In a seemingly never-ending change to the Pokerstars aesthetic, another two Pros are dropped from the sponsorship roster. High stakes end boss Igor Kurganov and his partner in crime Liv Boeree are the latest in big names to not renew their contracts and leave Team Pokerstars.
Hailing from Kent, England Liv Boeree is one of the most accomplished UK players and Women players in the World, amassing $3,852,996 in tournament live earnings during her career, the first breakthrough title being her win at the EPT San Remo where she took the title and €1,250,000.
Kurganov hailing from Saint Petersburg, Russa, joined team Pokerstars in 2017 and has put his tournament dollars to use playing nearly every $25k tournament in sight and racking up millions more to his already huge lifetime cashes of $18,429,469.
Liv has stated that she will be pursuing her love of science with content creation and doing talks alongside firing up the occasional tournament. Whilst her partner Igor has not stated any plans for the future it’s hard not to see this tournament beast continuing to make millions on the felt even with a loss in sponsorship funds for these huge buy-ins.
What is next for PokerStars
The changes just keep on coming in a new strategic use of sponsorship funds from the stars group, Pokerstars used to grab any of the biggest tournament players after winning one of their events and then have them flying their flag at all the events around the world for the coming next years.
But these days they are concentrating on sponsoring sports stars and celebrities in an attempt to get more recreational players interested in the game it would seem. Eric Hollreiser is quoted as saying “our ambassadors should not solely be winners and credible/authentic poker players but should live and breathe the game, proactively creating excitement around it and generating multimedia content that reaches multiple audiences.”
I can see their viewpoint here, reaching out to many different target groups with a mix of sponsored players should be good for the game as we all want to have a new influx of money in the game.
Dropping huge ambassadors that used to take the stand and defend hugely controversial points like rake increases on public platforms like Daniel Negreanu shows a huge change in the stars groups marketing strategy, let’s just hope the poker world benefits from it once this plan unfolds.
Whilst the Team Pros seem to all be dwindling away we can’t help but think that the only ones that are left are just waiting for their contract renewal dates and they too might part ways.
There has been a shift in the team online sponsored players too, with Jaime Staples leaving Pokerstars to get sponsorship from PartyPoker earlier this year, however this is still an area where Pokerstars is at least reserving some of its funds as they still have a healthy line up of Online Pros like Lex Veldhuis, Benjamin Spragg and new member Arlie Shaban.
This list used to be much more extensive, however, it seems the best still remain and with budding communities from all areas of the world, it’s hard to see team online being plucked from the budget anytime soon.
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