Taking a look at PokerStars’ new .eu homepage, there honestly doesn’t seem to be too much of a difference from their old .com webpage. All words and Web content aside, the most intriguing part of this, to this poker blogger anyhow, are the faces of the company. With PokerStars stacked with poker’s top pros, one must wonder if past WSOP Champions like Joe Hachem, Chris Moneymaker, Joe Cada, and other notable names like Vanessa Selbst and Jason Mercier will remain in the company stable and continue promoting online poker in the United States.
Even more interesting is the story with Full Tilt Poker pros, like Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius, Howard Lederer, Erik Seidel, Tom Dwan, and others. Many of these professional poker players also own a slice of the company – at least to my knowledge. They’re no idiots, so I imagine they’ve got armies of lawyers who protected them from exposure in the event of just this type of major online poker shakeup.
So will all those familiar faces only appear to us on TV broadcasts now instead of online? Will top poker players still agree to represent agencies whose activities in their countries of residence are legally questionable? Sure the money’s gotta be lucrative, but nobody wants to shell out money from their bankroll to pay a fine or, worse, end up playing poker for cigarettes in prison! And I’m sure everyone out there is wondering what this all means for the currently unaffiliated but ever-present Phil Hellmuth! 🙂
One of poker’s top agents, Brian Balsbaugh, who represents some of the most well-known pros in the poker industry, advised his clients not to comment on all that’s happened over the past week. Daniel Negreanu, for one, has opted to play a lot more live poker at the Aria in Las Vegas, while Doyle Brunson happily welcomed all online poker players to “play some real poker” at Vegas’ live poker tables. So I guess mum’s the word for now… at least as far as the players go.