Hand Super-Fail
So much fail.
The top 2 finalists for worst poker commercial of the past decade come from a new site with an interesting, albeit flawed, marketing campaign.
Cool Hand Poker is a new site with the slogan “Poker for the People." It’s a site for players who want to play a fun and relaxed game of poker with no sharks and no hustlers.
In other words, “Hey, come deposit on our site and play with us. Everyone here sucks just as bad as you!”
Interesting idea, except for the fact that a site geared toward fish can never keep sharks at bay. Predators feed off of the weak. They claim to have ‘real people who play for realistic stakes.
If by realistic stakes they insinuate that sharks wouldn’t be interested, then perhaps someone could explain the $350 sign-up bonus they offer. Not all sharks play nosebleeds. This marketing perplexes me.
The Hellmuth knockoff and the Full tilt pro in this next one just aren't enough to distract me from the concept of what they are offering. I just can’t see how this would appeal to people.