Sheldon Adelson Challenged to a $2 Million Poker Match

September 14th, 2016 | by Kaycee James
Brian Rast heads-up Sheldon Adelson.

Brian Rast (pictured) is willing to pay Sheldon Adelson to play him heads-up for $2 million. (Image:

Sheldon Adelson has long claimed that online poker is nothing more than gambling and a threat to children, but Brian Rast begs to differ and he’s got $2 million to prove it.

Adelson’s efforts to have online poker outlawed are well known. The Restoration of America’s Wire Act has been sponsored by the casino magnate since its inception and many of those supporting the proposed legislation are also supporters of the billionaire.

Adelson Beating the Same Old Drum

Whenever Adelson steps into the media spotlight he’s often asked about poker and during a recent interview with Yahoo Finance he once again took a shot at the industry.

Discussing the status of Daily Fantasy Sports, Adelson poured cold water on the suggestion that it involves any skill and likened it to poker.

“Some say poker is not gambling. Poker is gambling. They say poker is a game of skill. I don’t know how skill can apply to somebody shuffling a deck of cards and randomly giving them out to you,” said Adelson.

Although he did admit that players can bluff and place better bets than their opponents, he maintained that these facts don’t make it a game of skill. Naturally, after those comments filtered through the virtual airways, a number of players jumped in with their take on things.

Kristy Arnett got the ball rolling by questioning how someone that “dumb” could be successful, while Brian Rast decided to up the ante by offering the skeptic a shot to prove his theory. After initially calling on Jason Mercier to join him and put up $500,000, Rast eventually sent a direct tweet to Adelson offering him a heads-up match for $2 million.

Unsurprisingly, Adelson hasn’t responded, but that hasn’t stopped Rast from battering the billionaire’s timeline with comments on the issue.

“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,” tweeted Rast.

Heads-Up Matches Can Inspire Change

Poker players stepping up to defend the game’s honor is certainly not a new thing. Back in 2013, Norwegian high stakes pro Ola Amundsgard offered any native politician a $170,000 freeroll to play him heads-up.

The idea behind the challenge was to prove to government ministers that poker was a game of skill and should therefore be legalized within the country. Erlen Wiborg of the Progress Party was the only person to accept the challenge and quickly learned that poker isn’t all about luck. Within 1,056 hands the novice had lost his virtual bankroll and Amundsgard was declared the winner.

That match not only helped to prove that poker is a game of skill, but also contributed to a change in the law which meant poker tournaments could be hosted inside Norway.

While Rast’s challenge probably wouldn’t have the same impact as that, it would certainly be fun to watch Adelson’s arguments dismantled bet-by-bet before the American public.


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