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Viktor Blom and Gus Hansen out at Full Tilt

by Jeremy Olson on October 21, 2014

Before Black Friday, Full Tilt Poker laid claim to a massive roster of over 160 signed pros. Fast-forward to now, and they are officially without any signed pros after dropping Viktor “Isildur1″ Blom and Gus Hansen.

As Full Tilt explained to PokerFuse, they are moving away from “Pro-centric advertising” and on towards marketing that falls in line with the average player’s experience.

If Full Tilt were really looking for a way to accomplish this goal, then getting rid of Blom and Hansen was definitely the right thing to do. After all, both players have been playing high stakes online poker for years and living off fat endorsement contracts. So they were about as in tune with the average player as Phil Ivey playing in Macau.

Not re-signing Blom and Hansen comes at a time when many other sponsored players are losing their deals too. For example, we just discussed how Marvin Rettenmaier wasn’t re-signed by Party Poker. Additionally, PokerStars let go of Joe Cada, Humberto Brenes, Jose “Nacho” Barbero and several other players. Finally, Ultimate Poker has been busy trimming their roster from over a dozen players down to just three in the past year.

Given all of these recent moves, there may come a time when online poker sites parting ways with their players isn’t news anymore. But for the moment, seeing two huge names like Blom and Hansen leaving their sponsors is the epitome of the current trend, which is to cut ties with pros and center everything on drawing recreational players. Will this new business model be online poker’s saving grace? Perhaps we’ll know in a few more years…


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