A flurry of contractual obligations were severed this year between online poker room’s and their high-profile ambassadors. More than a dozen poker pros parted ways with their pledged brands in 2014 alone. The latest announcement of imminent departure came from Canada’s fem fatale, Kara Scott, who will no longer be endorsing the online poker brand, PartyPoker.
On December 23rd, Ms. Scott published her intent to leave PartyPoker on her blog – not her PartyPoker blog, of course, but her personal blog at CardRunners. Entitled, ‘New Year, Big Changes’, Kara wrote, “I’d like to announce that as of the end of this year, I will no longer be an ambassador for PartyPoker or their associated brands.”
The online poker pro and live event broadcaster went on to describe her tenure with PartyPoker. “When I first started with the company in January 2010, I was recruited in large part for my on-camera work. Over the past five years, I’ve had the opportunity to host a variety of projects for the company, including the Premier League, the Big Game, the World Open, the European Open and the World Women’s Open.”
Kara Scott then switched gears, explicating the reason behind her sudden departure from the online poker room’s sponsorship status. “PartyPoker has gone through many changes and unfortunately as their focus shifted, there were fewer and fewer TV projects. As those shows disappeared, so did one of my favourite parts of the job and now my association with Party is ending. However, I’m not going anywhere,” Ms. Scott assured her fans. “I still love playing poker and have made a lot of great friends in the industry.”
She continued by wishing all the best to PartyPoker and her soon-to-be former colleagues, calling her 5 years with the online poker brand a “real learning experience”. Kara said the next time we see her on the professional poker circuit, we can expect her to be in front of a camera once more (although without the branded orange patch), or at the tables with a chip stack of her own. She said she’s already booked her attendance at the upcoming EPT Malta from March 18-28.
Joining Kara Scott in the long list of break-ups between online poker operators and sponsored players are well over a dozen star-status poker pros. Fellow PartyPoker ambassador and 2x WPT titlist, Marvin Rettenmaier of Germany, took his leave in October, citing no particular reason for the split.
Over at PokerStars, the pro player roster was heavily pruned when the operator chose not to renew contracts for 2009 WSOP Champ Joe Cada, EPT titlist Jose Barbero, 2x WSOP bracelet winner Humberto Brenes, Russian WSOP bracelet winner Alex Kravchenko, and Dutch phenom Marcel Luske, just to name the most prominent dismissals. Victoria Coren Mitchell separated herself from PokerStars when the brand announced the addition of online casino games.
Full Tilt still has a brimming line-up of Black Card Pros, but chose to eliminate its most prolific endorsers, Gus Hansen and Viktor “Isuldur1” Blom, formerly known as “The Professionals”. J.C. Tran chose to sever his duties with 888Poker back in September, and barely a week later, it was announced that Jason Somerville had ended his responsibilities Ultimate Poker, just before the operator shut down in Nevada.