By Sean Chaffin
With a nod toward some nice promotion and working in some business meetings, Faded Spade playing cards CEO Tom Wheaton is back in the field at another WPT event. This time he made the trip to Durant, Oklahoma, hoping for another nice run.
Last May, Wheaton (pictured in Season XVI) sold 80 percent of his action on YouStake.com at the $10,000 buy-in WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic at Aria to help promote the Faded Spade brand, the preferred playing cards of the World Poker Tour. It was the biggest event Wheaton, who hails from Orlando, Florida, had ever played.
A total of 32 backers were rewarded after he ran deep and finished 19th for $19,990. Those who put up some money doubled their investments.
Now at WPT Choctaw, Wheaton’s hoping for even better results and has 15 backers sweating his action.
“It’s a smaller buy-in and I wanted a little bigger piece of myself,” he says. “I’m going to try and start off where we left off at ARIA.”
Along with playing at Choctaw, Wheaton has had some discussions with poker management at the property about using his cards. The property has been receptive so far.
“I’m here for business and playing,” Wheaton says. “I also brought my wife and two kids, and they are loving this resort. This is one of the only resorts that the Main Tour plays on that you can bring your kids and they have a movie theater, a family pool, a bowling alley, and an arcade. They’re loving life and we had a great time yesterday.”
Faded Spade was founded in 2017 as Wheaton looked to create a unique, high-quality card created just for poker. His vision for a poker-specific deck of cards came to life with improved artistry with fresh and modern face card designs.
The company has found success partnering with several poker tours and casinos, but also sells to consumers. The company has partnered with the WPT and will be used at the final tables for the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, WPT Choctaw, and Baccarat Crystal WPT Tournament of Champions at HyperX Esports Arena on May 30, 31, and June 3.
Wheaton sees his trips to play for Team Faded Spade as a way to get the word out about the brand. The promotion seems to be working, and Choctaw table games and poker manager Bob Barnes praised Wheaton’s product.
“They’re very durable cards,” he said. “They have an easy to pitch texture and are well-priced.”
This is the first of several upcoming Team Faded Spade tournaments. Wheaton has been working on his game and plans to play the World Series of Poker Main Event and a few other WPT events.
“I’m putting in the work to get better,” he says. “So I might as well play, and it’s good for business because each room I go to we usually have good business discussions. Some of them have become customers.”
Sean Chaffin is a freelance writer in Crandall, Texas, and his work appears in numerous websites and publications. Follow him on Twitter @PokerTraditions.