PokerStars No Longer Has A Team Spain or Belgium

PokerStars no longer has any sponsored players from either Spain or Belgium after the site failed to renew the contracts of Leo Margets (photo), and Matthias and Christophe De Meulder. In addition to their exit, Germany’s Jan Heitmann has also left the site after his contract expired, and commenting on their departure Eric Hollreiser, Director of Corporate Communications, explained:
“Sponsored poker pros and celebrity ambassadors are one element of our marketing mix. Our team of pros and ambassadors is constantly changing and evolving to reflect the market needs and marketing strategy.”
Spanish player Leo Margets had been a sponsored pro at PokerStars since 2013, and has amassed $835,747 from live tournaments throughout her career, of which roughly $65k was won during her tenure at PokerStars. Announcing her departure in Spanish via twitter, Margets’ translated message states:
“New year, new adventures! Finished a stage with Stars and another begins with very desirable projects. Want to squeeze 2016!”
With her departure, PokerStars Team Pro has now just four women remaining, namely Vanessa Selbst, Liv Boeree, Celina Lin and Vivian Im.
Belgium twins, Matthias and Christophe De Meulder, have also left after six years with PokerStars, bringing an end to Team Belgium. Matthias De Meulder has earned $910,398 throughout his live tournament career, while Christophe De Meulder has earned $324,638. Finally, Jan Heitmann also bids farewell to his time as a PokerStars pro, with the German having amassed $998,786 in live earnings, although just $47,458 was won over the past three years.
Other players to have left PokerStars over the last few months include Alex Millar and Isaac Haxton, both of whom quit in protest of the changes introduced to the PokerStars VIP Rewards Program on January 1st 2016.
On the other side of the coin, PokerStars has also made a number of high profile signings over the past year to better reflect its strategic approach to the market. This includes such players and celebrities as Neymar Jr, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jason Somerville, Jaime Staples, Yuiko Matsukawa, Aditya Agarwal, and Kosei Ichinose, to name but a few.

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