Women Poker Pros Courted With Sponsorship Deals

While professional poker players in general have seen a major fall in the number of sponsorship deals being offered by gaming companies, there remains one segment of players that are still viewed as highly desirable targets as far as sponsorship funds are concerned, namely the ladies.
Over the past week alone, three sites announced sponsorship deals with four women players, including Natalie Hof at 888poker, Jackie Glazier and Beata Jambrik at PartyPoker, and Nikita Luther at India’s biggest online poker site Adda52. Following the announcement of her deal, CEO Anuj Gupta commented:
“Signing Nikita as an Adda52 Pro is an important step in helping promote the game among the women in India where poker is only just coming to the fore.”
Needless to say, women have always been an underrepresented minority in the world of poker, comprising just 5 percent of live tournament fields, although that number is slightly higher as far as cash games, and online play is concerned. Therefore, operators are keen to redress the balance by sponsoring more women as poker ambassadors in order to hold them up as role models and inspire other women to take up the game.
Pre-Black Friday, the women who did the most to promote poker amongst their gender were such players as Annette Obrestad, who won the 2007 WSOP Europe Main Event for £1 million; 2-times WSOP bracelet winner Jennifer Harman; and Annie Duke, a WSOP bracelet winner with $4,270,548 in live earnings, making her number 3 on the ‘Women’s All Time Money List’. All received lucrative sponsorship deals with online poker sites at the peaks of their careers which have since evaporated since the USA was cut off from the international iPoker market.
Having four women take up ambassadorial roles with significant poker rooms this week, especially at a time when sponsorship deals have been heading south, therefore clearly shows that the operators have set their sights on improving the poker ecology by attracting more women to their virtual tables.

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