Though Mikey wasn't allowed to play in the 2006 PokerShare.com, isn't giving up on the chimpanzee. They're willing to back him still if another tournament will let him play.
"Mikey will overcome this rejection into the PokerShare.com poker room manager. "We will sponsor him in whatever tournament will accept him because we know a chimp can beat a chump."
After months of training to recognize colors, shapes, perform on television, and wear a green poker visor and sunglasses, Mikey was ready to play in the Main Event, but he and his trainer, Judie Harrison, found out the day before the event started that Mikey wouldn't be allowed to play.
The WSOP adventure wasn't just another publicity stunt for the site or acting job for the chimpanzee. Mikey was going to be playing to win cash for his retirement. After chimps perform for several years, they must retire and live off their earnings for the rest of their lives.
PokerShare.com was also hoping to help draw attention to animal education and preservation with the marketing ploy as well as gain exposure for the poker site.
Mikey and PokerShare.com are now looking for another tournament that will allow him to play. The chimp has received a lot of attention for his bid to play poker, and PokerShare.com thinks his high profile could help sway tournament execs to allow him to play.
His new-found fame has also led to PokerShare.com deciding to use Mikey's image and identity as the new face of the site.
"Mikey has stolen the show at the 2006 WSOP, and he is the perfect marketing vehicle with which we want to brand ourselves," Wright said. "He embodies the brand of PokerShare.com because he is playful, fun, and different."
For more about this story, please read "PokerShare.com turning WSOP into monkey business."