May 3, 2023
Kevin Hart Partners with DraftKings in New Jersey Poker Debut
Actor and comedian Kevin Hart has partnered with DraftKings to launch an exclusive online poker game, Hart-Race Hold’em, for New Jersey residents. The game features an animated Hart, over 1,100 unique sayings from him, and is designed to offer a more personalized experience for players seeking an alternative to online slots and live casinos.
- • Hart-Race Hold’em is a New Online Gaming Option Available Exclusively to New Jersey Residents that Aims to Breach the Gap Between Online Slots and Live Casinos.
- • Hart-Race Hold’em Plays as an All-In Version of Texas Hold’em with Payouts for Bad Beats and a Varity of Quips From an Animated Hart.
- • Kevin Hart Already has an Established Presence in the Gambling World, With Prior Partnerships with Online Gaming Sites as Well as His Own Tournament Successes.
Kevin Hart and DraftKings are partnering up to bring a new poker game to New Jersey. The famous as an actor, comedian, and entrepreneur is also an established in the gambling world.
The parings personalized Texas Hold’em-themed game is available in the DraftKings New Jersey online casino for players 21 and up and present in the State of New Jersey.
About Hart-Race Hold’em
“Hart-Race Hold’em” allows players to play a heads-up version of the popular poker game one-on-one against an animated version of Hart. The game employs more than 1,100 unique sayings from Hart himself, making for a more personalized experience in the poker game.
The game is set in a fictional “DK Comedy Club” background, with a marquee that reads, “Playing Tonight! Kevin Hart”.
DraftKings said in a statement that the game was built entirely in-house, adding:
“Hart-Race Hold’em spares no detail from the comedy night club background setting to Kevin Hart’s animated gestures and competitive spirit, this game is entertaining and user-friendly. Hart-Race Hold’em is similar to Texas Hold’em rules but includes bad beat in-game bonuses for an additional chance to win.”
Hart-Race Hold’em Gameplay
Upon sitting at the virtual table, players receive a tutorial on the game’s rules. Players then start the round by making a bet before receiving their two-hole cards, just like in Texas Hold’em. Hart then deals the cards and goes all in—every time.
This leaves the player with two choices: fold and surrender the bet or call and go for the chance to double up. Each time a player calls, Hart deals a five-card runout, narrating one of his 1,100 one-liners on every street, flop, turn and river.
The best five-card hand after the runout wins. Players can double their money with a win and have opportunities for other bad beat bonuses, including losing to a four-of-a-kind or better (1,000:1), aces full (100:1) or any other full house (10:1).
Hart’s commentary runs throughout the entire game. Early testing from PlayUSA revealed a sample of the quotes that players can expect:
- “Good luck. Ha! I already won.”
- “Without the river, there would be no fish.”
- “What? You won with a measly high card?! Chicken fried (censored) is what this is.”
- “It’s about time you found a hand.”
- “Double trouble on the bubble-like Barney Rubble”
Hart-Race Hold’em is designed for players looking for a change from the formulaic online slots but prefer the comfort of their home over playing in a live casino. It is a compromise between the worlds of online slots and live casinos without overly bending to one side.
Hart-Race Hold’em is currently available only in the New Jersey market. This marks the second time since October that DraftKings chose the Garden State as its first market to debut a new game or feature. Last fall, it released a new progressive jackpot network that involved a wide range of games, including slots, blackjack, roulette, and video poker.
While online casinos continue to grow across the US, New Jersey remains the most established due to its early entry. By debuting games on their New Jersey platform, DraftKings shows that New Jersey’s market is still the litmus test for the rest of the country.
Kevin Hart’s Poker Pedigree
Kevin Hart has worldwide appeal as famous as an actor and comedian. However, he’s also successful entrepreneur with his hands in multiple baskets, including the recently-formed production company, HARTBEAT, which was involved in developing his Super Bowl commercial.
Casino owner and PartyPoker extraordinaire Rob Yong recognizes Kevin’s capabilities in poker. Last year, Rob described Kevin as the “highest-stakes amateur player.” He also expressed that he wanted Kevin to help him promote amateur poker.
Hart played the Larry Flynt’s Challenge Cup in 2010 and won the top prize of over $20k. He also played Mo’s Deepstack No-Limit Hold’em in 2008, where he became the second to win over $16k.
Before signing on with DraftKings, Hart was an ambassador for two of the largest online poker sites worldwide, PokerStars (2017-2019) and PartyPoker (2020-2022).
After joining the DraftKings team last year, Hart was a prominent spokesperson for the DraftKings sportsbook throughout the 2022 NFL season. He wrapped that up with a Super Bowl commercial that included more than a half-dozen other stars across sports and entertainment.
The first publicized partnership between Hart and DraftKings dates back to 2022. The comedian became a spokesperson for the sportsbook. He also promoted the firm’s football contest called Reignmakers.
The DraftKings‘ previous partnership saw Hart acting in a major Super Bowl commercial. DraftKings bought the ad for $7 million. However, his advertising campaigns haven’t come without scrutiny.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission for Advertising Violations commented on Hart’s advertising during a February hearing. Commissioner Chair June Taylor noted that DraftKings has spent considerable funds on diversity in advertising, pointing specifically to Kevin Hart. She stated that the commission is sensitive to the role diversity plays on different genders and age groups because of Hart’s appeal.