Hendon Mob´s Roland Boothby about the Festival Series partnership
We are getting geared up for the second edition of The Festival Series with The Festival Series Tallinn just weeks away at Olympic Park Casino and the adjoining Hilton Tallinn Park from June 27 to July 3.
The Hendon Mob is one of our esteemed partners for The Festival as it is a great fit on both ends. The Hendon Mob is the source for data and other information about the biggest live tournaments around the globe and it also hosts its own The Hendon Mob Championship during recreational festivals.
The Hendon Mob Championship won’t be part of our festival in Tallinn but could be during other festivals depending on the fit. In the meantime, The Hendon Mob is one of our trusted news outlets where they recently shared highlights from our upcoming The Festival Series Tallinn.
“We're very excited to be in partnership with Frankie and Mauritz and now The Festival,” Head of Partnerships at The Hendon Mob and podcast host Roland Boothby said. “The Hendon Mob boasts 4 million visitors annually to The Hendon Mob and GPI network. We look forward to connecting that audience with The Festival Series, which is one of the fastest-growing event brands in Europe, and to working together to promote these events and in the long term run events in unison with The Festival.
Read on to learn more about the charismatic Roland Boothby and his humble beginnings in an exclusive interview with The Festival Series Content Manager Jason Glatzer.
Humble Beginnings as Poker Fan
Boothby is a man of many words and describing him as friendly could be an understatement as he has been known to chat with any poker player when attending events. This author has had the pleasure of not only interviewing Boothby in the past but also enjoying him as a guest commentator when commentating on the MPNPT Prague years ago. Boothby described his humble beginnings that many of us now experienced in the industry can relate to.
“I was a poker fan,” Boothby began. “I never worked in poker until my late 20s. I've been working in sports data in the UK. And then just through following various figures in poker on Twitter, I saw a post about a role opening up in Malta for Alex Dreyfus, who still owns The Hendon Bob and GPI, that the tweet was actually a retweet from Barry Carter, whom I followed. So at the time I was, I was living in London and in my mid-20s, and I was interested in the role. I didn't really know much about Malta apart from the fact that some high-profile poker players were living there at the time. The likes of Ike Haxton. I think maybe Justin Bonomo was living there, but I knew I knew it had some poker goings-on in terms of the Battle of Malta growing around that time. So, I knew a little bit about it, but I've never been there. So I took the plunge at the end of 2013 to go and work for The Hendon Mob and GPI under Alex Dreyfus, and the job was, at the time, just working the database side of things a little bit GPI formula. And pretty much at the sort of the lower end of the ladder certainly started from the bottom, with all sorts of things at The Hendon Mob and GPI.”
Partnerships Grow Under Boothby
Boothby’s story continues to where he is today. He shared about how he advanced to the Head of Partnerships and the fruits this has bared.
“As time went on, I just gradually began to get to know a lot of card room managers, the people who ran tours, and some of the more of the business people in the industry,” Boothby explained. “In a roundabout 2017/2018 I sort of transitioned a bit more to the business side of things. But eventually, I think in 2019, I became Head of Partnerships. So, my role now is primarily on the business side of things, we have roughly 50 to 55 partners, all of whom are in the poker industry. You know, from powerhouse big companies like GGPoker and PokerStars, right down to local casinos in all different parts of the world. That's part of the fun of it for me is that is the sort of array of clients and partners we deal with. And that's not to say I don't involve myself in some of the other facets of The Hendon Mob people, you know people will have seen the various stops around the world.
The Hendon Mob Championship and GPI/THM Podcast Network
Both The Hendon Mob Championship and the GPI/THM Podcast Network were two new endeavors during Boothby’s time with the organization. He shared a bit about his experience while giving a shout-out to his colleague Eric Danis.
“In 2018 I became involved with setting up The Hendon Mob Championship just to give us a bit of a live presence around the world and utilize some of the goodwill towards the end of our brand to help out festivals and events,” Boothby shared. “And at first, we were a side event kind of concept. And that built and eventually became interested in running handing off championships as the main event which we've done with Kings Casino, Banco Casino Bratislava, and Aspers Casino London. So that's obviously another sort of another area, which I've been involved in quite heavily recently is trying to build up this live concept. And that's and you know, it's testament to the poker community and the people who work in poker, that that's been able to be a success with a lot of people, you know, put their faith in us and sort of taking a bit of a punt with us. So, it's just been fantastic to see how people have taken to it and we you know, we feel very proud of that.”
“Also, on the side of all that, people sometimes hear my voice on various podcasts, especially during the pandemic, when a lot of our traditional work dried up,” Boothby continued. “We found that the GPI/THM Podcast Network with a few different formats and that's been a lot of fun to try and sit down and talk with some of the biggest names in poker. I got to say a shout out to Eric Danis who's the President of the GPI and The Hendon Mob, as this was his idea. He's the sort of driving force behind everything we do at The Hendon Mob, especially the podcasts. He has a very, very strong roster of big names that he can call upon. So, we have a huge pleasure to meet and not only be active on the other business side of things but also to be able to have a bit of fun and sit down with some of the top names in poker. So, I'm very lucky to sort of found myself where I am now as I just started out as just purely a poker fan that used to grind all the EPT and WSOP live streams.”
The Festival Series looks forward to a long and fruitful partnership with The Hendon Mob and the GPI. Thank you, Roland, for taking the time to share your story.