Most of today’s professional poker players take their career down dual paths; profiting from the live and virtual realm. Live poker events like the WSOP, WPT and EPT offer the largest tournament prizes and esteemed championship titles, while online poker provides a great opportunity to increase the rate of profits via multi-tabling. Multi Action Poker (MAP) brings both worlds together, and that’s something Brian Hastings wants to be a part of.
Hastings is considered by many to be one of the best poker players of his generation. A 3x WSOP bracelet winner with over $2.2 million in live tournament cashes under his belt, plus $6.35 million more playing in online poker tournaments and cash games, Hastings knows all about taking advantage of both worlds.
It was announced this week that Hastings has agreed to a sponsorship deal with the recently launched MAP Team. Brian joins an already impressive line-up of other live and online poker pros that include 3x WSOP bracelet winner Michael Mizrachi, 2x WSOP bracelet winner Jennifer Harman, and up-and-coming pro Kristy Arnett.
Multi Action Poker
MAP is the brain child of Tim Frazin, a 10-year poker veteran who got the idea to merge the advantageous multi-tabling opportunities of online poker with live tables years back. Frazin was playing in a home game of Pot Limit Omaha when the idea hit him.
“The hands were taking forever,” recalled Frazin. “I was bored out of my mind.” He didn’t put his plan into effect until 2012 when he finally introduced Multi Action Poker, delivering an innovation that any major casino would be proud to promote.
MAP tables are designed to host two dealers, with two decks of cards, giving live poker players the advantage of participating in two poker games at the same time. In turn, casino operators are able to collect twice as much rake from the dual action on MAP tables.
The first MAP games were hosted by the Isle of Capri Casino in Pompano Beach, Florida in May of 2015. Stan Strickland, the Director of Poker at Isle of Capri, was enthusiastic about being the first casino to exhibit live multi-tabling, calling it an “exciting game” that he expects will “[continue] to grow in popularity in the future.”
Brian Hastings offered similar sentiments after signing on with the MAP brand. “The action is fast and furious and players get significantly more hands per hour.” Hastings described the MAP tables as “an online poker player’s live poker dream game.”
Tim Frazin was equally pleased to bring Hastings on board. “Brian is the ideal person to bridge online play and live MAP play,” he extolled the live and online poker pro’s phenomenal abilities. “Furthermore, Brian’s character, integrity, and outward focus is in alignment with our company philosophy of win-win.”
Hasting Integrity Comes Into Question
That final point, relating to Hasting’s integrity, isn’t one that’s agreed upon by the poker community as a whole. In 2009, Hastings, along with poker pros Brian Townsend and Cole South, admitted to involvement in a collusion scandal in which they team-played against Swedish high roller Viktor “Isildur1” Blom. The three won about $4 million from Blom before it was over, but PokerStars offered little more than a slap on the wrist to the trio and declined to order the return of Blom’s money.
In June of 2015, while attending the World Series of Poker where Hastings claimed his 2nd and 3rd WSOP bracelets, accusations of breaching PokerStars TOS surfaced. He was accused of multi-accounting, as well as using a VPN (virtual private network) to access the online poker room from the US. Thus far, Hastings has refused to confirm or deny the any of the allegations against him.