Online Poker

PokerStars Pro May be on the Outs

by Omar

By now, it is no secret that the online poker world is centered on the site of the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) and its host, PokerStars. In addition to the buzz generated by the prestigious and online’s most lucrative tournament series, much speculation has abounded regarding the status of some of the site’s longtime sponsored professional players. Specifically, the speculation is centered around Gavin Griffen, Hevad Khan, and former World Champ, Peter Eastgate.

Over the past year, PokerStars has slowly moved away from bring a US-centered site, instead choosing the global strategy as evidence by their growing number of poker tours around the world in locales such as Asia, Europe, Latin America and Australia/New Zealand. As such, more eyes than ever are focused on the day to day operations of the world’s largest online poker site. It has been noticed by several of the online forums that none of the three aforementioned players has taken part in any of the WCOOP events to date, a surprising trend given its status in the online world. Obviously, the site would prefer to see their higher profile players taking part in such events to draw more attention and interest to themselves. Each of these players is well known for different reasons.

For Eastgate, his notoriety came with his 2008 WSOP Main Event win while simultaneously making the final table of the WSOP Europe Main Event as well. Prior to this year’s World Series, Eastgate announced his retirement from poker, citing a loss of enthusiasm for the game. Apparently, this move is affecting his status with the site that sponsor’s him.

Griffin meanwhile was the first poker player to capture EPT, WSOP and WPT events in their career and the rumor mill has him and PokerStars unable to come to terms on a new deal now that his contract has expired. For Khan, his status is a bit murkier as he has not cashed in a major live tournament since 2009, perhaps making him more expendable to a site that has recently snatched David Williams away from Bodog, and NAPT winner Vanessa Selbst.

With so much talent out there, sponsorships will come and go and those who follow such things are well aware of these developments as they occur.

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