Isai Scheinberg plays first WSOP amid huge honors weekend

Haley Hintze Author Photo
Haley Hintze
Posted on: July 09, 2023 05:37 PDT

It's been a fantastic weekend for PokerStars co-founder Isai Scheinberg. Having arrived in Las Vegas earlier in the week, the legendary Scheinberg has managed to play in his first ever World Series of Poker Main Event while also receiving one of the poker world's most prestigious honors.

Scheinberg, who in his mid-seventies remains a vibrant figure, decided to take a seat in the Main Event, late-registering for Friday's Day 2ABC session. He did okay for someone who's only played one live event since 2014 before trying his luck in this year's Main. He rolled up his 60,000-chip starting stack to about 115,000 before having his aces cracked in a big hand, and he ended up bagging about 62,000 chips for today's ongoing Day 3.

Saturday was reserved for festivities away from the table. Scheinberg, who launched PokerStars in September 2011 along with his son, Mark, spent the late afternoon and early evening as a guest of honor at the World Poker Tour's WPT Honors Award ceremony, where he and Vince van Patten where honored for their contributions to the game.

Following that celebration, Scheinberg attended a special afterparty hosted by PokerOrg at the adjacent Encore casino, where he was again saluted for his achievvements. The afterparty soon turned into what was likely the largest-ever global gatherings of prominent officials and employees from PokerStars' original era.

As Scheinberg and others told PokerOrg, PokerStars had always been an online company, and most of its executive-level business had always been conducted through phone calls, emails, and internet channels. While virtually every Stars executive spent time at the company's Isle of Man home office, the global brass was never there all at once. That gave the Saturday night festivities -- both the WPT ceremony and the afterparty -- an extra note of distinction within online-poker history.

All the former PokerStars employees, executives, and former players who made it to the gathering posed for a special group photo at the afterparty. They're in the photo above. How many of these individuals from PokerStars' original golden era can you recognize and identify?

Featured image source: Eric Hollreiser