The 2017 NBA All-Star Game is still over a month away but this time next week, fans will know who will be representing each conference in New Orleans. That’s because all-star fan voting ends January 16th, meaning that teams and players are making their final social media pushes this week. While players like LeBron James and Steph Curry most likely don’t need any help locking up a roster spot, some other players have seen their recent All-Star stock rise thanks to some help from outside the basketball world.
Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas got a shout out from boxing legend Floyd Mayweather, Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid is getting the hip hop vote thanks to Meek Mill and Tristian Thompson has his girlfriend Khloe Kardashian in his corner. Whether those outside influencers can help send each of those players to their first All-Star Game remains to be seen but it got us thinking: Where would some of the world’s biggest poker players turn to help their own #PokerAllStar campaigns?
Phil Hellmuth – Golden State Warriors
Hellmuth might have the biggest celebrity rolodex in all of poker, thanks to countless charity initiatives and being one of the more recognizable personalities in the game. Lately though, he’s been on a Bay Area kick. From sitting courtside at Oracle Arena, to partying with the team after they won it all in 2015, to partnering with the Warriors Community Foundation next week; the NBA’s biggest names would definitely go to bat for ‘The Poker Brat’.
Jeff Gross – Michael Phelps
While Jeff Gross has a massive social following, thanks to one of the more entertaining Twitch streams in all of poker, he’d certainly tap the most decorated Olympian of all-time to increase his reach. Gross is long-time friends with Michael Phelps and was in Brazil this summer to watch Phelps become more an even bigger GOAT than he already was. Add in Bill Perkins’ loyal Instagram following and Gross would be drawing votes from every corner of the internet.
Maria Ho – Aaron Paul
The LA Sunset might not have claimed the first Global Poker League title but they certainly won the popular vote thanks to manager Maria Ho’s ‘wildcard’ selection. Each team had one roster spot for a player that wasn’t eligible to be drafted and while most went with a big name pro, Ho went Hollywood. She brought on actor Aaron Paul, pictured above, and the Breaking Bad star’s global reach could break the vote for the Poker Central Ambassador.
Felipe Ramos – Neymar Jr
Over the last few years, poker has boomed in Brazil and Felipe “Mojave” Ramos is one of the main reasons. The PokerStars Team Pro has helped grow the game in his home country and has also brought Brazil’s latest soccer star to the felt. Ramos is friends with FC Barcelona’s Neymar Jr, who also rocks a patch as a PokerStars SportStar. As one of the world’s most recognizable soccer players, Neymar Jr’s influence would be a golazo.