Pokerstars Continues To Shift Focus Towards Twitch, Sports Betting

Published on November 16th, 2019 10:47 am EST

The largest poker company in the world changes focus.  Cuts ties with older pros.Earlier this week, Liv Boeree and Igor Kurganov both announced that they were parting ways with Pokerstars following multi-year runs with the company as sponsored players.

Boeree had been with Pokerstars for nine years while Kurganov, who is Boeree's boyfriend, had been with the company for a shorter period of time.

Back in May, Daniel Negreanu shocked many when he revealed that he and Pokerstars were parting ways. Many assumed that Negreanu would be a "lifer" at Pokerstars - his departure meant that no single sponsored player was safe, and that the company was likely switching its focus away from the traditional sponsored player model.

In the past, Pokerstars would look to sign players who enjoyed success on the live poker tournament circuit, though their shift is now moving to other markets.

With their poker business largely stagnating, Pokerstars is throwing their focus towards their sports betting and casino offerings, which has made most or all of their sponsored poker players expendable. Unless you have a large Twitch following, you will likely have a very hard time getting sponsored by Pokerstars or any other online poker company in this day and age.

Pokerstars has turned their attention to larger deals, such as their one with the UFC. That deal has several high-profile UFC fighters repping the Pokerstars brand, including Jorge Masvidal.


Pokerstars is attempting to diversify away from the online poker market. They are especially focused on the United States sports betting market, which continues to open up further by the day.

This new focus has resulted in the loss of many sponsored players from Pokerstars, including Daniel Negreanu, Liv Boeree, Bertrand Grospellier and many more.

Chris Moneymaker, who started the "poker boom" in 2003 with his win in the World Series of Poker main event, remains one of the last "traditional" sponsored players at the company.

Pokerstars' list of "Team Pokerstars Pro" players now looks like this:

Chris Moneymaker
Jason Somerville
Fatima Moreira de Melo
Leo Fernandez
Andre Akkari
Celina Lin
Aditya Agarwal
Muskan Sethi
Maria Konnikova
Ramon Colillas
Jennifer Shahade
Kalidou Sow

This is a far cry from a few years ago, when Pokerstars had dozens of players inked to "Team Pokerstars Pro".


Filed Under: Online Poker Rooms

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