Laurence Fishburne, star of stage and screen, has been cast in Playtika’s latest commercial for the World Series of Poker app. This is not to be confused with WSOP.com, online poker platform. Playtika’s WSOP app is a licensed product that uses some of the Series’s branding. The WSOP’s involvement ends there.
It is pleasant to see an icon like Fishburne engaging with poker even in this ersatz way. Fishburne is best known as either Morpheus in The Matrix or as Jack Crawford in Hannibal, depending on whether you’re old enough to remember Y2K or not.
According to the presser issued by Playtika about the WSOP commercial, Fishburne said, “It was a really interesting offer to join the project. It came to me, and I thought ‘I had to be a part of this’. I’m aware of the WSOP and am fascinated by the gamesmanship of it. I’m thrilled to be a part of this game, and hope people enjoy my presence and that it can give them some joy!”
The presser describes the role as a “partnership,” industry jargon that doesn’t quite land right here. He has been cast in their TV ads. So far, it looks like that is the start and end of this particular joint venture.
Playtika’s WSOP game
Playtika is a mobile gaming company based in Israel, with over 35 million monthly users on their wide-ranging selection of mobile games.
The Chief Revenue Officer at Playtika explained, “Laurence, his amazing personality, and his style really bring to life the WSOP player experience. We are proud to have created a commercial that complements the epic persona of Lawrence with the epic legacy of World Series of Poker for the benefit of our players.”
The commercial features a player sitting in a diner and playing cards on his phone. Meanwhile, Laurence Fishburne delivers advertising copy to the camera as the setting transforms into a medieval feast.
Why a medieval feast is never explained. Like all great art, this commercial gives back to you what you bring to it.
It remains an open question as to whether free-to-play social gaming apps like this do much to expand the player pool for more serious poker. It seems unlikely it does much harm. However, the next time we see Fishburne at a poker table, here’s hoping it is in Rounders 2.
Featured image source: Cision PR NewsWire