Prahlad Friedman tells us why he would never represent an online poker room – even if he won the main event
I managed to make it pretty deep this year in the WSOP Main Event. Not quite as deep as 2006 – 64th as opposed to 20th – but not a bad run. This year wasn’t as juicy in terms of the playing field or the prize pool, but I definitely felt like I played better than I did three years ago.
One thing that has never changed is my unwillingness to wear a logo. Kenny Tran asked me, ‘How much do you think the main event would be worth to you if you won it?’ I said probably $8.5m. He was expecting me to say $20m because of all the sponsorship. But I guarantee you’ll never see me with a poker site or casino logo.
I’ve had a liberal upbringing and never envisioned myself representing a casino. When you wear something from a casino they make a lot more money than they give you. So, first off they’re not paying people enough. But that’s just a side note. I don’t want to represent casinos or online poker rooms. It sounds funny because people say, ‘Why don’t you take the free money?’ I don’t look at it like that. I’m a vegan, I don’t eat any meat and I wouldn’t wear a hat that says, ‘Beef’s for dinner’. Even when I buy regular clothes or my wife goes out and buys me clothes I tell her I don’t want any logos, I don’t want any leather. I stick by my convictions.
I don’t want to wear a hat where the site has blackjack and people are making millions from it. I don’t know what they do behind the scenes and who they’re screwing over. Casinos have been notorious in the past for being crooked and I wouldn’t doubt that a lot of places still do some ?shady things. I don’t really want to support that.
The only logo I’d ever wear is some completely green cause, or some charity or No War shirt. I guess if I had to wear something that boosted my acting career, that would be okay too. I’ve been thinking about getting into the movie business for a while! I’ve ?been approached by companies who say, we’ll give you $7,500 if you get one hand on TV. That sounds great but not for me.
People have asked me whether I would think differently if I was super-destitute. It wouldn’t be easy, but I still don’t think I could do it. My morals are really strong and I always try to do the right thing.
Money’s not that important to me that I need to represent businesses I don’t believe in. If I win in the future, I will probably be the first guy not to ?do anything with anyone – it would ?be freaky! Everyone would be in ?shock that I wouldn’t be taking all the free millions.
This is how I want to live my life. ?I love poker and will probably always play the main event, but I don’t do everything for the money. I’m logo free – I’m a hippy boy!
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