The international poker brand saw several collaborations, exits, and newer associations in 2021. It started with PokerStars ending its association with Chris Moneymaker. The association of this poker celebrity with the poker brand has been for the past 17 years. Moneymaker went on to join America’s Cardroom after the exit from PokerStars. In less than ten days, Shanghai-based poker player Celina Lin bid adieu to PokerStars. Her stint with the brand came to an end after a decade-long association.
While exits were spoken about, new collaborations also made headlines. Brazilian footballer Neymar Jr joined PokerStars as the cultural ambassador in April. In the first month of 2020, the brand also bid farewell to President’s ‘First Ladies’ Award Recipient and poker pro Muskan Sethi. This farewell comes after a three-year long association. While this was happening on the International front, two Indian poker platforms onboarded big names. Pratibha Arya was signed as the Baazi Gaming Pro. Poker pro Kunal Patni was signed as Adda52’s ambassador.
PokerStars partnered with Interregional Sports Group (ISG) and became the official betting sponsor for Formula 1. The brand owned by Flutter Entertainment will be featuring in all the European broadcast markets for every Formula 1 season till 2023. ISG has ventured into Virtual Media Production & Commercialisation in Live Premium Sports Broadcasting. The brand plans to assist brands in planning to target specific regional audiences through televised sport. Read the full report here.
Casino tycoon and a multi-billionaire, Sheldon Adelson passed away at the age of 87 on 11 January 2021. Adelson was suffering from non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and died due to complications related to the treatment. Adelson was one of the world’s biggest casino operators. As per a report by Forbes, stated Adelson’s net worth at an estimated $33 billion. The poker industry lost several other tycoons through the course of 2021. Read all about it here.
Phil Hellmuth won bracelet No. 16 at the 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP), in Event #31: $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw. The win marks the sixteenth WSOP title for Hellmuth, whose WSOP career wins and achievements includes 157 cashes and a victory in the 1989 Main Event that made him the youngest champion in history at the time. This is Hellmuth’s first WSOP gold bracelet in a deuce-to-seven poker game that he has been trying to get since a long time. This is also his third bracelet in a non-Hold ’em variation. The lowball variant had a field of 272 runners and Hellmuth took home $84,851. Read the full report here.
Koray Aldemir became the 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event champion. This German 31-year-old made it big at the field of 6,550 players to win the Main Event title. This player clinched the WSOP gold bracelet and pocketed $8 million.Aldemir defeated George Holmes to win the Main Event title. The ME champion became the fourth all-time biggest live tournament winner in Germany with this victory. Aldemir joins the list of WSOP Main Event winners, including Phil Hellmuth, Stu Ungar, Doyle Brunson, and Damian Salas, from whom Aldemir took the reins and will continue to hold the title until July 2022. Read all about it here.
Josh Arieh was announced as the Player of the Year in the 2021 World Series of Poker. Having landed himself two bracelets and a dozen cashes, he has come out on top. World Series of Poker 2021 was an amazing time for Josh Arieh. With multiple bracelets wins, cashes, and final table appearances, he collected over 4000 Player of the Year points.
GGPoker Network overtook PokerStars to become the world’s largest online poker room. As per a report by independent monitor GameIntel, GGPoker is averaging more than 5000 concurrent cash game seats based on its weekly moving average. PokerStars launched many new promotions, including the 20th anniversary celebrations and a rebrand of its Grand Tour which had global ambassador Neymar Jr’s participation. In addition to this, there was also a Twitch campaign and PokerStars’ training platform was updated. There was also a complete revamp of the PokerStars Rewards program, offering up to 25% fixed Rakeback, with an additional 40% possible through personalized challenges.
Australian poker pro Michael Addamo is a four-time WSOP bracelet winner. In 2021, this player had a deep run as he shipped two highrollers. First, Addamo shipped the $50,000 No Limit Hold’em High Roller and pocketed $1,132,968. He then won another bracelet in the $100,000 No Limit Hold’em High Roller on the last day of WSOP 2021 taking home $1,958,569. Prior to the year gone by, Addamo had already added three GGPoker Super MILLION$ titles to his kitty. This player had a great start to 2021 as he won the WSOP Circuit ring online at GGPoker as he shipped the WSOPC #15: $400 New Year Colossus. He added a colossal $374,604 to his bankroll. Read all about it here.
Manthra Koliyer is a writer at Gutshot Magazine. She has an affinity for seeing the world through people’s eyes. With a bubbly fun personality, you can always catch her chatting with anyone she comes across. Holding an English Literature degree from Wilson College, Mumbai, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism from Asian College of Journalism, this pop culture fanatic is ready to take on the world with a pen, paper, and microphone. She also actively works on her personal blog called namasteyconvict.blogspot.com, where for a moment she lets you into her drama-filled world.
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