partypoker New Jersey has announced the signing of former Devils defenseman Ken Daneyko to their professional stable, adding him to the likes of Mike Sexton and Kara Scott. Daneyko played his entire NHL career with the Devils, making him a logical choice for a local marketing partnership.
When partypoker and the New Jersey Devils created a partnership, it was clear that bwin.party wanted to establish some ties with the local sports community in order to strengthen their brand in the state. That strategy seems to be an ongoing effort, as the company has now added this much-beloved athlete to their stable of team pros.
“I love poker and there is no better place to play online in the Garden State than on partypoker.com,” Daneyko said.
Daneyko, a defenseman from Windsor, Ontario, was drafted by the Devils in the first round in 1982. He would go on to play with the Devils from 1983 through 2003, playing all 20 of his seasons with the team. Over his career he would score just 36 goals, but played a key defensive role in three Stanley Cup championships for the team in 1995, 2000 and 2003. He also won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded for players who show perseverance and sportsmanship, in the 1999-2000 season.
Daneyko has remained active with the team even after his retirement. Earlier this month, the MSG Networks announced that Daneyko will be a part of the broadcast team on televised Devils games, acting as a game analyst alongside play-by-play announcer Steve Cangialosi.
But while these roles have made Daneyko a sporting legend in New Jersey, that’s not the only reason he was chosen by partypoker. It’s likely that the company also wanted someone who could handle themselves at the poker table, and there’s no doubt that Daneyko fills that role as well.
Daneyko is said to be a regular at cash games in Atlantic City. He has also had some tournament success, winning a $230 event at the WPT Borgata Spring Poker Open in April. Daneyko is expected to continue playing in Borgata events to help promote the partypoker.com site, which is operated by bwin.party and the Borgata.
“Ken was a fierce competitor on the ice and from what I’ve seen, he’s even fiercer at the poker table,” said Mike Sexton, captain of Team partypoker. “He is a great addition to the team and will be a great ambassador for online poker in New Jersey.”
Daneyko was expected to make his debut for partypoker by playing in the $200 buy-in Main Event of the Garden State Super Series this past Sunday. The player that eliminated him was to receive a $200 ticket to a future Sunday Major tournament. However, it’s unclear whether this prize was ever awarded, as the GSSS tournaments held Sunday were ultimately cancelled after technical problems caused the events to be paused while in progress.
The Daneyko signing comes at a time when many New Jersey poker sites are ramping up their efforts to attract players. This comes at the end of summer, when numbers traditionally rebound for online poker sites, but also as it appears more likely that they will be competing against PokerStars for New Jersey customers in the near future.