Posts Tagged ‘Victoria Coren quits PokerStars’

Alex ‘Kanu7’ Millar quits Team PokerStars in Protest

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

alex-millar-quits-pokerstarsWe’ve heard quite a few strong responses from online pros over PokerStars’ decision to change their VIP program. But perhaps Alex Millar has made the strongest statement yet after quitting Team PokerStars in protest over the VIP changes.

Best known by his ‘Kanu7’ handle, Millar has been a high-stakes grinder for quite some time. And he felt so strongly about the matter that he gave up his lofty sponsorship position. Here are a couple tweets from Millar on the matter:

“I’d like to apologise to the players for my complete failure to be able to help in any way with the recent pokerstars VIP changes”

“With @RealKidPoker eventually failing as well I no longer feel I can represent the company and I have now left Team Pro Online”

Prior to quitting Team PokerStars, Millar announced that he hoped to change some minds among PokerStars management. Obviously he wasn’t able to do this as the Supernova Elite level was eliminated along with mid/high-stakes rewards. So Kanu7 sacrificed his sponsorship money over the principle.

In his poker career, Millar has racked up $3,294,787 in cash-game winnings. However, he’s had a rough go of it in 2015 and has lost $136,042. Considering that he won’t be receiving VIP rewards to help with any future losses in 2016, it’s easier to see why the Brit has taken such a strong stance against Stars.

This is actually the second year in a row that a high-profile player has quit Team PokerStars. Victoria Coren-Mitchell did so in 2014, but under different circumstances. In Coren’s case, she didn’t like how parent company Amaya Gaming was pushing Stars towards casino gaming and sports betting. It had always been Coren’s principle that she didn’t want to represent non-skilled gambling, so she quit.

Victoria Coren quits PokerStars – She loves Poker, not Casino Games

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

victoria-coren-pokerstarsWhile PokerStars continues their expansion into casino gaming and sports betting, Victoria Coren won’t be sticking around to see the results. The English poker pro/writer/TV personality announced her resignation from Team PokerStars through her personal blog.

As Coren explains, the announcement that PokerStars will be doing a mass launch of online casino games came “very sudden.” While writing that she isn’t against casino games, the two-time EPT champion doesn’t like the thought of promoting a company that offers them either. Here’s one excerpt from Coren’s blog that really explains her mindset on Stars’ new direction:

But I cannot professionally and publicly endorse it, even passively by silence with my name still over the shop. Poker is the game I love, poker is what I signed up to promote. The question I’m probably asked most often in interviews is about the danger of addiction, going skint and so on. I’m always careful to explain the difference between the essentially fair nature of poker, where we all take each other on with the same basic chance, and those casino games at unfavourable odds which can be (especially online) so dangerous for the vulnerable or desperate.

Unlike many of their sponsored players, which PokerStars treats with a grain of salt these days, it seems like they truly valued what Coren brought to the table. After all, she’s a very successful writer and TV show host. And from the looks of what Coren wrote, it seems as though Stars made a pretty good pitch to keep her on Team PokerStars.

However, the Brit is pretty adamant that she doesn’t want to be associated with the promotion of online casino games. Coren didn’t rule out a possible return to Stars, citing that she will watch from the sidelines and maybe work on “something which is pure poker.” But she seems dead-set on avoiding sponsorships with any casino gambling-related companies, which is what Stars is moving closer towards becoming.