$7 Million Tennis Pro James Blake Joins Full Tilt PokerOctober 17, 2010 7:20 am
Full Tilt Poker has in the past couple of days announced the addition of tennis-pro James Blake to the site.
The 30 year-old American player turned tennis professional in 1999 and reached a peak of 4th ranked player in the world back in November 2006.
Despite now having slipped down to 120th in the world, between 2006 and 2009 James Blake was never out of the top 15 and on his way to success even had to overcome a horrific on court accident in 2004, which left him with a broken neck.
Not to be defeated, James Blake set about his process of recovery with great determination and even took time to write a New York Times bestseller in 2007, titled “Breaking Back: How I lost everything and won my life back.”
James Blake now boasts 15 tournament titles to his name throughout a highly lucrative tennis career, earning an impressive $7,014,189 along the way, including $235,812 in prize money for 2010 so far.
In his spare time, James Blake is known to enjoy playing golf and basketball, and is also an avid poker player. Blake’s poker highlights include having competed at the $1,500 WSOP NLHE Event in 2008, finishing 333rd for a $3,218 pay-out, and also coming second in season two of Bravo’s Celebrity Poker Showdown.
The online poker industry has long recognised the importance of associating celebrities with their brands, and as gaming analyst Steve Schwartz explains:
“The payouts are getting bigger at online tournaments, more countries have regulated online poker, and those factors combined with the celebrity power has made online gambling one of the biggest industries in the world.”
No other site has taken the celebrity approach to online poker further than online giant Full Tilt Poker and James Blake will now be joining the site as a “Friend of Full Tilt.”
Blake will be joining other celebrities in the same category, which include NHL hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, and UFC Mixed Martial Arts fighter Mike Swick.