Friday, April 19, 2013

Image Masters Comes to Borgata

Players and spectators may have noticed something new at the 2013 Borgata Spring Poker Open. An official photographer was on site to document players as they made their way through the two and a half week tournament series and freeze in time some of the biggest moments in the games.

Image Masters, a St. Louis, Mo. based photography company, came to the Borgata for the first time ever and they plan to return for other major tournament series.

"Out intention is to be at the Borgata for every tournament series going forward," said Eric Harkins, Image Masters owner.

Harkins and his team have been capturing moments through photographs in the poker world since 1999 when Jack Binnion asked them to shoot photos of the high rollers and big names at the World Poker Open held in Tunica, Miss.

"At the time, that was the second largest tournament outside the World Series of Poker," Harkins said. "We did photos for the players and Jack basically taught us how to turn that in to our own industry."

Since then Image Masters has been photographing major poker tournaments throughout the United States. From 2003 through Febuary of 2013 Image Masters were on site to photograph players for the WSOP.

"We just retired from that," Harkins said. "Eleven years with any client is a good run ."

Image Masters offers several options for players and fans. Framed prints, digital down loads and CD's of images throughout an entire tournament are available for purchase. Players can also sign up to request photos be taken of them in specific tournaments. Players can then review images online before selecting items and making a purchase.

"There is no obligation for anyone to ever buy," Harkins said. "If you make a request it does not mean you have to make a purchase, it just means we will keep an eye on you throughout the event."

Image Masters has photographed the biggest names poker in the largest tournaments in the U.S. over the last 11 years. But they do not focus on just the big names and superstars of the game. Image Masters comes to the tournaments to provide every player with a tangible memento.

"Our goal is to get great, candid poker photos," Harkins said. "We want players to have the best experience possible and to us, it doesn't matter what the buy-in is or who is in the tournament. We think every player that enters an event should have the same sense of feeling like a professional poker player no matter what."

Links to the photo galleries from the 2013 Borgata Spring Poker open can be found here: Image Masters

Bobby Oboodi with his custom framed print courtesy of Image Masters after he won the Championship Event

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