PokerStars Sets Arlie Shaban a Herculean Challenge

PokerStars Sets Arlie Shaban a Herculean Challenge

As the world’s biggest online poker entity, PokerStars rules over the lesser pantheon of sites out there in the ether. Evidently inspired by the gods that held sway over Ancient Greece, this week a challenge was issued by ‘The Poker Gods’ themselves to Arlie Shaban, with 12 Herculean tasks miraculously appearing on the PokerStars blog.

Between November 6, 2017 and March 10th, 2018, Shaban attracted the attention of the poker community after completing an incredible 1,000 hours of live Twitch streaming play over 125 straight days, or an average of 8-hours per day. Needless to say, Shaban’s incredible feat of endurance did not go unnoticed by ‘The Poker Gods’, and just like Hercules, the original undertaker of the 12 Labors in Greek mythology, a hero who was part human and part divine, the mysterious originator of the challenge on the PokerStars blog is also keen to determine Shaban’s spiritual make up.

This is understandable considering his impressive feat of endurance six months ago, as well as his beard bearing a striking resemblance to that depicted in statues of Hercules from Ancient Greece. According to the challenge entitled ‘Dear Arlie: We have a message for you’, ‘The Poker Gods’ are now looking to determine whether he belong to the streaming gods and is “worthy of a small piece of poker, and streaming immortality, “or whether he is “just a mere mortal,” after all.

Arlie Shaban

Arlie Shaban was a contestant on Big Brother Canada 2 which premiered on March 5, 2014, and despite eventually being ousted in 8th place he became the first member to be offered a jury position on the show. Shaban later got to know PokerStars Team Pro Kevin Martin, who in 2017 won Big Brother Canada Season 5 for $100,000 prize. Apparently, Martin and a number of other PokerStars Twitch stars subsequently encouraged Shaban to give live poker streaming a whirl, ultimately leading to his 1,000 hour Twitch marathon.

On the last day of his challenge in March, PokerStars Support sent Shaban a congratulatory message while he streamed. This week the player, who now boasts more than 7,000 followers, received another message from the site whilst taking part in a World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) event. As the note signed by ‘The Poker Gods‘ read:

“Are you up for a challenge? We noticed it had been some time since your last one. And as a poker player, and a streamer, challenges are something you’re big on. So, we thought we’d set you a challenge. An epic one.”

The 12 Labors of Arlie

No specifics were immediately given concerning the 12 tasks set for him. A list of Hercules’ original 12 labors, however, were given as a rough guide, and according to the message, “from these you’ll find not only inspiration, but also a few clues.”

1: Slay The Nemean Lion
2: Slay the Lernaean Hydra
3: Capture the Ceryneian Hind
4: Capture the Erymanthian Boar
5: Clean the Augean stables in a day
6: Slay the Stymphalian Birds
7: Capture the Cretan Bull
8: Steal the Mares of Diomedes
9: Obtain the girdle of Hippolyta
1: Obtain the cattle of the monster Geryon
11: Steal the apples of the Hesperides
12: Capture and bring back Cerberus

Since then, ‘The Poker Gods’ have issued their first challenge which is to ‘Skin the Dutch Lion’.

“Go find the lion. Challenge him. Get him alone and defeat him. Take his skin and put it on,” the message read.

And so Shaban’s epic journey begins. Hercules had to endure many hardships and hazardous situations before eventually completing his tasks, including killing the man-eating, bronze covered birds of Stymphalus, and stealing the girdle of the Amazon Queen Hippolyte. It remains to be seen just how closely Shaban’s epic venture will mirror that of Hercules, but it should nonetheless prove an entertaining affair, with regular updates of his heroic quest available on the PokerStars blog.