In a press release on Thursday, the World Poker Tour (WPT) announced that DJ Steve Aoki has signed with the poker organization as its newest brand ambassador. This is one of the first steps the WPT will take to revamp its upcoming 20th season.
Aoki is expected to play a pivotal role as the poker organization attempts to move into the mainstream. He has a significant social media presence with over eight million followers on Twitter and should be able to bring a whole new audience to the WPT.
WPT Ready for New Era of Poker
Aoki is a two-time Grammy-nominated artist and performs at some of the top nightclubs in Las Vegas and around the world. His function will be to raise brand awareness, having developed several brands of his own, and to engage with fans at upcoming WPT events this season.
“It’s such an honor to be joining the WPT family. I have watched and admired the WPT for many, many years, and to now be part of the WPT family; it feels so surreal, and I am incredibly grateful,” said Aoki.
The 44-year-old has been involved for many years in the game of poker and has many friends among professional players, regularly competing against them. He is an avid player and fanatic of the game and has even competed in episodes of Poker After Dark on several occasions, along with the 2021 WPT Heads-up Poker Championship.
WPT Supports the Aoki Foundation
One of the WPT events planned for the middle of 2022 will be an invitation-only event in Las Vegas that will benefit the Aoki Foundation. The charity supports organizations in brain science research, focusing on brain preservation and regenerative medicine.
“The passion and energy in which Steve Aoki approaches every aspect of his life is both inspiring and very much in line with the new vision of the WPT,” said WPT CEO Adam Pliska. “Steve’s love of poker and his dedication to inspiring others to live life to the fullest makes him the ideal WPT brand ambassador. We are honored to have him play an active role in our transformation and in the celebration of World Poker Tour’s 20th anniversary.”
Aoki founded his record label, Dim Mak Records, back in 1996. After his first solo album, Wonderland, was released, he was nominated for a Grammy for Best Electronic/Dance Album in 2013. He competed in the Americas Best DJ competition that same year and finished in sixth place.
Aoki Dedicated to Charity
The artist has collaborated with many famous musicians in fundraising for his charitable organization and was named Global Ambassador for the non-profit Best Buddies program, which helps young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Aoki is also heir to the Benihana restaurant franchise, which was founded by his father, Hiroaki “Rocky” Aoki, in 1964, which has 116 Japanese-influenced restaurants worldwide.
This month, the WPT began its 20th season with the Lucky Hearts Poker Open at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The inaugural event was a $600 Deep Stack No-Limit Hold ’em tournament featuring a guaranteed prize pool of $1 million.
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