Having played 191 International matches for the Dutch national team, former field hockey star, and Olympic Gold Medalist, Fatima Moreira de Melo was signed up as Team Sportstar as a part of a drive to make PokerStars appeal to the mass sporting audience. But yesterday the 41-year old confirmed via social media that she is no longer the ambassador of the online poker room.
The past two years have seen a massive exodus of brand ambassadors from the online poker giant. These include prominent figures like 6-time bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu who had been the company figurehead for 12 years to Maria Konnikova, Barry Greenstein, Liv Boeree, and Jaime Staples. Last month too saw an exit by PokerStars pro Jason Somerville who announced his departure from the platform via Twitter.
The news caught public attention when de Melo’s name went missing in the list of PokerStars Team Pro on the official website. PokerStars’ representatives later confirmed that the contract with Fatima has indeed ended. They stated, “We can confirm that Fatima’s contract with us as an ambassador has ended. Olympic hockey champion is only one of her many achievements and in her time with PokerStars she has notched up a string of impressive results while embodying everything great about poker—a fun, competitive spirit that encourages everyone to give the game a try,” the spokesperson further added, “We look forward to following her next chapter closely and are sure that it will be as successful as the ones before.”
Moreira de Melo was one of the few sports players who knew her poker well. With total live earnings of $577,274, she sits 47th in Netherland’s all-time money list. She earned her career-best $95,750 after finishing in 2nd place in UKIPT Main Event in Douglas, Isle of Man. In 2009, the hockey star also added $48,772 in Master Classics of Poker in Amsterdam.
Playing under the username ‘FatimaDeMelo’ on PokerStars, the Dutchwoman tweeted yesterday, “after a beautiful decade with PokerStars our journey has ended.” Check out her full tweet below:
Tennis legend Boris Becker, NHL player Mats Sundin, and Marcus Hellner were also among the early sporting ambassadors, with the past decade also seeing Rafael Nadal, Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, and Brazilian football stars Ronaldo and Neymar engraving their names in PokerStars’ book. For the latest updates on poker industry news and tournament updates, keep reading GutshotMagazine.com and stay tuned!
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