Dave Portnoy criticizes Mintzy for choosing poker over a Barstool sporting event

Bar stool Sports Poker Mintzy

Ben Mintz is deep in a $2,500 buy-in Moneymaker Tour Event, but his Barstool Sports boss Dave Portnoy isn’t too thrilled about skipping a company outing to play poker.

Barstool is currently hosting its annual event Bar stool combination, a spinoff of the NFL Combine, a test of physical and mental abilities for college football athletes looking to demonstrate their skills to scouts before the NFL Draft. Barstool Sports employees and personalities compete in a series of exercises to determine who the company’s best athlete is.

Poker tournament leaves Barstool employees in trouble

“Mintzy” was supposed to join the combine as an employee of Barstool. But he’s on top of the chips with 14 players remaining at the Palm Beach Kennel Club in Palm Beach, Florida, with the winner taking home $121,485. The long-time poker player and sports radio personality is guaranteed to collect at least $9,000 in Monday’s final session, but with over 100 big blinds to start the day, anything other than a final table appearance would be a disappointment.

However, his boss isn’t exactly thrilled about the deep run in the $500,000 guaranteed no-limit hold’em tournament. Portnoy posted a video on X of a somewhat heated phone conversation with the poker player.

“Mintzy, are you at the Combine today?” Portnoy asked Mintz to start the call.

Of course, Mintz informed his boss that he was instead in Florida preparing for his final day of play at the poker tournament. He explained that first place comes with a six-figure payout. But Portnoy, who has always supported Mintz as a poker player and Barstool personality, didn’t respond to his employee with “Get ’em, Tiger.”

“I would say that’s your salary because what’s the point of me paying you?” Portnoy asked in response to Mintz telling him he had a chance to win $120,000. “You have a jersey, you’re enrolled in the thing, and you just skip like we don’t do that much and you just skip it?”

Portnoy then went on to question why he was paying Mintzy if he was going to miss a company event in favor of playing poker. Mintz, a co-host of the former Cracking aces Poker podcast presented by Barstool Sports, was fired from the bar stool last May about some rap lyrics he performed on television. He was then reinstated in August after Portnoy bought the company back from PENN.

After Mintzy was fired last year, Portnoy stepped in for him. This time he doesn’t stand up for him.

“If you’re a professional poker player, do this,” Portnoy told his popular employee. “We have a big sponsored event that you have a jersey for that you’re supposed to compete in, and you skip the hell out of it because you do well in a poker tournament. Great.” Then go and make your money playing poker.”

The Barstool founder then further mocked the poker player, asking why he decided to enter the tournament when the company is hosting “a major event in Chicago.”

“Let me be clear: If you have a committed corporate event that we have sponsored money for, that you have committed to, go to that event. It’s a Monday,” said a defiant Portnoy.

“Okay, this will never happen again,” Mintzy promised.

This promise did not entirely reassure Portnoy, who then informed him that he would deduct the amount won in the poker tournament from Mintzy’s salary. Mintz, appearing on the livestream on Sunday, played a memorable pot when he flopped a set-under set but rivered a one-outer for quads to defeat his opponent and move to the top of the stack.

Ben Mintz at the World Series of Poker
Ben Mintz at the World Series of Poker

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