The death of the sponsored poker pro is something that’s been discussed frequently over the past few years. But Joe Cada’s recent split with PokerStars has hammered the point home that sites are increasingly moving away from sponsored pros.
In Cada’s case, all he wanted was 100% rakeback from PokerStars to continue representing them. And this seems like a reasonable request from a former Main Event champion. Amazingly, Stars saw this as too high a price, as you can see from Cada’s tweets:
If everyone is wondering what happened with Poker Stars and myself it’s pretty simple. I asked for 100percent rake back, they said no.
I asked for zero money. I just wanted the rake back that I used to get.
Cada added that he’s never heard of a company asking somebody they sponsor to pay for their product. Seeing as how Stars wouldn’t keep the 2009 Main Event winner on their roster, it seems highly likely that they’ll continue dumping more pros over the coming years.
This trend already began weeks ago when Humberto Brenes, Jose “Nacho” Barbero and Angel Guillen didn’t get their contracts renewed. A PokerStars spokesman came out and said that these players were from countries where they don’t hold live tournaments. So Stars felt there was little reason to sponsor these players any longer.
But Cada is arguably more marketable than any of these guys because he has worldwide recognition as a Main Event champ. He is, however, from Michigan, yet another spot where PokerStars had no live presence.
The world’s largest poker site will always have some players representing their brand like Daniel Negreanu, Bertrand Grospellier and Liv Boeree. But it’s becoming obvious that they aren’t interested in having dozens of signed pros from every corner of the world.