Brian Rast Offers Adelson a $2M Heads-up Poker ChallengeSeptember 14, 2016 12:44 pm
Never one to miss an opportunity to trash talk poker, Sheldon Adelson has once again been spouting his well-worn poker is “not a game of skill” argument to whoever is prepared listen. During a recent interview, the 83-year-old demonstrated an incredible level of ignorance about the nuances of the game, especially for a billionaire casino owner, after he explained to Daniel Roberts from Yahoo Finance:
“I don’t know how skill can apply to somebody shuffling a deck of cards and randomly giving them out to you. You don’t have any control over it. Can somebody bluff and can somebody place bets better than somebody else? Yes. But that doesn’t make poker a game of skill.”
Fortunately for Adelson, there is someone in the poker community that is prepared to school him on the finer points of poker, and they do not come much higher recommended than Brian Rast. The pro is currently ranked number 7 on poker’s all-time money list with an incredible $17,780,392 in winnings. Rast has also amassed a further $705,736 playing online, an area which has attracted the majority of Adelson’s ire.
Following his comments during the Yahoo Finance interview, Rast then took to twitter and offered Adelson a chance to put his money where his mouth is by playing a ‘friendly’ game of heads-up poker with $8.4 million at the table. Soon after, Rast then decided to lower the figure somewhat and tweeted:
“In fact Sheldon my man, I’ll pay you 500$ 2 play 100bb freeze outs for 2mil, so if poker isn’t a skill game u earning and can prove me wrong.”
While the prospects of a billionaire casino magnate locking horns with one of poker’s most skilled players over a game of cards would be a mouth-watering spectacle to behold, it is unlikely that Adelson would ever take up such an offer. That’s because it is highly dubious whether Adelson actually genuinely believes that poker requires little skill, and his comments may just be an attempt to prevent an online poker expansion in the US. As Adelson stated in a Q&A session with Roger Gros from Global Gaming Business back in 2014:
“They [online gamblers] could be flying high and out of control of themselves, and what are they going to do with the poker players that are expert at playing poker. They’re just gonna clean everybody out? Like they do in the poker clubs and various casinos.”